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.