Training them, Training Me

It was a rough day in the world in the world of mommying. I like things nice and neat, but nothing about this day was nice and neat. I like things orderly, calm, sweet--a hearts and flowers kinda girl. You can probably guess that today was none of those things.

You think you're a calm, patient, reasonable person who has attained some level of maturity, and then God puts you in the role of training and raising up adorable little sinners. Then one day you find yourself in tears on the living room carpet before lunch, defeated and exhausted. And your six-year-old brings you a tissue while you text your friend and ask her to pray for you. 

Yes, you might just find yourself there and be tempted to think that everything is wrong with the world, or you, or your kids. You might forget that parenting is a battlefield, not neutral ground. The training of souls and the curbing of sinful desires (in me and them) is warfare, not an episode of Dora the Explorer ("We did it! Lo hicimos!"). No wonder we're weary and exhausted! 
All of us can find ourselves in a calling that seems a little too unglamorous, a little too hard, and a lot too messy.

The middle of it looks like pure chaos, but I know my God is doing good things even now. Even if my children never learn to listen or become responsible adults, I am changing. 

Part of me would like to write about more profound and nicely packaged things, but here I am reminding myself of the same things again. Because I forget. Because the roots of these truths aren't deep enough yet. 

My God reminds me:
MY strength is enough for each moment.
MY grace is enough for your failings.
The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will get you through the day--even when you feel half-dead in the thick of it.
You are called to train, discipline, and teach your children . . . not control them. 
The only one you can bring under the Spirit's control is YOU.
THIS calling is important and eternal. You are building something here.

And if I (in all my, ahem, "maturity") need to learn the same lessons again and again, surely my kiddos do too. Will I patiently teach them? Will I graciously forgive when they forget?

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Whatever messy little corner of God's Kingdom God has called you to labor in today, keep on struggling in all His energy friend! Good things are coming.

If you want some GREAT parenting advice, I just listened to this podcast interview with Kirk Martin (who was at the homeschool conference this year) over at the God-Centered Mom blog, and I found is SO encouraging!

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