Sunday, December 28, 2008

Perspective...

My friend, Karen, over at Fresh Fixins has this post up today. Karen did not have her granddaughters living with her when we lived in Mississippi and I was blessed to get to spend a little bit of time with them when I was there in October. These girls have been through a lot. It is a beautiful thing to see how Karen and her husband love these girls! Please read her post about something that happened with the oldest, Piglet. You will be glad you did!

You know... I've been in a bit of a funk. The one thing I really wanted to do well in my life, more than anything else, was to be a good Mom. When I see things in my kids that cause me concern involving their character it really freaks me out. I now agonize over how to approach problems with them. All of my kids are currently making choices that I'm not comfortable with...

When I read Karen's post I initially felt bad about where we are at with our kids. They've been sheltered from much... maybe too much. And we've given too much. Our protection of them is often seen by them as nothing but control from which they wish to break free. I felt my heart sinking as I continued reading. It's not easy to admit... but, sometimes, inside, I have a hard time hearing about other people's kids when they are doing really well. I imagine it isn't much different than the feelings of someone experiencing infertility when confronted with the news that someone else they know is pregnant. You have to paste on that happy face and congratulate them, all while you are wondering inside, Why not me?

It made me think about the time there was a couple coming to our church. The wife had a drug/alcohol problem and had gone through rehab. They had three children, two boys and a little girl. The oldest boy was around 10 and the middle boy was around 8 or so. Their little girl had just turned 4. The mother took the family van and ran off with someone from rehab. Her husband only had a truck for work and not enough seat belts for the kids. He could not miss work and it was summertime. He called in a panic and I told him I would take care of the kids. I needed to go to the store so I loaded them all up with my children and we went to Wal-mart. I no longer had sippy cups so I let the little girl pick a special one out just for her. She was darling! All of them were. As we continued through the store she sat in the cart hugging the cup to her chest. She smiled up at me and asked me what my name was. It stopped me dead in my tracks. It made my heart hurt for her and I couldn't imagine my children ever having to be in a situation where they didn't know the name of who was watching them. Those kids were very well behaved. I was incredulous. I had a hard time with it because I didn't understand how a drug addict could have better behaved children. It really bothered me...

Each of us have our own story. It is through pain that our greatest lessons are learned. Those who have been burned by the fire know whereas those who are kept from the fire are only told. This world is made up of unique individuals and each of our lives is a unique story. Any way you slice it, I think that there are times in everyone's life when you would have to wonder which road their lives will take. At some point, children must take responsibility for their own lives and decisions. Maybe there is no avoiding eventually getting burned...

Somewhere, no credit to me, something has gone very right. This is the child of my daughter, the daughter who hasn't spoken to us in years, the crack addict. This is the child who I have prayed for. I was so humbled. Awed. This child acted with great faith. There is no telling what God will be able to do in her life. Amazing.

These words of Karen's resonated in me. I need to let go and let God. Well, actually, I've done that. I need to trust. I need to trust that God is in the story of my children and that He will do His work... and I need to accept that I am no longer on center stage in their lives. There are others He will use and I need not know everything anymore.

I am truly joyous over what happened to Piglet! I look forward to seeing what happens with her in the future and I thank Karen for sharing it with us bloggers!

11 comments:

Two Dogs said...

Don't be in a funk over them kiddies, CB, violence is never the right answer, but don't you just want to get some answers wrong every once in a while?

You cannot be perfect all the time, then everyone around you looks like a fool. Trust me, you have to make mistakes every now and then to keep from hurting people's feelings knowing that they are failures, and you are not.

Karen Deborah said...

Thank you for sharing this. God's arm is not too short too save. This has even prompted me to renew my hope for their mother. what seems so hopeless in God's economy is not.
I think the problem is we try and make a life without pain for our kids and without mistakes, but that is not life here. They have to learn and grow and make choices. We lead by example by showing them how much we need God, and then they see how to struggle through. It is Papa who has set the standard and the girls are following his example, but this is more than anyone can imagine. I am just blown away.

