It is really hard to describe the thoughts that go on in a mother's mind. If you are a mom, I am sure you know what I am talking about. Worrying that you are doing enough. Wondering if your child will be successful. As a therapist, I can add looking for every possible sign of some sort of developmental delay or autism spectrum to that list (knowledge is not only power, but it can also be dangerous! lol).
It really is silly how many times with think, "is he OK?" or "is that normal" and let's not leave out "does she have emotional issues?"
When things get difficult when raising our children, when they seem to be pushing against every thing we are trying to teach them, and boycotting the structure that they really do long for, it can be exhausting. I want to throw up my hands and say, I'm DONE!
Then, you get to see glimpses. I call them glimpses from God. Little signs that you are OK, your kid is OK. Everything is really going to turn out fine. Sometimes I see this in Carter's behavior. When Carter remembers to ask politely. When he says something really sweet to us or to Griffin. When he gets a concerned look on his face when I am upset or Griffin is upset. You can see the work coming out. The work that God is doing in their lives, and the hard work you have put forth to create a "normal" kid (whatever normal is). Often times, it is when I am remembering how to treat my children with love, patience and respect that I get it in return. You would think that I would remember that when I am having difficulty keeping my patience. That tone I hear in Carter's voice sounds somewhat similar to that tone in my voice...you know, the disrespectful one. Ouch.
I wish I was perfect. But I'm not. None of us are. We are going to lose patience. We are going to forget that great teaching point that we were trying to hit home with during a certain discipline time. We will probably flub up on the sex talk. We might even yell or lose our temper at our kids. And then we will see it reflected back to us and hopefully learn something from it. My favorite verse to think about on days like this is "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness!" 2 Corinthians 12:9 AMEN. The more I realize that I will never be perfect but I have the perfect Father who IS and who allows me to do all things through Him...including parenting my two kids. Well then, what else do I need?
With all the snow days we have been having, things have gotten strained some days in the Mayo household. I mean, there are just so many things you can do in your house without getting bored. So, we have had some trying times. Days when I thought all I was doing was disciplining. Days when I felt like a failure. Days when I wondered would we actually survive having TWO kids. It kind of makes me chuckle.
Then, the glimpse happened. I got to see the Lord working in my son's life this week. In an amazing way. Friday morning Carter was up in the bonus room and came and got me and told me he had made a word. We had gotten him some letter tiles for Christmas to practice reading sight words. We will make the words and have him read them to us. He likes creating words that often aren't words at all, but it helps him learn and is a lot of fun.
When I got to the bonus room and saw what he had made, which was actually a sentence, not a word, I almost cried. My heart melted. I was amazed.
This is what I saw:
I luf U Jesus
He created that all by himself. It truly humbled me to know that God is at work in my child's life. I know we take him to church and we pray and have an active Christian life, but it just rings clearer to me that children's hearts are truly the most easily molded. They are tender. They have faith. They have trust. Nothing, hopefully, has come into their lives yet that has made them think to challenge the values they are growing up with. I pray that Carter knows he is loved, and that Jesus loves him. I am thankful he loves Jesus back. And that He knows who God is, who created the earth, who is all powerful.
Imagine if we still looked at God that way. If we truly focused on His attributes instead of relying on our own strength and trusting in our own strength.
If we came to Him just like a little child? If our hearts were soft? Moldable. Moveable.
What kind of work could He truly do through each of us if we were this transparent in our love for Him?
I love Jesus. Jesus loves me. End of story.