Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Friday.

I love that it's Friday. Mainly because our weeks have seemed rather long lately. Patrick was gone all last week. And seven days alone with a newborn and a toddler is enough to make your head seem a little...fuzzy. But, by God's strength and grace, no one was injured and, most days, we had a lot of fun.

I'm glad Patrick is home, though. So. very. glad.

Lately, I feel like mothering is the most defeating job in the entire universe. A whiney toddler who doesn't sleep makes for more disobedience and discipline and discouragement. Which makes for a very emotionally and mentally exhausted momma.

It's so easy to give up, to stop being consistent. It would be so easy to just let him have his way. But I can't and I won't. My job isn't to give in and to give up - It's to mother this sweet boy with God's strength and wisdom, for His glory and for Benjamin's good. No matter how tough it may be some days. I am not a quitter. I'm a fighter. A fighter for my children. But only because I know that what God has called me to do.

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

Benjamin has a sinful, foolish heart. And I need to remember that I did, too. My sin may be paid for and covered by the blood of Jesus, but I am full of sinful tendencies. My life before Jesus was full of selfishness, pride and temper tantrums. Just like my little boy right now. He's living in this world and I shouldn't expect perfection or calmness or humility or patience from him. Even more so because he's two :)

This verse challenged me this morning:
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him." Proverbs 22:15

I need to remember that a disciplined child is a happy child. I need to remember that being consistent and intentional and rational will reap rewards beyond my comprehension and beyond my years. Lord willing, Benjamin's children's children's children will love the Lord and teach their children His truth. Disciplining my children out of love and with a fear of the Lord is how I'm called to parent, as a believer, and how I want to parent.

It seems to be no coincidence that just a few verses earlier in Proverbs 22 it says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." (verse 6) I hope and pray that things I'm teaching Benjamin and Andrew now will grow and stick in their hearts. I hope that when they are no longer constantly under my influence, they will still want to learn and grow and walk with Jesus.

But my challenge is this: what am I doing to make this a reality in my {and their} life right now? How am I changing and growing and living out the gospel? What kind of example am I being to my little flock? I hope one that reflects Jesus, but I can honestly say that that's not always the case. But there is room for growth - thank goodness - and a God who is willing to grow and change me!

Either way, I'm glad it's Friday. Patrick will be home in one hour and then we can tag team our toddler. I'm so grateful for a husband who leads our family, who is the rock of our family, who comes home every night and enjoys being here and loving and serving us. I'm so glad that Patrick and I are a team and work together - whether it be in discipline or fun. I'm so glad that this parenting thing isn't a lone project in our house {hats off to those of you that do it alone!}.

But, here's to Monday. When I start all over, by myself all day, with two little boys who need constant attention and correction and love and discipline. Here's to trusting the Lord and walking in His truth. Here's to a lot of prayer. Here's to children that, by God's grace, will walk with Him because of the example He makes out of me.


Cynthia said...

Amen sister. It's been a hard week for us as well. At a parenting Bible study this summer, the leaders recommended How to make child mind without losing yours by Dr. Kevin Leman. It is no coincidence it is exactly where I'm at and exactly what I need to hear. It has taught me so much and has been very encouraging on being consistent. It is so hard when there is another little babe crying for attention as well. You are doing an awesome job, Ashley. I'll be praying for you.

Carrie Wilson said...

A friend of mine posted this the other day on facebook. I thought it was great and thought of it when reading your blog about parenting. I love this part, "Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike."

Praying you lead your little flock with joy!! I'm so thankful the Lord has blessed with the two adorable boys!! They are so handsome and I know that they see Jesus in their beautiful momma!

Maybe I will have to take a trip out to OK sometime! :)