Tuesday, September 21, 2010

.::This parenting thing::.

I am truly humbled at how God answers so many of my prayers on a day to day basis. Little things like, "Lord, pleeeease let her sleep in just 10 minutes this morning", or "God, Thank you for loving me... please protect my hubs as he drives to work", and the list goes on.

One thing that I have been praying for off and on since Ava was born was that I could join a mom's bible study (or any for that matter...) that provided child care so I could actually go. So when I read in our church bulletin that ladies bible studies were starting - I eagerly ran my finger down the list and right there at the end of my nose read, "Child Care provided" to the study that I had my heart set on. {gulp} My heart fluttered as the realization hit me... I can be a part of this and my child can be, too, just a door away. No searching for sitters, no awkward drop offs, just a pleasant 7 minute drive to church, where she is comfortable and familiar. Score!

Last week was the beginning of our study on the book, "Growing Grateful Kids", by Susie Larson (who has a blog here). This study is all about teaching kids to see God in the ordinary and how to appreciate Him and all He does for us - for them. The second part is that we can't CHANGE our kids - but we can change how we teach them, react to them, raise them. And I'm so desperate to learn from God's word and this study tool on how to do these things. I want Ava to grow up and adore God and see him in the normal, everyday life stuff. I want her to tear up when God provides for us, works in our lives or teaches us a lesson. Like I do. {If I'm paying attention}

Though I'm only into chapter 3... I've already been a bucket of tears a few times reading Susie's account of raising her little ones with this grateful-Godward focus. After chapter 1 this was my journal entry: {warning...being vulnerable here}

"This parenting thing is a huge deal! I've been having so many difficulties with Ava this week - from spankings to food battles to nap time drama to saving her from jumping out windows. It's very easy for me to jump to anger as my solution - raise my voice or roughly push/pull her around to obey. Then I wonder why her choice play right now is to pretend she's spanking her babies or shouting "no" at them. :/ It's in these everyday moments that I am being refined & molded...and Ava, too. I'm trying so hard to live intentionally and teach her by example. Some days are just better then others..." Sept. 16, 2010

Can I share two very refreshing thoughts from Susie's book? Both of which met me right where I was last week - feeling overwhelmed, insufficient, ungrateful & lost.

"But during the times when I was actually willing to lay down my agenda and pick up God's promise to provide, I found peace that was better then getting my way. I found something else too, the desire to thank Jesus for what I already had."


"When our strength is unequal to the task, we see the strength of God come to bear in our lives."

I was so encouraged by her words and motivated that I CAN DO THIS PARENTING THING! And I must do it well... for all our sakes.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Phil. 4:6


Amy@My Front Porch said...

Oh, Mandi...you are so not alone here. "This parenting thing" is hard! I've been struggling with impatience/irritablilty/speaking harshly with Lily and I cringe when I hear myself. Thanks for sharing what you've been learning and know you're not alone!

beccarankin said...

I agree with Amy. Though I'm not in that Bible study, I'm being blessed by the parenting sunday school class. Conviction, conviction, conviction.