Monday, April 5, 2010

A hard place

It has been so long since I've really blogged that I'm not sure that my thoughts will really be clear, or that anyone is around to read them anymore! But I am here, at least to share with myself. I realize lately what an awful parent I can be. Now when I say that, I am talking about my heart. This is a good thing because five years ago I thought I was a really good one. That is not fun to say but it is true. I did not think there would ever be a time when I could feel so lost sometimes, or things be so foggy. I know that compared to a lot of people in America, I am a "good" parent. But everyday, and at night when I go to bed and I allow the day to sink in my mind, I am so sad at the way my sin pervades my life and my childrens, how I have failed to lean on Jesus for patience, wisdom, and unconditional love. I fear the damage that is being done every day, especially to Bailey. She is the hardest, maybe because we are the most similiar, she is the older and more complicated, and she, like me, wears her sin on her sleeve for all to see. Some are good at hiding their sin (without trying), their sins of the heart are not easily seen, but not me and Bailey. I know that everyone must see my sin from a mile away, and also I cringe at the visibility of hers. I hope that you can relate to me on this. I love my daughter more than anything. She is one of the 4 earthly treasures in my life. I would die if anything happened to her. I see her sin, but I also see the greatness God has placed in her life (she is such a great kid!, and I love being around people that can see the things I see in her, it is a restful place). But I can see the motives and manipulations of her heart, and I am at a loss as to how to parent her sometimes in a way that builds and lifts her spirit, and doesn't squelch it, and makes her want to love God and other people more. I don't want to produce a Pharisee. My greatest fear is that I would just fix her on the outside and leave her not realizing her need for Jesus to produce any real good in her heart. I don't want her clean on the outside with a heart that is unchanged, even if it means a longer process and more embarrassment at times as I choose to graciously let her little heart be where it is, as the Lord is so graceful with me. He is not interested in my little outside behaviors. He wants to reach into my heart, and the rest will follow, just as hers will. Letting her be sometimes means that I have to look in MY own heart and see the things that are really there - that I don't want people to think that I'm a bad parent, that I sometimes care more about what people think about my daughter than what wisdom says in the moment is best for her (which is not always to correct which is my point in all this), and sometimes what is best for her is not necessarily good for "my image". I feel so many times that she does and says things that my friend's kids don't, and oh my flesh doesn't like that. But then I look past the sin and weaknesses in her and see what she is becoming and one day by the grace of God He will turn those things into beauty and strength, and what she will be (and is)! And so this week, I am trusting to love her better, to spend more time with her showing her how much I love her, and to be quiet more than speaking and pray for that little heart of hers (and speaking a little when needed). I am just thinking that in the same way, Jesus must work in my heart to even be faithful to parent her in the right way. I can not produce it just as she can't. We both need him at every turn.