15 January 2014

How Can I Give Grace Now?

Wednesday Book Club

Am I Messing Up My Kids? by Lysa Terkeurst

Chapter 18

"It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have...One pair that see through closed doors...another in the back of her head, ...and of course, the ones in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and reflect, "I understand and I love you" without so much as uttering a word."

Okay, parenting is hard.  We all know that.  We could read all the books try to do everything right and guess what?  Our kids still won't be perfect.  Our kids won't always make us look good.  And there will be many many times that all they need is our love and our grace.

There will be times when we want to spank, pinch, perhaps shake the Holy Spirit in them? And yet, those might be the times when God whispers to us..."this is the time for grace."

I am absolutely horrible at this.

The most challenging time for me was the first two weeks at home with Micah as a newborn.  Julia and Mark knew that I couldn't do it all.  How did they know?  Who knows, but they did!  I would have visitors over to see the baby and they would be running all over the house...didn't they know we walk and not run in our home.  And they were always giggling and laughing and what seemed like screaming!  How dare they have fun while I was trying to adjust to three children!  I wanted to give them the stink eye.  I wanted to put them in time out.  I wanted to lecture them on the proper etiquette of welcoming a newborn and mother who had a baby without an epidural and experienced 12 hours of labor.

"They are fine."  A friend told me.

"They are being kids."  Another would say.

"Relax, and enjoy this time." Another friend said.

Why is it that everyone else is so good about giving grace to other people's children and not their own? I thought!!!

"Kristi, you can't do it all.  You don't need to be disciplining right now, make sure they are clean and fed, and take deep breaths." A wise woman said.

How can I give grace now?  When all I want to do is wag my finger, have peace and quiet, locate my well behaved children, and perhaps take a nap?

It's during these moments that Lysa says, "And that's what makes this parenting thing so stinkin' hard.  There are really no textbook answers.  It's such a moment by moment balancing act between loving, shepherding, disciplining, extending grace, molding, modeling, loving some more, and maybe having to give a few pinches along the way too."

The only way I can navigate this balancing act is to stay close to God.  Really close.

How can I give grace now?  Ask God.  He will give you the right timing.  He will give you the right words.  He will give you the right measure of discipline or grace when needed.  Stay close to the source!

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing but in everything bring your requests before God...

So instead of worrying, being anxious, getting angry...relax...take a deep breath...and ask God...is now the time for Grace?


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