Ingredients for Kids

Spices

(FreeImages.com/MassimoZunino)

The other day, my husband and I were discussing our kids and their strengths and weaknesses.

It’s easy when you see various character flaws in your kids to become discouraged.

I couldn’t help but think how preparing food relates a lot to kids.

I realized that we often want to see the finished product when we are still in the mixing stage with our kids. 

It helps to understand that you can’t expect to see a finished product when you are still at the stage of adding in a generous dash of patience, a cup of kindness, a teaspoon of generosity, two cups of truth, one quart of grace, etc…

Parenting and baking require diligence and careful measuring so that the right ingredients go into the finished product.

Some days, I have to toss out the batch because I missed an important ingredient when I am baking.

Other days, I forget that it takes a lot of patience to wait for the baking to complete.

Baking also needs to happen at the right temperatures.  If it’s too “hot,” our products are scorched.  If temperatures are too cold, the product is never finished.

It’s all about patience, the right ingredients, right amount of ingredients, and the right “temperature” within the baking environment when you prepare food.  It’s the same way when it comes to raising kids.

Lord, give me patience.

I’m Sorry, Kids

To the precious five little people in my life,

I’m sorry, kids, for those times when I raised my voice and taught you that dirt and spilled milk was more important then showing you what grace and patience looks like.

I’m sorry, kids, for those times when I insisted that sitting perfectly still in church was more important than helping you to see that worshiping God is not for perfect people but for the redeemed.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I didn’t demonstrate that it is possible to disagree with Daddy and still be completely respectful at the same time.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I was more intentional with pursuing my own goals and worth then in listening to your own dreams and building your own sense of worth.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I “cheated” you out of opportunities to see how great our God is by spending more time in the mediocre then in fellowshiping with our God.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when my words criticized and blamed you rather than showing you that the message of the Gospel is grace.  It’s grace in the home.  It’s grace in our words.  It’s grace in our actions. 

I’m sorry, kids, for times when instead of praising you for all the effort you did, I pressured you to keep performing better.

I’m sorry, kids, for times when I didn’t see past your anger to understand the thin guise it was for covering hurts and fears.

I’m sorry, kids, for the many times when I didn’t have the right answer, didn’t have enough strength and accepted defeat instead of teaching you that God is always enough.

I’m sorry, kids, I wasn’t the perfect mom.  Yet, maybe that will help you to understand that you don’t have to be the “perfect” kid to be used by God and loved by God.

God did give me, you kids, to raise.  He knew that I would learn through, you kids, what grace really looks like.  Grace is when I recognize the greatness of my God to be more than sufficient to help me raise you guys.

Grace is when I say I am sorry and mean it.

Grace is when I understand that God doesn’t call “perfect” people to be parents.  He calls redeemed people to remember that it’s only grace that brought us and only grace that will keep us.

Kids, I am not sorry that I have taught you that we have a God who is so much greater than us!

We have a God Who loves you perfectly and delights in you!  We have a God who will be faithful to keep you.  We have a God who has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you — to give you a hope and a future.”

So, kids, there is nothing I want to leave with you more than for you to know, really believe, how much God loves you and that it’s His grace that will keep you.

She Melts My Heart

(Photo taken by Becca Davis Photography.)

I absolutely adore all my children!  Okay, some days I don’t feel like I like them as much.  If anyone or anything would threaten my children with harm though — even at their worst moments — I would gladly risk my own life to rescue them.  My “mother-bear” claws would unfurl, and watch out!

I was so excited when each of our boys entered our lives!  I treasured every minute of holding their sweet little bodies in my arms as babies.  I loved watching them do their funny things and say their cute stuff!  As we jokingly would say to one another, “You’re so sweet I could eat you for dinner!”  I thought life was absolutely wonderful with three little boys.  And it was!  I loved building train track configurations, Lego contraptions, throwing balls, pushing them on riding toys, curling up to read books, and cuddle time before bed.

In my heart of hearts though I always wondered what it would be like to have a daughter also — to share those moments that only mothers and daughters can do best: the tea parties, boy talks, shopping, painting nails, fixing long hair, cooking meals together, etc…  I had enjoyed a close relationship with my sisters and mom growing up, and I wanted to experience that too with my daughter — the comradery of women.

When I found out I was having a girl, well I was just a little excited, to say the least.  Even the boys got in on the excitement, talking about how she was going to be their princess and wear princess dresses.

Then, the princess entered our lives!  We dressed her in the prettiest outfits, fixed her hair with bows and flowers, and saw pink and purple for the first time in our house.  After three boys, I was ready for a little pink and purple.

The little princess is now 17 months old.  She has warmed her way into all of our hearts, melted them really.  Well, her brothers might disagree at times when she knocks over their train track configurations and Lego houses.  We all laugh though when she tries to dance to music and uses a flashlight with the wide part underneath her mouth to pretend to sing on a mic.  We smile when she sees a brother crying and immediately walks over to rub their heads and pat their backs.  We clap when she helps Mommy unload the dishwasher and puts some silverware on the table.  We all hold our noses when she needs a diaper change and plops down on our laps.  We laugh as she giggles when we swing her in the air and twirl her in our arms — that is when Mommy and Daddy do that.

Our little girl has warmed her way into our hearts.  She is a ray of sunshine, pure delight!  What a gift God gave to us in her!