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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

cat love

 

 

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

My thought as Mother’s Day approaches is: have I done my best? Have I done everything possible to raise them up to be Christ followers? I worry sometimes that I have made to many mistakes, that I haven’t been a good enough mom, that I have harmed them in some irreparable way that I will never be able to fix. My two oldest daughters,19 and 18 respectively, have a relationship with God, but are still figuring things out. I watch them and wish they would embrace Jesus with all of their hearts. I can’t force this on them. I worry that I have not given them enough information about Jesus, for them to want a relationship with him. I worry that I have not been the role model of a Godly woman that I should be.

I know they are not perfect, but there are times when they are fighting and screaming at each other that I wonder if I’ve done something horribly wrong. There are times when they are selfish, mean, disobedient, defiant, and rebellious that I think, is this what I have modeled to them? Is this what I have taught them? It scares me, because this is not how I want them to be. This is not how I want to be. I want them to see Jesus in me. This is what I strive for, but I wonder if it is enough.

Then in his mercy, God gives me a glimpse into the core of their hearts:

Cherokee, my 19 year old daughter, is expecting my first grandchild in mid-June. Cherokee usually listens to secular music, but one day when running errands with her, I noticed her car radio on WBGL, our local christian radio station. I commented on it and she said, ” well, I don’t want my child listening to that other stuff.”

Earlier in the school year, Kiowa, my 18 year old daughter, noticed that an autistic boy in her school was being bullied by a group of boys. Kiowa stood up for him and took him under her wing. She reported it to the teacher, nothing was done. She went to the dean of students, nothing was done. She then, wrote a very well written letter to the principal, telling her the entire story. The principal called Kiowa in to her office to hear from her what was going on. Something was done and the bullying ended. Kiowa was called a snitch from then on, but it was a name she wore proudly.

Cree, my 16 year daughter, is a student leader in her youth group. She has a heart for the hurting kids in her group. Many of them come to her with questions about Jesus and being saved. They look up to her and she is a role model for them.

Talon is my oldest son. He is 13 and like Kiowa, he is a protector of those who are bullied. Last week, another 6th grader was being put in the trash can by another student. Talon happened to be in the restroom where this was taking place. Talon grabbed the bully and shoved him away. Talon then helped the kid out of the trash can and they went their separate ways. Talon also has a heart for serving others. We will often find him helping others mow their grass, shoveling snow, or giving bottles of water to the mail carrier in the middle of the Summer.

Ty, my 11 year old is very active. I never really know what is going on in his mind. About a month ago, he came up to me and asked, “Would Jesus tell on someone?” I told him that Jesus doesn’t have to tell on anyone because he was able to deal with things on his own. Ty proceeded to tell me that a boy in his class had pushed him and Ty did tell. I told him that it was okay to tell, because sometimes we need help dealing with situations like that. I thought it was great that he wanted to know what Jesus would do in that situation.

I was grateful that God would give me these wonderful glimpses into the hearts of my children. I do worry at times and there are times when I feel completely helpless in parenting, but this verse comes with a promise: If we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. We all make mistakes, but if we do our best to raise up Godly children then we can trust God with the rest. Our children may wander from the path, they may turn away from God for a time, but God will bring them back. This is his promise, if we do our part.

My daily prayer is for wisdom, patience, perseverance, and God’s grace as I parent my 5 children. They are all unique individuals, responding to different ways of correction. With God beside me, I apologize when I mess up and move on. I make mistakes, but I trust God to use those mistakes for our good. Trust God to walk beside you in this journey of parenting. He will give you the wisdom, patience, perseverance and grace that you need in parenting your children. God is ALWAYS with us…ALWAYS!

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moon-night1

 

As I was laying in bed last night, waiting for slumber, I heard the sounds of giggling coming from Kiowa and Cree, in the next room. As I listened to the soft banter and the childlike giggles of my 18 and 16 year old daughters, I was reminded that, as much as I delight in these daughters of mine, even more so does my heavenly Father delight in me. In my journey of parenting 5 children, I have shared the joy of achievement with them and I have shed tears of sorrow with them. I have laughed with them, wrung my hands in frustration and even yelled in anger. Through all the emotions of parenting, I have loved them deeply and always will. Through the emotional highs and lows of parenting my own kids, I have been reminded of God’s tender mercies in parenting me. I have been reminded of how God deals with me when I frustrate, disappoint and even anger him. He is always tender in his discipline, gentle in his rebuke and even when I have to suffer the consequences of my own actions, I know my Father in heaven loves me so much that he has counted every hair on my head. He convicts my spirit firmly, but is careful not to wound my heart.

My question to myself when disciplining my kids is, “is this how God disciplines me? Am I showing the same gentle correction to them that God has shown me?”  I don’t ever want to wound my children’s hearts. I want to encourage them always, even when having to discipline them. I am tempted to tell the girls to go to sleep, but decide I would rather fall asleep listening to the giggles in the night.

