Friday, September 26, 2008

Children

A lot of people think we have children to lead them and teach them. We're very focused on what we can impart or pass down, but the longer I am a parent, the more I realize God uses my children to teach me far more than I will ever teach them.

I have three great kids. Each of them has their own giftings, the own strengths and their own weaknesses. I think I parent them each differently too, but that isn't always a good thing.

My daughter Victoria was my "promised child" who I waited a very long time for. She's the one I cuddle with, and it doesn't hurt our relationship that she thinks I set the moon. She's my only girl and there are sides to motherhood that can only be experienced with a daughter. My Ethan fascinates me. He's this incredible kid, he's funny, bright and often misunderstood. He has a heart of gold hidden inside the classic "rough and tumble" ALL-boy. These two children were born into my life when I was in my thirties, I was a little more settled, and a lot more seasoned in my parenting.

And then there is Jacob. I've joked before that he was my "practice kid." The truth is he has probably suffered a lot from my immaturity and ignorance as a parent. When he was little I was always pushing and demanding. Everything Jake did was a reflection on me as a parent (in my mind) and I was really hard on him, too hard on him. And even though I learned a lot about that before the other two came along, by the time my lessons were learned, bad habits were ingrained in my relationship with Jake. I am still too demanding and too hard on him. And yet, by some miracle, he is still this really incredible kid. He's smart and funny, he's engaging, he can hold himself with any adult and yet be completely tender and entertaining with children, toddlers and babies.

I look at Jake and see a lot of both myself and his dad in him. He has my sarcastic and wise-cracking sense of humor. I can't tell you how many times I would see something and as a comment came into my head, it came out of Jake's mouth. He also has my lazy streak, which would drive me nuts anyway, but more so because it's a reminder of what I don't like about me. And he's slow moving like his dad, combine that with the laziness, well, let's just say it challenges me. But he also has a lot of his dad's best qualities. He's a gentleman to the core, very kind in his ways, and he's never met anyone that he couldn't find something good about to focus on. He's a genuinely nice guy.

Right now is a hard time. Jake's in the thick of adolesence. It's a crazy mixed-up, emotional, hormone driven season in his life. We're really down to our last few years of having him in our home. And as he spends those day, he'll be busy becoming a man. I'm trying hard to redeem the time. There's a lot of damage and baggage to be overcome. I don't think it can be undone, in fact, I'm certain of it, but God can turn it for good, and I am praying that He will.

The truth of the matter is that it will have very little to do with Jake and all. God needs to do a life-changing work in me. I know He will, but I know it will be a process. I'm trying very hard to open myself up and allow God to do whatever work He desires to do. It may be painful at times, but I want to become the mom Jake deserves, and if a better mom to Ethan and Victoria too, then it will be all the better.

If you think of us, pray for Jake and I. Pray we both grow closer to the Lord and each other in the time that lies ahead.

1 comment:

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

that's so hard. i'm praying for so many teens right now in our church and family. it's such a difficult time and it makes me look at my own children and wonder what's to come. i pray that they will stay close to god and in his will.