Sunshine and Rainbows

I have every intention of continuing my little series on discipline and affirmation.  It’s important stuff. When I  put my thoughts into words, I am better able to clarify things in my own head and heart. If you benefit from it as well, that’s a huge bonus.

But today, I want to clear up a misconception.

It is NOT all sunshine and rainbows over here.

And by over here,  I mean our home and family.

If you have somehow let yourself believe that any person has “got it all figured out,” then you are sadly, sadly mistaken. I don’t care what it looks like from the outside—no family is perfect.  No mother has all the answers.  No kids are above selfishness and whining.

Are we pretty secure in our family and our parenting?  Yes.  Do we truly enjoy our children?  Yes.  Do we consider it a blessing to care for these young souls and to partner with God in raising them to love Him and serve others?  Yes.  Is life all sunshine and rainbows? Um, no.

We have bad days.

We have  kids who don’t want to do school.

We have kids who crumple up a paper “telescope” because they don’t like their little sister “spying” on them.

We have kid tears.

We have mommy tears.

We have days when I literally ache for a long vacation…alone.

We have spilled water and messy rooms.

We have “I’m bored.”

We have lighting fast “pass the baby” moments the second dad walks in the door.

We have kids who cry because they lost in musical chairs.

We have kids who can’t distinguish the words “this” and “that” no matter how many hundreds of times they have seen them.

We have kids who pick their nose and eat their boogers.

We have dirty dishes and unmade beds.

We have three-year olds who don’t “feel like going to the potty” and instead go in their pants.

We have kids whine and complain when they hear that Dad volunteered to have the rest of the family cook dinner while mom writes about sunshine and rainbows.

Yep, we have all of these things.

And this was just today.

I have this fear that if I strive to encourage others in their parenting— to take their job seriously, to cherish the moments with their kids, to recognize the awe and wonder of building little hearts and minds, and of putting family FIRST—then there will be a misconception that all of this just comes easily to some people. A misconception that if you aren’t one of those fortunate souls then you must not “have it in you” or that you just aren’t “wired that way.” That isn’t true at all.  If God has given you the gift of children then you DO “have it in you” and you ARE “wired that way.”  Will it be easy? NO! Will it be work that sometimes makes you want to scream, throw things, and run away? YES.  But is it worth it?

A million times yes.

Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. It has taken me to depths of humility and servitude I never knew possible.  It has forced me to look honestly at all the laziness, selfishness, ungratefulness and impatience in my life and cry out to God to strengthen me in a supernatural way.  Because in the natural realm, I don’t “have it in me” either. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in— that Helper that Jesus was talking about.  The Spirit can accomplish what we in our humanness never can. I have nothing but sin and pride to offer my children.  They have nothing but selfishness and tears to offer me.  But the Spirit?  The Spirit has all we need and more. We need to look to the calling we have received and then call out to God and remember, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So here I am…boasting in my weaknesses.  I am weak as a mother.  I am weak (oh so weak!) as a wife. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Romans 7:18-19).

None of us can do it alone. I can’t.  You can’t.  But God can.  We can’t continue to strive to parent these precious hearts in our own strength and our own grand plans. But if we cling to Him and pray for His wisdom and His love and His compassion and His vision for motherhood then we can draw upon the strength that He graciously offers as we strive to raise wholehearted kids who understand that they are loved by God and created for a purpose.

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6 thoughts on “Sunshine and Rainbows

  1. Allyson

    Love your posts. Any chance you could write about what consequences you implement for certain behaviors? I have a 10 year old daughter who is almost my size now, so it doesn’t feel appropriate to spank anymore. I find I have a very hard time determining effective consequences for sassiness, disrespect, being mean to siblings, etc. Would love to hear your thoughts. The consequences is where I sometimes feel at a loss. Could you write about things that you use or that work well in your family?

    Thanks,
    Allyson

    Reply
  2. Kaycie

    Janet,
    Thank you.. Thank you for this post! I have been following your blog, and greatly appreciate it! But I really needed to hear this one! I am a first time mom of an 18mo old boy. He is awesome, and we are truly blessed! I work part time and am very thankful God has allowed us to do that. BUT, I have little confidence in myself about being a mom, whether I am doing it right, why I get so frusterated sometimes, how do I teach him to follow God’s path, etc., etc. You do seem to have it all together – and you must with 5 kiddos! I love your blog, and thanks for being so honest!
    Kaycie

    Reply
  3. Jackie L

    Thank you so much for this!!! I am a Mom to four kids (8,6,3 and 5 months). Thank you for reminding me why God chose to make me a MOM !! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Ginger

    Hello, I just stumbled upon your blog from a link on Pinterest about your ebook. Thanks so much for this honest and wonderful post!!! You nailed it! from a Mom of four (9, 8, 6, & 4)
    Blessings!
    Ginger

    Reply

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