Flea said...

CB, if you're in the mood for a really good book, I highly recommend To Be Told, by Dan Allender. It's a struggle to read emotionally, but it might put this whole thing into perspective. The fact that you're aware is 90% of the battle. At least, that's what we're finding. But who they become is up to them and God at some point. You know my story is similar, but that we stopped some of it a tad earlier.

Angela said...

Thanks for leading us to Karen's post. I BAWLED.
This comment from Karen here:
God's arm is not too short too save. This has even prompted me to renew my hope for their mother. what seems so hopeless in God's economy is not.
really touched me. Coffee,I have had the same feelings as you. Not only do I say, let go and let God, but like you, I NEED to trust. TRUST, TRUST, TRUST...
((hugs)) Thanks for sharing from your heart. Between this post and Karen, it's EXACTLY what I needed this morning...

Paula said...

I will read about Piglet. I too need to let go and trust, especially with my 17 year old Son. Guess what? Truth be known, there are more of us than not who struggle with our children and their decisions. I may or may not have shared this with you before, but here goes... Let me fill you in on my perfect little darlings ;-)

As I sit here typing this, Stepdaughter (19)(a high school drop out and unwed mother) and her Baby (almost 1) and baby's daddy (18)(repeat, they aren't married) are slowly waking up on the futon in the family room downstairs. They are visiting from out of town. Yesterday I found cigars in my 17 year old's room. My Stepson (also 17) is visiting from out of town too. They all smoke...Not that I have a problem with smoking in general, but these young adults are still kids in my mind.

Uggg...anyway, not that my life makes you feel any better, just wanted to let you know I am here for you if you ever want to talk. Feel free to email me at paulajean95@yahoo.com and I'd be happy to call and pray or share.

Much love and ((hugs)) in Christ,

claudia said...

I think you are a good mom. Every one who is able to and stays by their children are good moms. We all parent the best way we know how and what comes, comes. I read your blog and took a look at my pareneting of my children and how things have turned out...to be honest, it's a little embarrassing! I did what I could withthe knowledge that I had. If I learned something from one child that I could do better, I passed it on down to the next child. (Then it turned out the one who got the biggest benefit form MY learning is the one who has given me a lot of trouble)
Don't be hard on yourself. You are a good person and as long as you are consistant and there for them your kids have the best parent possible.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

oh so true my friend! I was so proud and amazed of piglet and I have never even met her... what an inspiration to all!

Gladys said...

I too have struggled over the choices my children have made. Then I had to let go of it and understand that it is their choice not mine. As much as I want to protect them and keep them from making the wrong decisions I have learned the harder I try the more messsed up it gets. All you can do is tell them what you think, then hug them and tell them you love them and TRUST them to do the right thing. It is so difficult but eventually it brings peace to both of you. Amazingly enough they usually find out the hard way then begin making the right choices.

noexcuses said...

I think letting go is just about the hardest thing a parent has to do. Feel good that your kids have a excellent base...they believe in God and they know they are loved. Standing back and watching them fall flat on their face is an awful pain, but sometimes it is what they need to grow.

I just continue to pray for my kids, and I constantly ask for guidance for me. After all these years, I still make mistakes and still feel like I don't have a clue sometimes!

Thanks for sending me over to Fresh Fixins. What a great story...what an incredible young woman!

You're a great mom, CB! Just love them!

Alison said...

this is a great post. I think all of us moms at one time or another, or many times, question our parenting techniques and decisions. the truth is....we are not perfect and we will and do make mistakes. we need to forgive ourselves, learn a lesson, and do the best we can. parenting is a tough job..that is for sure.

Deborah said...

Not much I can add to the comments...somone said the other day," This isn't how it's supposed to turn out is it?" I said," No we all expect to end up with one big happy family spending all the holidays together, but it is what it is." Profound huh!?