Friday, September 22, 2006

What Am I Teaching Them?

Do you ever have epiphanies that come out of nowhere & shake you to your core? Simple concepts that you just haven't fully comprehended before? Call me crazy that I just had this realization (after over 2 years of parenting), but recently I was watching them play and suddenly "got it" that these 3 little people are going to each take their individual place in this world as adults...and the stuff I am doing right now with them really matters.

For instance, when I get frustrated, my actions are teaching them how to handle their frustration.
My ability to encourage them in their strengths and weaknesses will directly impact their confidence.
My relationship with their father will be their greatest illustration of love and committment.

Watching me interact with others in various situations will teach them about respect and kindness.
They'll learn about tenderness, trust and unconditional love primarily from their relationship with their Daddy & me.
The list could go on and on, but suffice it to say I am just a wee bit overwhelmed at this great responsibility.

Sweet angels, when you read this one day I want you to know my heart...Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. As you most certainly realize, I am not perfect...far, FAR from it. I am trying to do my very best to provide a foundation for you based on love, truth & righteousness...but at times I am not as loving as I should be and do things the wrong way.
Sometimes my exhaustion can get the best of me. Patience is something God is working with me on all the time. I can be more crabby than caring.

Make no mistake about how much I treasure you. I want to do well with what God has entrusted to your Daddy & me. I love you so much it physically hurts...I think that's what makes this parenting thing even more difficult. I want to give you my very best...but even at my best, I am a mess.

So, I pray hard for wisdom and patience and even harder for forgiveness when I inevitably lose my cool with you.

One day, you will have children and you'll get it...


keri said...

everything you just said is everything they need to know! they need a mom who can admit her faults and show them how to repent and ask for forgiveness. they don't need parents who always act like they have everything together...they obviously see the "real you" every day...the messy and the good and they need to know that its ok to make mistakes! i do worry about my kids picking up my bad habits...and its inevitable that they will to some degree...but they are sinners as need of forgiveness just like us! parenting is such a beautiful picture of how much God really loves us. you think you can't love your children any more than you do...yet God loves us infinitely more than we could ever love our kids.
ok, that's enough of my sermon! :) thanks for this post...i love your openness.

Jennifer said...

Keri- You made me cry. Thanks for your encouragement. I never really knew guilt until I became a mother! I am so afraid of messing these precious little people up!!

Leslie said...



Renee said...

Such sweet words to write to your kids. I know they will treasure these memories and words from you. And yes, parenting is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done too. Quite overwhelming at times - lots of times! And to know that God has trusted us with these little ones is quite humbling.

Paulette said...

You can't mess up what God ordained. Be true to your God, husband and yourself and these precious babies will be wonderful Godly adults and parents.
You are right though we are responsible for teaching them ultimately, God knew you were the best one for the Job! LOVE them and trust, admit to them when you mess up and move forward.

The Amazing Trips said...

Most importantly - be gentle with yourself. They'll learn THAT from you, too.

I'd have to agree with everything you've written ... sometimes it can be overwhelming. That's why we have to take it one moment at a time and remember ... this too, shall pass.

You're doing an awesome job and they're lucky to have you. :)

Anonymous said...

Jen - Just the fact that you are so aware that they are learning how to live thier lives by YOUR example puts you way ahead. Often it's way too late before parents realize their children are learning how to treat their own families, spouses, store workers, policement - everyone by seeing the example they see most.

I can't even begin to imagine you messing this up. The kids are precious. You can see their hearts already just in the words you write about them. They know they are loved and they know how to love.

Precious pictures.


Wendy said...

I just had kind of an epiphany too. See my post on parenting.

It definitely is the hardest job I have ever had too. So many times I am praying that God will fill in the gaps for me. I think it is great that you are aware of this and it is on your heart. I do think it is good for our kids to realize we make mistakes too and we need to ask them to forgive us. We need to tell them that we need forgiveness too. That we are sinners too.

Great post and pictures.

Sarah said...

I realize this post is for your children, and not for me, but I love it! It sounds a lot like a conversation Caiden and I had tonight when I had to ask his forgiveness for being so grumpy. This IS a hard job, when you think about it, isn't it?

Good thing there are things like grace, mercy, and divine intervention, for the days when I really mess things up:)

Stacey said...

I know exactly what you're saying! They are watching every single step, word and attitude we have with each other and it's shaping their outlook on life. It's tough to be a mommy sometimes, isn't it?