Thursday, May 23, 2013

Parenting is Hard

It's a different experience for everyone, so different people in different circumstances may or may not agree with the title of this post at this point in time, but it's definitely true for me right now. I wouldn't have said it was so pre-Jack. I mean, parenting Elliot before he was 2 certainly wasn't a cake-walk, but hard? Ehh. However, there is something about parenting an emotional, potty-training little boy as well as a baby who refuses to sleep through the night that makes me say, yes, this is hard.

I see the spiritual purpose of it all, though: God definitely wants to teach me how to handle a lack of control. I cannot (despite what some might say - please keep your theories &/or advice to yourself, thank you) force my baby to sleep through the night, force him to take a bottle, or force my little boy (eh hem, "big boy") to poop on the potty. So I have to let go. These are big examples of every little thing with parenting - I do what I can, based on the guidance of Scripture & the Holy Spirit, then I just trust God with the rest. Sounds so much easier than it is! But I'm trying.

I also recognize the slow submission to selflessness & sacrifice. I'd say these two words sure characterize parenting! & they are part of the sanctification process, hmm, how about that coincidence! God wants to do a work in me, in us, - any parent - through parenting.

Josh & I have been praying about how to parent while displaying God's grace to our children. This was something that was on our hearts, & then our church started a discussion about it, & then the women in my life group decided to read a book about it too. Everything I do as a parent either displays God's grace in an accurate way, or in a way that distorts it - yikes. Talk about pressure. But if I am walking in God's grace accurately, it shouldn't be as much of a struggle. So God has been revealing to me how I need to truly understand & accept His grace for me first, before I can show it to my children. This is a lesson that this legalistic rule-follower needs to learn, for sure.

I have found that life is pretty difficult to navigate when left to our own devices. What do we turn to? The well-meaning advice of friends, the experience of professionals, books with titles that seem to address the subject at hand? I was telling a friend yesterday that I realized that when it comes to Jack's sleep, do I think more about what I read in an article, or do I pray & trust God's sovereignty over even such a thing as sleep? Do I really think I hold the cards to the degree of fixing or further messing up how many times he wakes at night? How foolish of me. Abide - pray - trust - walk in the Spirit. That is my responsibility. Then whatever my circumstances, I continue to do the above, & God really, really will orchestrate my circumstances as He deems fit, for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). & then... I continue to do the above. Again & again.

Abide - pray - trust - walk in the Spirit.

I'm praying I can get this down. Wouldn't life be easy if I could? :)

Monday, May 13, 2013


I decided a few months ago that I wanted to read through the whole Bible again. Not in order, but reading one book at a time, mixing up the Old & New Testaments. I'm currently reading Genesis, & I am supplementing with John MacArthur's commentary. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many times I read the Bible, it's always fresh & I learn something new.

I've read through creation, the flood, Abraham's promise, & am now reading through Jacob becoming Israel & going toward the land promised to him. Something that has really struck me so far is the fullness of God's sovereignty. From the very beginning, He had a plan. Specifically, he desired to use Abraham (who was rewarded for his faith) to be the father of a nation of people, God's chosen people. He would prosper that family line for His glory. When you read through the stories of Sarah's barrenness & how she took matters into her own hands to give Abraham a son; through Isaac's favor of his oldest son, Rebekah's manipulation, & the dissension between Jacob & Esau; through Jacob's pursual of Rachel & Laban's deception & the crazy child-bearing competition between Rachel & Leah; you see that God had a plan the whole time & no matter what anyone did, His plan prevailed. He protected His chosen. Abraham lied to kings, Isaac ignored the words of God given to his wife & desired to bless the wrong son, Jacob wore fur to pretend to be his brother. But God protected Abraham despite his lies, Isaac unknowingly blessed the son through whom the line of God would continue, & Jacob was blessed despite his sin. Even though Jacob preferred Rachel, it was through Leah that the tribe of Judah would descend.

People are messed up! Even people who love Jesus. Even people who God wants to use. We are all one big mess. & that's okay, God can work with that! I am encouraged by these stories. I can't mess up God's plan - His big overarching plan, or His plan for me. He can use me even when I act like a feeble human. Phew! I (in my natural, human flesh-ness) tend to lean toward the "law" side of the balance between law & grace, & I see that God desires to show me more of His grace, that I might understand it & let it cover me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I want to write down some of the funny things Elliot says or has done so I can remember them. His communication skills have developed so much recently & he is speaking in full sentences most of the time, not missing a word. It's so fun.

He calls all bugs "spider bugs."

The other night during his bath, he was looking at his fish & said, "He has a tail. He has a tail like me!" I said, "You have a tail?" "Yes." "Where is your tail?" I'll give you one guess where he pointed.

Every night after his bath, Elliot wants to "snuggle on the couch with mommy." The snuggling lasts about 5 seconds before he's flying around on the couch, so it's more like "mommy watches out for limbs heading for her face."

Right now, anytime Elliot refers to himself (ex. "Is that for me?") he pats his chest. It's so cute.

Note: I need to record the way he says "HEB" - I also happen to think that is very cute!

He likes to throw words at the end of his sentences, like "either," "though," "anymore," "now," & "last night." Sometimes he'll put two together, like "I don't want the do that either anymore" (which right now sounds like it could make sense, but I promise it doesn't when he says it :) ).

Elliot's favorite numbers are two and five. In the morning, he always wants "two waffles" or "two toasts."

Elliot has three freckles now on his arms. He thinks they're great. He also likes to talk about our freckles, except when he says "freckles" it sounds like "pretzels." So you'll hear him say, "You have pretzels too? You have pretzels on your face?"