I looked at my sobbing child and wondered what to do, and I thought I'm not wise enough to do this job. I watched my daughter fail over and over again and eventually come home with stitches as she tried to master a new hockey move, and I thought I'm not strong enough to do this job.
I listened to my daughter talk about all the fun things other girls' moms do with their daughters, and I thought I'm not fun enough to do this job.
I watched my daughter make choices I knew would lead to disastrous results and I thought I'm not brave enough to do this job.
Being a mom is hard. Trying to figure out when to comfort, when to push, when to step in and when to let a child solve a problem on his own aren't easy situations to master. And the funny thing is, the answer isn't the same in every situation or with every child. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed, and we wonder what God was thinking when He entrusted these precious souls to our imperfect parenting.
There are days when I don't know the answers, days when I want to solve the problem instead of helping my child solve it, days when I'm at a loss for how to change my child's behavior, days when I think my girls would be better off with any parent than me. Those are the days when we can sit down and cry (and sometimes do), the days when we want to throw up our hands and turn the problem over to someone else.
Yet, I've found that it's those days when God can use me the most. The days when as a parent I lay completely broken at His feet, beaten down and unable to come up with another idea on my own, are the days when God can finally get through to me. Those are the days when He can whisper His words of wisdom, pour out His unconditional love, and fill me with His strength. It's in those days that I become a better parent, a better person, because I am no longer relying on my own strength, wisdom, and courage. I'm relying on His.
On the days when I don't have enough of anything, God has enough of everything. He's waiting patiently for me to turn to Him, to let Him take control of the situation, to run into His arms and surrender control. God has long arms just waiting to shelter us if we let Him. Isaiah 59:1 says "Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." God wants to wrap His arms around us. He wants to lend us His ear. He wants to pick up the broken pieces, fill us with everything we need and send us back out into the parenting game restored and strengthened.
But we have to want it, too. God doesn't use His arms to reach out and snag us. He waits patiently for us to run to Him. He's never far away and always ready to welcome us into the shelter of His arms. We just have to want to be there.
So, my prayer for you today is that as you get overwhelmed by this parenting thing, you would seek out God's arms. Shelter there, let Him fill you up, then pour out His love, His wisdom and His strength on your kids. Because by ourselves, we're not wise enough, not strong enough, not fun enough and not brave enough, but with God's help, we are all of those things.
Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife.