We have so many talented and wise women in our MOPS group! Today we have the pleasure of featuring a post from Samantha's blog "Whatever is Lovely". She shares some great advice for all of us undertaking this parenting endeavor!
Thanks for sharing Samantha! If you want to read more her writing, click here to be directed to her blog.
Parenting... enough said
When you become a parent no one tells you about the constant struggles you deal with or the many, many decisions that have to be made. It seems like every day one of the boys are hitting a new milestone in life which comes with its own set of struggles and decisions. It was doable when we just had Westyn, but now we have two different kids going in two different directions. Literally. Outside playing today Lincoln was running towards the road while Westyn was going towards the woods. All of a sudden I had a choice to make. Which kid to physically stop and which kid to ask to stop. Luckily, this decision was easy. Obviously, I ran and grabbed Lincoln before he could get smashed by a car and I yelled at Westyn to wait.
This got me thinking though. As a parent there is going to come a time when we have to move beyond being able to physically stop our children when they're making poor decisions, and move more towards having a conversation with them. I feel like with Westyn, my four year old, we are getting more to this point. I no longer have to pull is hand away from a hot stove, I just have to explain to him that it will burn him. Those things are easy. What's not going to be easy though, is when he's making decisions that will will effect his Spiritual life.
Just last week we had our first incident with him stealing. Okay maybe stealing is a strong word. He was merely attempting to sneak a small toy out of someone else's house after I told him he wasn't allowed to take home any of their toys. Okay yea, he was stealing. Thankfully he was caught, had to return the toy, apologize, and then we had a talk. When having these talks with him I wonder if he really gets it. A little while later while we were walking into Aldi he stops me and says "Mommy please don't tell anyone I tried to steal something" in the most pitiful voice I've ever heard. Stick a knife right into my heart. I had to hold back tears of sadness and of joy because I realized that he got it. His little amazing heart felt the wrong that he did and he was ashamed of it. No parent wants their child to feel shame, but sometimes that's the only way we learn.
This entire incident just proves to me how very important it is for us, as parents, to instill strong morals into our children. We can't depend on others to do this for us. We made the decision to plant this little tiny tree, now it's time for us to allow the roots to grow as deep as possible in a strong faith filled environment, so when the day comes that we release this tree into the world they will not be able to shy far away from their foundation. They will have the ability to go into the world without being influenced by worldly things. They will be able to make good decisions based on knowledge instead of the whims on the people.
Okay, that all sounds great Sam, but how do we do this? I'm still working on that part out but this is what I have so far.
-- Prayer- Prayer is my struggle so I have a specific day that I pray for exactly this, the whole parenting thing and how to not fail at it.
-- Team Work- If you're luckily enough to have a spouse who shares the same beliefs that you do, then you are winning already. Talk with each other about this, how to handle situations that come up, and how to discipline/construct your children. God specifically put the two of you together for a purpose. Start trying to figure out what that purpose is. If you're a single parent (or just single in faith), then you have your work cut out for you, but I promise you are not alone in this. " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord YOUR GOD will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 I suggest printing this verse out and posting it up somewhere you can see it daily. God will give you the strength to handle the hard times to come. He never promised life would be easy, He only promised that He would never leave you to do it alone.
-- Surroundings- This one is so important and one that Joe and I are struggling through right now. To homeschool vs public school vs private school. The list goes on and on. The people we allow our children to be around, not only can influence them, but will influence them. We have a small moment in time that we still get to choose their friends and the adults who watch them. Think hard and choose wisely. The biggest influence, however, is you. If you don't think your kids pay attention to what you're listening to, watching, and reading, then you are greatly misjudging them. As Rachel Cruz always says "more is caught than taught".
My husband and I will have to depend on each other, and together we will depend on God to get us through this thing they call parenting. I myself like to call it "jumping hurdles". You know, where you're constantly jumping over things (like toys) until that one hurdle comes up and you fall flat on your face. If you're like me, I tend to fall, a lot, but I've surrounded myself with enough wonderful people to help pick me up when I can't do it on my own.
Samantha LeMonds is a stay at home mother of two boys. The main goal of her blog is to inspire women and to be inspired by women. She also has a slight obsession with coffee.
You can find more of Samantha's writing at Whatever Is Lovely.