Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You Can't Start Over

A few weeks ago at church, I was chatting with a wonderfully wise, dear friend whose children are grown. I don't remember the exact conversation but I think it was something about a struggle I was having with one of my kids. Again, don't remember the exact circumstance, but I do remember what she told me. 
"There are days when I wish I could go back and parent all over again and do some things differently." 
But as parents, we can't go back and start over. Sure, each day is a fresh start. A chance to make things right with your children. A chance to show them more grace than you showed them the day before. A chance to show them what patience looks like. An opportunity to lovingly teach them to mind you, and guide their hearts toward the Lord. Yes, we can start over each day and try to do better than yesterday. But we can't go all the way back and start over. We can't re-parent and hope that we do it better the second time around. 

Of course, this all got me to thinking. This is my one shot. This is my chance to point these sweet souls toward Jesus. To teach them about goodness, kindness and joy. To guide and mold who they become. I don't want to mess this up, people! There are no perfect parents, and I'm certainly not even close. There are some things that I think I'm probably doing right, and there are things that I know I'm doing wrong. At the end of the day, I don't want to look back and wish that I had done something different. I want to try my hardest to be the best mom that I can be. To show my kids unconditional love and acceptance. To teach them about the world. To teach them to be model citizens and kind hearted women who seek the Lord. 

When they are going off to college one day, I don't want to look back and wish that I had been more patient with them. To wish that I hadn't worried about the spilled milk or the messy, crazy hair. To wish that I hadn't gotten frustrated on days where they just wouldn't nap. But most importantly, I don't want them to grow up and wish that they had a mom who was more patient, or more giving, or more loving, or happier, or more understanding. So I'm choosing to think about that every day. I would never want something like impatience or discontentment to be the norm, or to be what my kids expect of me. I want to remember that I am shaping their hearts. I am affecting their future with every interaction. That is a big job! A lot is at stake there. I know I'll never get it right, but by God's grace, I will do the best that I can. 15 years from now, when I look back on the early years, I'll will know that I did the best that I could. For them.

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  1. It is a huge job and there are more than a few times I wish I could take something back that I did. Parenting is so hard :/

  2. Wow! That is so what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing your heart!! With my first little one on the way, I worry about how I will know if I am doing this mothering thing right and need to remember I just need to do the best that I can.

    I just wanted to stop by and let you know though that I nominated you for a Liebster award over on my blog this morning. You can check it out here:

  3. I love this post - it is something that I have been convicted of lately! Thank you for sharing this.


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