I am a woman who not only loves words, I use them often to spout my opinions and thoughts. Of which, there are many.
In another post, I talked about safety. I love and don’t love that word.
Safe. When I think of safe, a picture of a baby nestled in it’s parents arms immediately comes to mind. Or that picture from the Bible story books, where Jesus said: “Let the little children come.” Oh to be wrapped in His arms, there is no place safer, I would imagine.
Safe is a hot topic, as I said before. We wants safe spaces, safe speech, safety all around. But the fact is, aside from the arms of Jesus in heaven, it’s not feasible on earth.
The last few years, as I suffered thru miscarriages then finally a pregnancy, I read with horror stories of parents neglecting to keep children safe. Abuse and cruelty instead plagued these childrens’ lives. Oh, the heartbreak.
Last night I typed my opinion on a child abuse case to two of my friends, failing to remember that love should rule my opinion, not my critical and negative opinion. I struggle to view child abuse cases with an unbiased heart. I struggle to understand how a parent can look at the being they created and labored to bring into this world and allow horrific abuse to happen. I failed to remember Paul’s words: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:10a
I look at my childrens faces, I see their trust and love and wonder how a parent can snap. Then I have those days where the emotions run high, the night’s sleep is short, the tempers are shortened and I can see how.
Parenting is easily the hardest job I have ever had. Being responsible for lives, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am responsible. My husband and I never knew the weight that it was when we prayed for our children, he maybe did more than I, but I do not regret it.
It’s hard, absolutely. It’s a maturing and growing experience. It is a fun job, as you see them learn and grow. As they develop likes and dislikes, opinions and preferences.
Some lessons they must learn on their own, we cannot protect them from every painful life experience. Whether it is as simple as falling off their bike or as painful as having mean words hurled at them.
What we can do, is love them. We can pray for them and teach them. That’s something I have had to learn recently. I can launch into “mama bear” mode (You know what mode that is, right mamas?) and viciously defend our child, or we can use it as a teaching moment. Oh that second option is much, much harder. Teaching my child to not accept their words or the behavior and to always tell a trusted adult, but to also recognize there is a reason for the behavior. To teach my children to still be kind, to still do what Jesus would do. Ahh these are some hard moments.
Worthwhile moments. Teachable moments. Moments we will never regain. Each day is filled with moments. Moments to keep our kids safe, moments to allow gravity to take over, moments to allow natural consequences happen, moments to kiss the boo-boo and love extravagantly.
Love extravagantly. That’s always a safe bet when it comes to our children, to our spouse, to liberally douse our words with love before we spout them, before we type and send them.