Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lessons from my children: Growing pains

He was exceptionally, scarily smart.

I don’t suppose anyone is ever truly prepared to become a parent.  During my first pregnancy I spent a lot of time talking to my unborn child and feeling (overly) confident that things were going to be just swell.  Boy, was I in for a surprise!  Colic, sleepless nights, “projectile vomiting,” a one-month-old hospitalized for pneumonia, "purple fits" (screaming so hard he would turn purple and nearly pass out), strong-willed “terrible two’s” that began at fourteen months and lasted for several years, biting other children, “expelled” from three babysitters, hyperactive, ADD, broken bones, stitches, etc.  This boy was challenge with a capital C.
Mr. Personality had 2 speeds: High and Off (asleep)

"Catch me if you can!"
The more trying he became, however, the more I realized that being a mother was a tremendous opportunity to grow in my relationship with my heavenly Father.  It’s humbling, to say the least, to be forced to see yourself as you really are through the words and actions of your children.  Parenting, like studying the word of God, can be a beneficial mirror to help us examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5) as we grow in faith and (hopefully) wisdom.
With our dog, B.J.

As exasperated and disappointed as we become with our children’s disobedience, imagine how the Father must feel when we willfully sin or neglect to serve Him or choose the pleasures of this life over the trials of the strait and narrow way.  The reward for choosing the way that leads to life is not visible with the eyes, nor does it come immediately.  We, like children, sometimes focus on instant gratification rather than patiently wait for the expectation of our hope--eternal life.
"I put it on myself!"
Blowing bubbles (bruise on forehead from running full throttle and falling on his head)

So as my children grew to maturity, I experienced growing pains right along with them--sometimes in ways I never dreamed possible.  With our heavenly Father, however, all things are possible, even bringing one headstrong mother and her hard-headed child under submission to Him in all things!

Look, Olivia, your Daddy loved books, too!
There were days...but I wouldn't trade the memories now.

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