Monday, October 29, 2007

Preparing My Heart

This age is amazing. I spend my day either frustrated by the lack of reason, logic and self control of my three year olds or astounded at their budding preferences, personalities, imaginations and ideas. As I fall more in love with my little people with each passing day, fear is attempting to creep into my heart about where this is all heading.

As I squint to look at their sweet faces in dim light as I tuck them in at night, I feel a little pain in my heart. Somewhere, deep down, I am fighting the growing awareness that each in their own way will likely one day break my heart.

I don't mean to imply that it will be an intentional act--although it might be. I just know as a mother, a woman, a person who has experienced a few decades of life and love, heartbreak comes with the territory.

We are fallen people who live in a fallen world and inevitably we let each other down. Whether it be poor choices, hurtful words or tragic circumstances the gamble of life and love is pain. A mother's heart must also be mindful of the pain we will feel as we watch our children experience love, loss and disappointment.

I am not a pessimist. I am generally not a worrier or a fearful person. I am a realist. A deep thinker. A control freak who thinks being mentally and emotionally prepared for what "could happen" might somehow spare me from deep pain when it does.

I have been trying to figure out what God wants me to do with these thoughts. I know we are told not to worry about tomorrow. I know we serve a Sovereign God who teaches us to love extravagantly. How would God have me use this realization of what is likely to come in order to be more prepared?

I think the first answer is prayer. I want a closer walk with God that leads to the development of spiritual disciplines so I may be better able to hear God's voice and respond in a godly manner when the time comes.

The second answer seems to be an unshakable commitment to insuring my children KNOW they are unconditionally loved. I experienced a test in this today. K was reprimanded for playing with something fragile I had repeatedly told her not to touch. I sent her to Time Out and she cried, "I want my Daddy. I want him--not you!"

As I went to talk to her at the end of her time out, she had her head down, pouting on the stairs. She looked up through her messy curls, bottom lip protruding and said softly,"I don't want to talk to you right now, Mommy."

"Are you angry with Mommy because I wouldn't let you play with the clock?"


She was angry because she wasn't getting her way. She rejected me in her anger and her little words stung my heart. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of a scene 10 years from now. Wisdom, Lord.

I leaned down and kissed her on the head and said, "I love you even when you are angry at me."
Then I walked into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. Within 30 seconds she bounded into the room like nothing had ever happened and started to help me.

Relationships. People. Communication. Love. It is all what makes the world go round, but it sure is messy sometimes!


HW said...

Yes, disappointment will come your way. I have often said that as they get bigger so do their mistakes, and the consequences that follow. But you keep loving them. In fact, it almost seems you love them more, if that is possible, as you see them grow and learn from those mistakes.
We try to handle these mistakes by praying for the right discipline that is weighted heavily with mercy and forgiveness. A difficult balancing act, sometimes, but the Lord leads us in this.
This post really speaks to me because almost two years ago our son made a mistake that turned our world upside down for awhile, but you just keep going; just keep praying; and just keep loving. And you count yourselves victorious when you come out on the other side with them still by your side and a better young adult for having been through it.

You're doing a great job.

BooMama said...

"A control freak who thinks being mentally and emotionally prepared for what "could happen" might somehow spare me from deep pain when it does."


Get off my toes!


Room for Grace said...

Loved your response to K when she was so angry with you.
I heard Henry Cloud say something recently that really helped me, he said that as parents, we are to use pain and conflict as an opportunity to connect with our child. That helped me. To see the inevitable pain as a signal to seek connection. I think I can do that.
That's exactly what you did with K.
Our 3rd child is adopted and I have to fight off fear about how she may someday feel towards me. I love her so much that sometimes the thought of her rejecting me is overwhelming. This is a great reminder to let that fear drive me to seek God and trust Him for the grace we will need.

Sun said...

I needed this today. Thank you. Sunshine

Jennifer said...

i loved your response to your daughter when she was angry at you. "i love you even when you're angry at me." what a beautiful picture of what Christ says to us when we feel the same way. found your blog through a friend of a friend. looking forward to reading more!