I'll be honest. We are strict parents. We aren't trying to raise "free spirits." (I've read the Bible front-to-back and have yet find that passage--"Thou shall raise thy children to be free spirited, and thou shall discipline rarely while meeting their every desire.") We are trying to raise well-behaved, disciplined children, grounded in faith, and who realize they are part of a big world that does not revolve around their every want and desire. Because it doesn't.
And I make no apologies.
That said, my kids are loved. Crazy loved. And they know it. Some days, yeah, I wish I could give them their way more or give in to their selfish little wills because I love them and want to make them so happy. But it's because I love them so much that I rarely give in. I realize to some that seems over-the- top, but ultimately, I'm raising my children for the glory of One. If I don't obey what I know in my heart to be the calling He has for me and for the lives of my children, I will have failed myself and the three most precious gifts He has ever given me.
But some days, being the parent gets frustrating. Saying "no", correcting behaviors constantly.... It's disheartening... and just plain hard. There are times I want to lock myself in the closet and just cry. Some days I think, "Grandma would know what to say... or do." But Grandma isn't here. It's me. It's my responsibility to be the best mother I can be. Still, sometimes being a Mommy is a lonely place.
Then yesterday, after a trying day with the Slaughter Sisters, I opened up my jewelry box and found a note from Estella Dru. It read simply, "I love you, Mommy." And this was the picture attached.
I realize it probably was not intended, but the emotion in her little eyes in this picture brought me to tears. It's as if she is looking to me with all the admiration in the world. Me. The one who tells her to stay in her seat, pick up her room five times a day, stop doing this, stop doing that, spanks her bootie when she needs it, assures her that while her friends may be "doing" it, make no mistake, she will not. Me. She's looking to me.
I find that miraculous.
I'll be the first to admit, I mess up as a parent all the time. ALL the time. But I believe that if we're more committed to raising our kids according to what the Lord calls us to and not this messed-up, self-loving world, our rewards will be immeasurable. Yesterday, for me, it was a note from my daughter. And it was priceless.
1 month ago