Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sometimes they hate me.

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Sometimes they hate me.
My children that is.
I know, I know...hate is a very strong word.
Hate actually means to dislike intensely or passionately, feel extreme hostility for.
Yep. I'd say that's exactly how they feel sometimes.
The thing is...I'm okay with it.
Maybe not all the time or with a smile on my face, but for the most part,
I am.
Discipline is not always easy, and it can create an environment that can often become explosive.
But, it's necessary. It's needed. It's essential.
I've spent many nights crying to God through tears to show me how to discipline my children without them having to hate me, dislike me, or feel extreme hostility towards me.
I've spent other nights praying to God through gritted teeth to help me NOT put them in a choke hold when they throw me a pair of rolling eyes and stomp off in anger muffling words of animosity under their breath, because they didn't get their way and didn't understand mine.
I've prayed to God until my breath was weak for His guidance concerning them.
I've cried tears of anguish over them for the need to do the right thing and make the right decisions parenting them.
I've prayed aimlessly on the front lines of battle, while the world pulled them in one direction,
 and me and God pulled them in another. 

I've lost more hours of sleep at night praying for them than anything else.
Yet still...
I've prayed. I've cried. And I've prayed some more.
And you know what?
After 20 years of parenting, I can't say that it gets any easier.

I can't say that I have stopped praying, crying or having sleepless nights.
I can't say that I've gotten this parent thing all figured out.

I can't say that I've never wanted to throw in the towel,
give up on this Momma stuff
 and run for the hills.

I can't say that I've never lost my cool or never made mistakes.
I can't say that on most days they think I'm the greatest thing ever.
I can't say that I spend more time being the hero in their life, rather than the enemy.

I can't say that I've walked away from every fight or argument feeling like the victor,
 rather than a defeated failure.
I can't say that I've said "yes" to them more times than I've said "no".
I can't say that sometimes they don't hate me.
I just can't.
 I can say...

that every tear shed,
every fight won or lost,
 every rolling eye,
every tear in my heart,
every argument,
every door slammed,
every prayer of desperation,
every feeling of regret,
every want to give up,
every sleepless night,
every "no" shouted,
every disappointed look received,
every moment of failure,
every prayer spoken...

has been worth it.

My oldest daughter is now 20 years old and attending her second year at college.

We still don't always see eye to eye,
but our hearts have somehow seemed to line up over the past couple of years.

Maybe because of the distance between us,
or maybe she finally sees that all these years I've been for her and not against her.

That I've been her greatest supporter and not her dream crusher.
(Don't all teenagers think that?)

Or that maybe, just maybe, Mom knew what she was talking about.
(Excuse me as I jump up in celebration!! Woohooo!!)

Whatever the case may be...
I can honestly say,
that she has become one of my closest and dearest friends.

Notice I said, "become".

It took time, and years and years of loving her enough to discipline her.

We talk about everything now. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYthing.

Sometimes I have to step out of the conversation we are having and ask myself,
"Is this really happening right now? Is she trusting me with her inner most thoughts and dreams and goals? Does she really appreciate my advice after all these years? Am I dreaming?"

If I'm dreaming...please don't wake me!!

She is not only my oldest child whom I adore with my entire being,
but she is my friend who I enjoy to be around.

And believe me...we've had our hard moments together as Mom and daughter.

Sometimes when we sit together and talk she grabs my hand in hers, rubs it gently and says,
"I love you Mom."

She sends me text messages that read,
"I miss you Mom." or "How's your day going?" or "Thanks for loving me and taking care of me Mom."

Let me just say that each and every time she does,
I melt like butter.
My heart feels fuller and fuller.

When she comes home she tells her sister and brother how important it is to respect me and for them to appreciate me being there for them.
(Hallelujah!! Can I get an Amen?!)

I feel like I've won the lottery of parenting and my winnings are overflowing!!

The thing is...

Our first obligation to our children, is to be their parent.
Our reward for that, is that we get to be their friend.

Being their parent means that we are willing to do the hard stuff,
 instead of going for the easy way out.

It's about loving them daily, even when some of those days are really hard.

It's about listening to God's correction within our own lives as we guide them along.

It's about loving them enough to save them from themselves and their own self destruction.
Isn't that what God does with us? He saves us from ourselves.

It's about trusting God to be our eyes when we can't see what they need.

It's about knowing that you can't do parenting without God's help.
That without Him you will fall apart.

It's about holding on to our end of the rope when we are playing a game of discipline tug-of-war.

It's about giving them space to share their heart with us.

It's about being overly nosey, checking on them, not giving them too much privacy,
 and in return them feeling safe enough to tell and share everything with us.

It's about NOT forcing them to grow up too fast in a world that tells them it's the norm to do so.

 It's about NOT making ourselves look like better parents
or like we have it all together,
just because we say that we have more "mature" kids.

Your "mature" child needs you to pull in the reigns and slow them down a bit,
not rush the process.

It's about letting them be young, experiencing the beauty of their youth,
because they have the rest of their lives to be mature and old enough.

It's about letting them grow with every season, at the appropriate time.

Mommas...don't move out of God's will for your child by forcing them past the season they are in right now.  Before you know it, they will be in the next and not at all prepared for it.

I know...
I was that child forced to grow up way too fast.
 It sent me spiraling down a road I was not prepared for.
 One that caused harm in more ways than one.
 It sent me searching for my lost childhood in places that were not good for me.
My heart was left unguarded and way too immature to handle what life brought me.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born,
 and a time to die; a time to plant,
 and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Life will wait for them.
 When they are ready they will take it on with courage and strength,
 and with you by their side,
 or in the background cheering them on.

My oldest daughter put a facebook status up yesterday.
 We had spent several hours together sitting and talking at the doctor's office.

The status said,
"My mom is just awesome."

When I saw it, I smiled so big my face hurt!

And although on most days, awesome is not how I would describe myself...
I'm glad that she thinks I am.
 But that took time, lots of prayer,
and much grace.

It took years of loving and disciplining and praying and crying.

It took God's discipline in my own life as her parent.
It took His instruction and His grace over me.

It took her hating me sometimes. A whole lot of times.
But it was worth it. Every second.

So what if sometimes your children hate you...
in the end and eventually,
they will think you're awesome!

Love well, hold tight, stay strong, and stand your ground...for great is your reward!

Proverbs 31:25-28a
 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
  Her children arise up, and call her blessed;



  1. Ack! Been trying to comment for days but it doesn't like me. Sad face! I love this post. Is the first sign in the post in your house? Can I have it? Ha! Ha!

    1. I'm so sorry it has given you difficulty. Boo on that! I'm debating on changing how my commenting works. There's got to be an easier way to get through!

      Anywho...no, that sign...I do not own. Rats! But I definitely endorse it!

      Hope you are doing marvelous my friend!


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