loving our children well
by Trish Pederson @trishpederson
When the words “empty nest” come to mind, questions invade scattered thoughts of yesterday.
Haunting questions echo in the hallow, once filled with instructions, appointments, homework, activities,
and I ponder like Mary, who dared to believe in the God her eyes could not behold.
And, I, like the psalter in awesome wonder, consider If a thousand years is as one day to God, so it seems 25 years of raising children are for me. These reflections have come wrapped in a day…
and I wonder if it was all enough…
Was I a good enough mom?
Did I teach them enough about God?
Did I model prayer?
Did I help them sort through sin and find repentance and true joy in Christ and His sacrifice for it?
Did I love them enough?
And I hear the Voice without sound say in a shiver-whisper, “I was enough…I AM enough.” It is then I am reminded of a Sovereign God who somehow wrapped His right around my wrong and swaddled our souls in Holy, cuz we moms get it wrong, you know? And then in His kind Father-heart He reminds me of the times they would take with them and tears run down small cheek-hills into a smile. I share with you some of those “wrapped in holy memories.”
Loving our children well sees the joy in the persistence of sensory processing disorder,
because this child is different. The one that brings out the most frustrations, the one who writes a new definition for patience, this one who screams the same words over and over until his voice turns into a whisper-yell…yeah, this one makes me laugh, and that too is from God.
How could the one who makes me cross-eyed tired, and my lip swollen from biting, make the deep in me echo in a roar of soul lifting laughter, and stitch up my sides the way he does?
It’s a holy joy and I celebrate the hitch in our normal.
Loving our children well presses into a 17 year old’s heart racing anxiety and losing and says, “this too is a gift, God often gives anxiety to those He wants to show Himself to.
Can you see Him like David did?
And he asks you to pray again and again, and your arms come together around his neck as the two of you crumple down in a tangled prayer of tears and words and say to Jesus,
“You are our only Hope. You are jealous for us. We get to be anxious to know You are near. You are all we need.”
And you watch him read the psalms and find his way home.
Loving our children well looks straight into the flecked pools set on top wet cheeks steadily dripping pain everywhere and listens to words she wants to hurl like daggers at her betrayer, the one who stole her first love, and you say softly,
“you look like her you know…Jesus doesn’t see you any different. When you judge her, you wear her sin. Instead, put on compassion and kindness, sweet love,”
and her words soften as she learns something of grace and loving our enemies.
Loving our children well listens to the same teen-age daughter begging you not to let the same betraying friend in standing on your door step and you say,
“Open the door…”
because one day she, too, will need to be let in by grace and forgiveness. And you watch her open the door
and invite healing in.
Loving our children well isn’t afraid to ask for help and recognizes our need for the body and searches for mentors for broken-hearted teenagers who have lost five months of tears and 10 pounds of skin and now you see bones, over the breakup of first love.
And someone answers and asks her to coffee and you slowly watch her heal and eat.
Loving our children well looks at the mess of splattered red from a broken wine skin that burst in your hand in the middle of a too-long lecture
when you forgot where you came from,
and made them think you’ve never been where they are,
and you clean it up together as you reach for more grace.
Loving our children well has conversations with love-struck college daughters and gently says, “I think you love him more than Jesus, oh sweet one,
“return to your first love,”
on your long drive home.
Loving our children well, takes a college kid broken from the weight of shame,
sick throwing up sin,
and holds a bucket reminding her of who she belongs to
and this is the chasing of God.
Loving our children well gets low and begs forgiveness when you’ve grabbed too hard, or unleashed a primal howl in a mad-fit meant to scare them
and instead it scares you…
and you are reminded of where you came from,
and God tames you with grace and you go back to that grace on a cross again and again and take them with you.
Loving our children well encourages conversation that leaves the shocking on the open grace table so that they aren’t afraid to be real and know
there is always a seat for them at this table.
Because love and grace cover a multitude of sins and we all need the invitation.
dont forget to join the conversation! Let’s discuss the grace God has given us to parent well even when we screw it up!!! Leave a comment!