I have had so many life circumstances that have taught me that fitting into the mold or expectations of others was not God's will for me. As a matter of fact, if I had followed all the advice of friends, I could have easily cultivated rebellion or resentment in the hearts of my children. But God gave them to me! It is for me to love them, discipline and nurture them according to their bent and according to the wisdom and intuition He would give to me through my mother-love.
Each of my children had areas in their lives that didn't fit the box of anyone else. Sarah is a dreamer, introvert, close to her mom--how many times did I hear we were too close to each other. Now she is my co-writer and bestest friend--and yet she lives in another country and frequents a variety of countries, differing languages and may never live in the United States again. Married to a Dutchman and growing more academically beyond me every year of her studies. I am so grateful we are so close.
Joel, so abstract and artistic that at times my mom thought he was deaf because he wouldn't reply to me when I talked to him or asked him to do something. He is truly extremely responsive and helpful, submissive and loyal--but I had to speak to him eye to eye, face to face to help him know exactly what I wanted him to do. Now he is a composer, creative, brilliant introvery, audio-book reader who is always dependable and hard working but not at all time oriented--always in the clouds planning or creating.
Nathan didn't sleep through the night until he was 4 (ended up he had a digestion disorder we didn't know about!) He also is an extrovert and has ADHD and other clinical disorders that have plagued him over the years. (He got them from me!) I had so many people who told me that he just needed more discipline: "You are not spanking him enough!" A number of friends were critical of his behavior and bouts over the years. Their critical eyes and words were devastating to me. I was so introspective about my inadequacies with my "mysterious" child, and yet, I know in my heart that harshness and spanking and criticism would create standards that he would never have been able to live up to. I know his heart would have become alienated from me.Now, I literally stand in amazement of him. He is an artist, musician, writer, performer, godly man of great vision. He was never meant to live in the box, God made him to be much more. I can't keep up with his ideas and drive. Just wish I hadn't worried so much about him and my others sweets.
Joy is a fire-cracker, confident, performer, outgoing, always wants to be doing something; she has a strong sense of personal justice, a loving, loyal friend and is ready to fight for her opinion if necessary! But she has a great heart, is kind to me and so thoughtful and truly had about five parents if you count Clay and me, plus her siblings! Her drive has taken her to go for her PHD as a 22 year old. I wish I had always seen her spirit as a great drive that would take her forward in life.
Each child was a different recipe and required different amounts of heat. Not one of them has fit anyone's mold--and it was just too much pressure to worry about what anyone else thought, anyway. I knew that God wanted me to enjoy life and to be flexible and creative with the particular puzzle He gave me to solve.
How would you describe your own children? Do you want them to fit into your expectations of what they should do or how the should behave or are you looking inside to draw out the person God made them to be.
Speak forward into who they will become, take time to love them as they are, rest in the patience that they will grow and then you will see the miracle of who they were meant to be over years. Take some time to think about the ways they are unique individuals--and gifts to you!
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