Monday, August 6, 2012

It's Just One of Those Days

There is no such thing as a perfect parent so just be a real one.
~~ Sue Atkin

I saw this prayer today on a blog I read quite often.
My heart felt full as I read it and my eyes filled with tears.

I guess we,
my teenager and I...
are just having one of those days.

They don't come often, but when they do,
 it's like a monsoon that sweeps me away, leaving debris to clog the way between her and I.
It weighs heavy on me.
And her.
I struggle with having to be the drill sergeant at times, and have to continually remind myself to love my kids through the process, even on those hard days.
Even if that love requires strong and stern discipline that they don't much care for.
The kind of discipline, that will most likely take me off of the top of their list of favorite people.

We just struggle with eachother on some days.
Words are hard or not at all.
Eyes roll.
Feet stomp.
Doors slam.
Tears fall.
And the heart stretches to learn and love.
So yeah... just one of those days.

We've both been stretched.

It's nice to be reminded on days like today that we are not alone in the parenting process.

God is the ultimate Parent.
He too has to deal with some stubborn kids.
(ehemmm...cough, cough)

Even still...
He is always there,
watching and guiding us as we watch and guide our teenagers.

Disciplining us...
as we discipline them.

Giving us grace...
as we are gracious to them.

Loving us...
as we love them.

I needed this prayer today...
and I thought you just might need it too.

A Prayer for Teenage Kids and Their Mama, Too

Dear Father,
I flat out need You more today than ever.
I know I’ve said this before. But something about being in charge of teens – young men and women – feels mighty scary.

When a sense of urgency weighs heavy, remind me how You’ve helped me train my kids all along. Help me not focus on what I haven’t done but relax in what I have. Help me parent from Truth not fear, and may the eyes of my heart see Your perspective, promises, and patience.

Please help me remember they are becoming. Don’t let a spirit of discouragement settle in when I don’t see progress. Though I want to be clear about boundaries, may my responses to their poor choices be gracious. May my responses to their good choices be gracious.

If it ain’t broke, don’t let me fix it.

It seems so much of parenting older kids well is about being hands-off as much as hands-on. Give me wisdom on when my voice is needed or simply my ears. When my presence helps and when my presence hurts. Because sometimes parenting well means getting out of the way, letting them test their wings. Fly or fall, remind me that both serve their purpose. Help me be their loudest cheerleader when they succeed. Help me be their quiet haven when they fall.

Help me know when to make a big deal of something and when to chill out. Don’t let me turn molehills into mountains, but also give me courage to look real problems straight in the eye.

Help me understand their fears and emotions and not blow them off. Help me take them seriously because they seriously need me. And because they are always worth it.

May encouragement not criticism be my default. Now more than ever, unconstructive criticism makes me an unsafe confidante.

 May I give eye contact, hugs, and grace in abundance. May they know they can’t outsin or outrun Your love. May they see their worth in nothing but Christ.

Everyday, please show me something uniquely beautiful about my teens, and may I praise You for it. For them.

May I always turn to You first for gratitude and guidance. Help me remember you see all my children’s days stretched before them as I see only today. Thank you for always being for my children and for filling all my parenting gaps.

In the mighty name of Jesus,

{and all the mamas of teens say}


Want a free copy of this prayer?

Psalm 127:3-5
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb as reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them.

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