Monday, June 28, 2010

Fruitful Parenting

                    We have been childless (ok- sort of- we still have Bubba at home) for 5 days now.  And I've done a little reflecting on how different our lives have been without Sissy & Brody here.  The house is clean....and has stayed clean.  There is so much quietness in our home, it is eerie.  Matt & I have had time together for hugs and laughter and great conversations.  And our pace of life is slower and relaxed.
But I miss them so.
                   Bubba has be reveling in all the attention he has been getting.  Today we spent the whole day just playing with him.  He & Dad went to the pet store and looked at all the animals.  We tickled and laughed with him.  And went out for a long, relaxing dinner where the crazy kid demolished a whole breadstick, 3 olives, half a plate of spaghetti and 2/3 of a banana.  Today was awesome.
Still there is something missing.
                 I feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to be the mom of 3 amazing kids.  And in the quietness of our home, I am missing the very thing I so often complain about- the craziness of life.  The running of Sis to soccer skills 3 times a week, the constant reminding for Brody to thrown down his wet swimsuit, the "I just want a minute of Q.U.I.E.T.!!" moments, the what on earth am I going to cook for dinner? stress.  All of it.  I totally recognize that this is the life that God has made for me and I love it.
And I miss it.
                Don't get me wrong- Sis & Brody are having a blast in Illinois.  I have barely talked to them, they are having so much fun with their Grandma & PaPa and sweet cousins.  This is excellent recharge time.  And I have reflected a lot on my parenting.  Am I the mom I wanted to be?  Am I the mom God wants me to be?  I think I do a great job of filling my kids lives with fun experiences and great memories, but when it comes down to it, am I providing them with the love & patience they deserve?
                A sermon I heard a few months ago came back to me this past week.   It was a sermon series on parenting and he discussed how we can use the Fruit of the Spirit in raising our kids.
             We have all heard the Fruit of the Spirit - but I never utilized them in such a practical way.  When we fully except Jesus Christ, he comes to live in us- and when we fully submit to him- he produces fruit in us....character traits that we are incapable of producing ourselves. They are called the Fruit of the Spirit (as seen in Galatians 5:22):

We can use all of these to parent our children:
Love- sacrificially giving yourself to your kids.  Choosing their needs before your own. I know as parents, that is second nature...but all the time?  I don't know if I can say that.

Joy- inner happiness that stays with us...even when our son had a bloody nose under his bed and decided not to tell us about it for 2 weeks.  You know...those kind of moments?  Ya, joy isn't there in these kinds of moments. Still, we have to look to that inner happiness when we really just want to throttle them.  

Peace when our teenage daughter drives the car alone for the first time.  

Patience that goes beyond what we alone can produce when they bicker about who gets to sit in the middle seat.  

We need kindness when the whiny & complaining & arguing takes us to the edge. 

We need goodness when all we really want to do is yell at them when they clog the toilet with too much toilet paper. 

Faithfulness when we are ready to throw our hands in the air and give up on that kid's crazy eating habits.  Faithfulness requires that we continue on. 

Gentleness when they talk back, roll their eyes, and show disrespect.  

Self-control - only the Holy Spirit can provide us with the self-control we need to raise our kids.

            Do you see how imperative the Spirit is when raising kids?  In all of these moments, we are incapable of producing these values ALONE.  We need the Holy Spirit to produce this in us. 

Holy Spirit raise these children through me.

         Kids can wear us down and it is incredibly tempting to throw our hands in the air.  We all have those days...when I am exhausted and agreeable to whatever they want.  But we can't go there.  Our kids deserve more than this and frankly, it's our responsibility to raise them up in the Lord's name.  No one can be that incredible, amazing, always-patient parent, but I can sure try.  And I can provide them with consistency that they deserve. 

         I told Matt this morning how much I missed the kids.  He snickered and said, "you might not be saying that in a week!"  Yah, maybe.  But with God's provision, and a reminder of these fruits (values),  it will be better for all of us.


Anonymous said...

Great post Becca! Sometimes we (me) gets so caught up in the now I forget about the blessing I truly have. I thus forget the important role I have in Sammy's life! Glad you had some time to recharge and think about your parenting!

Michelle said...

Becca, this is such an awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing. I hoope that someday when I have a child that I am able to let the Holy Spirit raise my children through me as well, and not just my own future kids, but all those kids that may come into my life either by being an Aunt, or in Sunday School or any other way. I don't think people realize that they have a huge impact on little ones lives. Thanks again for sharing this awesome post!

Kelli said...

It is so great and important to have those reminders and to learn from them. Thanks so much for sharing...I will be referring back to this many times I'm sure.

Charon Benton said...

I am weeping at this very moment after reading that...I needed to hear that SO MUCH. Good thing I have no mascara on right now!
Thank you so much for sharing what was on your heart--you have truly blessed me!! I'm sure the Holy Spirit just worked though you to get to me!! Mom to Mom!

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

Glad that sweet baby is loving his one-on-one time with you all! Pete used to preach that marriage was meant to make us holy, not just happy, and I totally agree that parenting is the same way. All those lessons about the fruit of the Spirit are put to the test more as a Mom than any other situation in my life. What a privilege to love our kids so much AND have God use them to make us more like Him! xoxo to your family from the 3c's :-)

Miller Racing Family said...

What a fabulous post. It gives us all a little something to think about.
Thanks for being a blessing today!

Rhonda said...

I love this post Becca. I have prayed for the fruit of the spirit for myself, but I need to work on each of those for all of us. I bet your kiddos are having a blast. Just enjoy the extra free time to spend with the Lord, your hubby, and baby.

Lyndsay said...

It is so true that you can get bogged down in the day to day stuff and forget what a blessing children are. It is always nice to be reminded, thanks!!

He & Me + 3 said...

I love this post. I know exactly what you are saying. When it is just us with one of our kids...there is something missing. It is a blessing to be a mom to our children & I always want them to know that. Even in the craziness of our days.
Great post.

Diana said...

Great post. We are in the "quieter" phase around the house as well. Everyone is close though! Hope you have a blessed week.

Connie Weiss said...

Do you have any idea how much I love and cherish you as a friend I've never met?

Thank you for sharing this post with us...I needed it so much.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Exactly what I needed to hear, Becca, and something I've been reflecting on a lot lately. I want to fill my children's lives with more than just things, memories, adventures. I want to fill them with joy, kindness, patience, love. Thank you so much for this post. It speaks so loudly to my heart.

Jessica said...

Oh, Becca, I love this post on so many different levels. It really shows the depths of not only your faith, but your family. I hope Brody & Sis are having a great time, but that they make it home safe SOON!

Vivienne said...

What a great, great, GREAT post this is! Our pastor touched on the Fruits of the Spirit a few weeks ago. I think I need to go back to my sermon notes and read through them again, with an eye toward parenting.
Thank you for this.
(And enjoy the quiet time!)

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