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nick and rosie

 

As I sat in the second row watching my radiant Cherokee repeating her vows, I couldn’t help but think back to just a year ago when things were so different. Still a senior in high school, she had planned on going to nursing school and having a career. She graduated from high school in May as a member of the national honor society, with a 3.5 GPA. She started school in August, but soon realized that nursing wasn’t for her. She struggled to find where she fit and didn’t know what she wanted to do.  My strong, independent, goal oriented Cherokee seemed to be lost. That was my perception. She had been dating Nick off and on for a year at that point. I knew they spent a lot of time together, but never thought it was that serious at this point. There were some issues that needed to be worked out, so I was shocked in early October at the news that she was pregnant. She had always been a purity ring wearing God-girl and even though she was struggling in her relationship with God, I never imagined that my 19 year old Cherokee would be announcing that she was pregnant. She had just graduated high school and started college. I was shocked, but never stopped encouraging her. She left school in December and she and Nick were married on Saturday. Her desire is to be a housewife and mother. So different from this time last year, when we still shared the same dreams.

I am not sharing this with you to lament on a young life gone wrong. I learned a valuable lesson on this journey called parenthood and I hope my lesson will help others in there own journey. I realized that in my desire to help her nail down a career path I was pushing her into areas she didn’t want to go. I have had to let go of my expectations and let her live her own life and make her own decisions. She is still an intelligent, independent, strong-willed young woman and I don’t think the essence of who she is will ever change. She made a decision that changed her life, but God still has her life in his hand and he will still use her in this life. God works everything for the good for those who love him and my granddaughter is a good thing.

God has a way of taking difficult situations in our lives and turning them into our ministry. Cherokee is happy. If God has given her the desire to be a housewife and mom, then I will trust that he will equip her for that ministry. I have never seen her so beautiful! Marriage and motherhood agree with her.

Things have changed for this daughter of mine. Her path has changed and her journey will take her in a different direction than we expected, but she and Nick have a long blessed life ahead of them and a little miss Ava Rose to look forward to introducing to the world. God is in control and this young couple will be okay.

I learned that my job as a parent to her now is to love her, even when her decisions aren’t ones that I would have made and always, always pray for her. I will always be here to encourage her and support her through whatever direction her life takes. Our children will make some decisions that we don’t agree with, our children will sin, our children will show their imperfect sides to the world at times. It’s going to happen, as it does with all of us. We need to quit expecting our kids to be perfect and cut them some slack when they mess up. WE ALL mess up! Why do we come down so hard on our kids when we are imperfect ourselves? Love our kids, encourage them to live for God, and when they are less than perfect, that is the time to love them even more.

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Kiowa.

 

At this moment, I am propped up on my bed fighting a nasty cold. Normally, I would be in the prayer room, but my body said otherwise. I needed this day of rest and am actually glad to have this time to catch you up on my crazy life. Monday was Kiowa’s last day of high school. I’m not sure what she is going to do. She wants to start a running group, so she may do that. She is young and her life is a blank canvas. She just has to choose the colors she wants and paint her life the way she wants it (or hopefully, the way God wants it…). The other big news, is that Cherokee is getting married Saturday. Her boyfriend, Nick, graduated Friday from basic training with the United States Marine Corps. They will get married Saturday and then he will be gone again Tuesday night. They found out that they are expecting a girl, so our little Ava Rose Fields will be making her appearance in mid June. I am so excited to be a grandma!

rosie wedding

On a more emotional level and because I promised to share the good, the bad and the ugly…I have to tell you that this wedding has been somewhat difficult for  me. Not because I don’t like Nick. I do. Cherokee and I have always been close. I am close to all of my kids, but Cherokee is the first born and she will be leaving, as soon as Nick is done with school and stationed somewhere. She and the baby will be leaving. This has been hard for me. I also, at times, struggle with the fact that she chose to live with his parents when she left school in December. She chose to live with his parents and live with the baby there until they can join Nick. In all honesty, I have dealt with the green-eyed monster called jealousy. I have had moments where I felt like Cherokee loves them more, moments when I felt like they get all the important news first, because they are “better” parents. I have found myself comparing myself to them and coming up short. Now you know…God has been dealing with me on this issue and I refuse to let the enemy wedge his way between myself and my daughter. He would love nothing more than to break this relationship and have victory. I won’t let that happen. I am aware of Satan’s tactics and I love my daughter and grand-daughter to much to let Satan win. I love my soon to be son-in-law too, and am proud of his accomplishments! I can’t say that I won’t have these feelings in the future, but I know where they stem from and I know that I have control over those feelings as long as the Holy Spirit dwells within me. I am not consumed with jealousy to the point where it would tear apart our relationship, but there are moments when something triggers that feeling and then I feel it for a day or so and then with God’s help let it go. I can’t allow myself to dwell on those feelings.

ava cute side

I will cherish the time I do have with Cherokee and Ava Rose and then when the time comes I will release them and know that God is with them and is guiding them into His purpose for their lives. He has a plan and a purpose and I, as a loving mother, need to get out of the way, as hard as that is to do. I need to trust that God loves my children even more than I do and will protect them when I can’t.

My kids are growing up and that means that I am growing older and prayerfully, wiser. I have made many mistakes along this path of parenthood, but I have done my best to raise my kids to be men and women of God. I trust that God will take my mistakes and use them for the good. As they spread their wings to fly solo, all we can do is train them up in the way they should go and trust God with the rest. Am I done parenting these two? I don’t think our jobs as parents ever end, but somehow, I think we transition into a friendship with our grown children that says, “I am here for you as a parent, but I will respect you enough to let you live your life as a friend.” The transition is never easy and I pray that God will give me the grace to listen as a friend, before I act like a parent as my children grow into their own lives.

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