Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Enjoy your Children -- Parenting Through the Little Years (Part Twelve)

This is Part Twelve of "Three in Diapers: Parenting Through the Little Years." If you are just tuning in now, please check out the IntroductionPart One, etc. for context and disclaimers.

12. Enjoy your children -- It's afternoon. The first day after a nice three day weekend. The weather is cloudy and the children are... off. The youngest three are boycotting their naps, the oldest four are just plain loud. And somehow completely incapable of hearing me. And as I was meeting with my school-aged children's supervising teacher today, my mostly potty trained child left... uh, well, yeah. And now he seems to be having difficulty keeping any clothes on (not that this will shock anyone who knows the child). I'm tense, irritable, and ready to escape.

And I have one final blog post to write in my series on parenting. "Enjoy your children." Yeup. Cue the "God has a sense of humor" lines. Maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead!

As I've been writing this series, I've noticed a trend. Really, it's been a series about how to get through the difficult times in parenting littles. We have to face it. There are difficult times. And nobody really wants to know how to get through the easy times. Nobody really asks about how to handle the times when life is simply blissful.

You might even be looking around you right now and thinking, "there is absolutely nothing whatsoever that is blissful about this."

And you might be right. I'm not in your shoes right now. But it is entirely possible, too, that you just need to look harder. There are difficult times in parenting, but they're not ALL difficult.

Really, life is full of amazing. When we're looking for it, when we're practicing being thankful and rejoicing always, it's easier to see God's mercies and blessings sprinkled throughout our lives. Really look at those kids that are driving you crazy right now.  How much do you love that child? Yeup -- the one making white hairs grow as you think about him. How could you even begin to quantify that feeling deep in your heart as he climbs into your lap and lets you squeeze him?

"This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

This article by Desiring God was both encouraging and exhorting to me: Be the Smile of God to Your Children.

Kids are fun! And I'm not talking about the endless opportunities for re-watching "Cars," either. Stop and look at the world for a second through their eyes... Listen to the ways they try to express what's going on in their heads. Marvel at the amount of love they hold in their hearts and their eyes for you, in all your imperfect glory. Dream about the person they are and who they are growing to be. They are gifts. We can get caught up in our grown-up world of to-do lists and precautions, or we can make a choice to see what blessings our kids really are -- today. And we can enjoy them.


Ta-da!! All done! =) Thanks for hangin' in there!


Lorien Nahkai said...

Thank you so much for this series. I am about seven weeks pregnant with number three. My first two boys are two and one. I haven't told many people because I have had early miscarriages. Reading this has helped prepare me for possible negative reactions and remind me that God loves me. I love the second love section. My husband is my ally in this. Some of the series reminded or encouraged concepts I already work on. Some made me chuckle. My grandmother hoped boy number two was a girl so I could be done. I think I would like four children, but I have made plans in the past that God saw fit to change so I am keeping an open mind. Again thank you. My mantra is people before things. Children are wonderful.

Christina said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Lorien! Congratulations -- and I'll pray for your littlest one and for you as you share your fabulous news! =)