I Corinthians 16:13-14
"Be on your guard; stand firm in your faith; be men (women) of courage; be strong.
Do EVERYTHING in love."
I found these verses, hidden in the pages of the New Testament, about a year ago. I think that I was looking for a completely different passage when my eyes landed right on these verses. Well, HELLO THERE!! These 2 verses smacked me upside the head. I immediately wrote in the margin of my Bible - "Parenting Advice" because that is exactly what this was. Patrick and I had recently been faced with a challenge from one of our kids, and we were both really seeking God's wisdom. And then I read these verses. God was telling us what to do.
The times are shifting around here. The good natured, snuggly, kissy, dependent little children that have been in my nest are being transformed into independent, stronger, more opininated, self-thinking, individuals. I see glimpses of the adults that they will become. Adults I have been the process of raising. I'm so loving the conversations that I have with my older kids. I love watching our favorite movies and shows together. I love sharing a Starbucks with them. I love talking about the books we are reading. I adore seeing each one of them develop their own sense of style, their own hobbies, their own loves. I love texting with my older girls, hearing about their days, getting a sense of their moods and hearts through their words. I love watching the kids interract with their friends. I love hearing their opinions about stories in the news.
I ALSO miss them sitting on my lap. Snuggling during a movie. Singing Veggie Tales songs. Asking me what I think about something. I miss setting out an outfit (complete with matching hair accessories :)) for them, I miss the quiet nights at home when no one had any outside activities.
And so... I say I miss it and then we keep moving. Moving towards the future and all that it has in store for us. Still doing our jobs as parents, to raise our littles to become bigs. Doing everything in Love. Whether the kids are 5 or 16. Whether they are aggreeable or have their own ideas. Fighting for peace, fighting against anger, fighting for character over popularity, for living honestly rather than having things be easy.
I have spent the last number of years, fighting for my children in so many different ways. I have paid money to a lawyer to get time with them, I have fought with an ex-spouse in order to preserve my time with my older kids, I have battled friends whose influence I don't approve of, I have set boundaries to the number of activities they have been involved with. Fighting for my kids. I really don't like the word "fighting" because it brings about feelings of negativity. When my kids bicker (fight), I challenge them to make things right between them, to humble themselves to the other person. But, some fights are worth having. some fights are positive.
Like this one in 1 Timothy 6:12a
"Fight the good fight of the faith."
My faith - a fight worth having. I want to stand firm in my faith.
or this one in 2 Timothy 4:7
"I have fought the good fight (holding on to my faith), I have finished the race."
There is a finish line that we are headed for, fighting towards. I used to think that the path towards the end was a straight line, start to finish. You decide on a destination, you map out your route, and you point yourself in that direction, and then you arrive.
Those thoughts were wrong. ;)
The finish line is a lot less clearly defined then I originally thought. The destination can sometimes change, the map that you have can become outdated or blow away or get soggy, and sometimes when we point our-self towards a certain direction the fog might roll in so we can't see clearly or we might get jumped along the road or the terrain is much more difficult than we thought and we want to quit.
A new stage, new times. These things are inevitable and so exciting. Kids change and kids grow. Mamas and Daddys change and grow. And in order to be the mama that God calls me to be...
"I must be on my guard. I must stand firm in my faith; I must be a woman of courage; I must be strong. AND
I must do EVERYTHING in love."