When Mama thinks she’s Lost

The other day I wanted to find room to breathe, to weep over what someone reminded me I’d “lost”. Work I was good at. Work that mattered.

But then you made me pause.

You clambered into my lap and asked for your “baby” and “blankie”. And when you nursed peacefully away to sleep in the early hours of that afternoon I stroked your wispy soft hair so fine it felt I had grasped a slice of heaven.

I reflected misty-eyed on how brief this window would be, when I could nurture your body with the strength of my own. And how that would be far better than anything else.

eyelash

I looked at you for a long time as you slept and thought of all the ways you watch me in the hours of the day, taking in every word, action and languages unspoken as we build our home in the mundane but important ways that matter.

Even in the matter of munching on a tomato ice cream.

eating a tomato

I remembered what my heart has always whispered to me in my moments of self-doubt. We are blending the ordinary and the eternal, you and all your siblings and I.

And hard as some moments may be, I never want it to stop.

My heart sings because you open my eyes to every small thing our Maker delights in beginning with the dry and crusty brown leaves that you see beautiful enough to bend and pick and gift me with.

young child

I have learned enough after almost ten years of this mama gig that with every passing yearly milestone I will be challenged to ask if I made the most of every opportunity to pour in all I possibly can to lead you in the right paths.

cutting birthday cake

And I am determined to live true to my conscience.

Every day we are carving out a kingdom culture built on solid Truth, shared with the larger community whom we serve, in which we lack nothing that is truly necessary for a life so abundant with love, joy and peace and that will bring forth fruit in its due season.

Because our Father has promised, I believe.

jungle walk

The branches were bare before, but they’re sprouting green leaves. Because I started believing.

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Parenting with Purpose. Passion. Power.

The following is a republished post, originally dated 4 August 2011. Almost 2 years on, I’m singing the same song.

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I love being a parent. On most days.

Parenting is a full-time job, and this week is Appraisal Week.

I am meditating on what kind of parent I have been. How have I filled my hours as a stay-home mom? I have made several interesting (not necessarily comfortable) observations. I have a few thoughts I want to focus on through the second half of this year.

1) Purpose.

I want to parent purposefully, not passively.

When we are home together, I do not want my Bunnies to run around like wild goats – at least not all of the time! We are homeschooling, and a schedule helps to keep life sane.

In the time we are together, at every available opportunity, I want to nurture happy hearts, personal discipline, creativity, a joy of learning, an eagerness to work, a love for humanity, a sense of breathless awe at creation.

I want to plant seeds in the hearts of my children. I want to sow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I am so thankful I can stay home with my kids so that I can use every possible moment in the day to sow these seeds – in word, in deed.

I can sow daily. I can water my newly planted seeds at the breakfast table and during butt-wipes. I can nurture the seedlings at read-aloud times.

Whenever I notice an ugly weed at any juncture, I can try to find out how it got there. I can pull it out, at the root, before it becomes unmanageable.

I want to parent, with purpose.

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2) Passion

To parent with purpose, I need passion. Passion is the necessary determination and drive to make purposes possible.

To what lengths am I willing to go to nurture the purposes in my child’s life?

I will put my career on hold during these formative years. It is generally agreed that the first 6 years of a child’s life, and particularly the first 3, are absolutely critical to his or her development. I will be available all I can.

I will strive to consistently model the values I want to sow, because children learn by example.

I will not be glued to my computer, even though I have recently developed a love relationship with it.

I will ensure I get enough rest and exercise (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually), because a lack of all these produces fatigue. And fatigue for me = grumpiness = sad, sordid parenting story.

I will, because I have put my career on hold, live with the accompanying financial consequences. I will learn alternative ways of building an income, ingenious ways of stretching a budget and live happily without manicures.

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3) Power

I may be passionate. I may be willing. But will I be able?

Passion without power is useless. I need to be empowered so I can be the parent I want to be.

I don’t just need parenting books and Google, as if humanity could be boxed into fact sheets.

For all the challenges in parenting, I need self-understanding, I need self-control. I need the support of Sweet Man and the arms of our extended community of family and friends. And because I am a little weird, and just a wee bit zany, my needs and my own understanding of them can sometimes be a little complicated.

I need the power of God. Human nature is, by nature, fallible. I cannot always call, text or blog. Sometimes, the fog of my own undoing is too thick to see through.

I am glad that God is just a prayer away. He will never hang on me. He is good, inspite of me.

My 5 years of parenting have flown by all too quickly. I have so much to celebrate. My littlest, Piglet, is only 6 months old. I have things – in me – that I want to change.

I am changing because of Purpose. Passion. Power.

I am looking forward to the ride.

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