Thursday, November 18, 2010

Choices as Parents

Some day, I will see Jesus face to face.

Some day, I will have to account for the choices I have made, the life I have lived, the woman, wife, and mother I have been.

I have been blessed with the hardest job on earth. Surely the position as a CEO would challenge me daily, but will I stand at Heaven's gates answering for my company not making an extra hundred thousand dollars this year? What about running late to a meeting (one in which I probably cut someone off on the road, or spoke harshly to on my way out the door), will God look down upon me for my tardiness?

I believe I will stand there answering for the life I lived, 23 years as myself, and the rest of my days, a mother. I think much of what I will answer for is the way I mothered. Did I put my children before myself? Did I give to them first? Was I kind, firm, loving, and just? Did I show them grace? Was I fair? Did I teach them about Jesus, and pray for them (not just for their safety, to be blessed, and for health)?

So much more than anyone ever understands goes in to being a parent, if you do it well. It is easy to simply be a provider as a parent, and most likely your children will grow up to be okay. But don't we want our children to be amazing? If we do not set healthy boundaries, if we are hands off parents, if we always let our children off of the hook, then why are we even calling ourselves parents?

My husband said it perfectly last night... or at least I think it was pretty perfect. We went to a marriage conference and this is what he remembers.

You have to be both the best friend and the parent. You have to be the person your child can run to for support, love, comfort, friendship, and laughs. But, you also have to set the rules, tell them when they have gone too far, teach them, lead them.

Parenting is a balancing act, no one will ever have the scale perfect all of the time, but shouldn't we strive for that? Shouldn't every day be about being the best parent? The best parents come under the guidance of God.

What if we started every day praying? What if in those prayers we thanked God for being mighty, for being the Lord who created our children, who gave us a gift? What if we asked Him to guide us in our parenting, to show us what we are doing well, and what we are not. What if we asked God to protect, bless and walk with our children? What if we asked God to be in us?

Those, would be rocking parents I'd say. Just saying.

Last night I pondered putting our children first, not every time, but when it comes to eating dinner, we should serve them first. (I will never forget TD telling us his story about this.) I should put their needs above my own. Surely Jon and I also need time together to grow our marriage and live life together, but I also do think there is a big but there, BUT not at the expense of our children. When we are celebrating them, we really need to celebrate them!

Brooklyn was born on our wedding anniversary, as I went in for surgery at about 6:30 pm, two years prior I was sitting down to my wedding feast, surrounded by people I loved more than they will ever know. This year, I was in an operating room, surrounded by people I would soon love for bringing my child to me.

We discussed going out for Brooke's birthday, and due to the decision we have made to have me stay home, we budget things. Holidays, parties, birthdays, everything has to be under the microscope. But, we made that choice joyfully, and I would rather not get a new pair of jeans for 15 years and be able to be home with my love, and as long as God makes that possible, we will be good stewards of what we are given.

Anyway, we talked about if we are budgeting and Jon wants a margarita at dinner or something, and we only have money for that or dessert, does Brooklyn get her birthday dessert instead of dad getting his margarita? No, Jon is not a lush, just saying. He said something to the effect of, but we can celebrate our anniversary too! And of course I replied, "If we are going out for Brooke's birthday, then we are going out for Brooke's birthday. We can celebrate our anniversary on another day." He still wasn't sold on the idea, but I know he will always put our kiddos first. It is really hard to share a birthday and anniversary, my parents celebrated their anniversary once that I can remember, Jon and I wanted to celebrate every year. So far, we're 1 for 2, because we were sort of in the hospital for that second one. Maybe we'll go out for our 2 year and 6 month anniversary... that could be the tradition we choose. As parents, we are forced to make choices, I hope I am able to make the right ones.

**This is one of my favorite songs of all time- the story of a father and husband, who hears the cries of his wife and children's hearts to lead them. Oh how I wish this could be a father's day sermon, beautiful. This site, plays the song, you can hear the story behind the song, and other cool stuff from Sanctus Real:**

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