Not one of my children fit the "mold" of what we thought were other's expectations. As a matter of fact, we didn't either. Why is it, then, that we were so tempted to listen to the voice of accusation, condemnation or judgement of others, when we really never expected to fit in?
One of the most important decisions I ever made was to understand that, "The fear of man brings a snare." I realized that giving my children freedom to be who God made them to be was accepting them as a gift that He made especially for our family. It was my job to adjust, not my sweet out of the box children. I know you will enjoy this article by my friend Deb about her own out of the box child!
Do you ever feel like your children don’t fit the mold? Maybe it is your Sunday school mold or your kindergarten mold or homeschooling mold--your child just does not fit in? You know, the “calm, quiet, polite, yes ma’am, no ma’am, thank you, please, always has their napkins in their lap, and never chews with their mouths open” kids?
I never did. As a matter of fact, I had the ones (particularly one) that would always get into trouble every where we went. She was often the one into EVERYTHING, touching everything, always reaching for something, and just about to hurt herself trying to touch something dangerous. She frequently had her little toe right on the edge of the line that you told her not to cross.
That was my Christie.
But you know what I learned? God made Christie to be hugely curious, not the normal curious, but the type of curious that always wanted to be constantly learning and constantly engaging her brain. The only problem is that sometimes it came across as disobedience because I could rarely keep up with her, and it seemed like she constantly challenged me when in reality, she just wanted to keep going, learning more and more and was rarely content to sit on her laurels.
I wish I would have understood that when she was little. I wish I would have given her grace more and not taken the things that she did to be disobedience. She needed constant learning, challenges, and stimulation for her little growing brain. (She is still like this today as a 19 year old) Thankfully, God gave me books, wisdom, friends and family that supported me. He also provided friends that encouraged and believed in me and my Christie.
I will never forget the friends that told me how wonderful she was and how smart she was and never seemed bothered by her getting into things at their houses. I will never forget the friends that wrote Christie notes or wrote on her Facebook wall and showed her love in countless ways. She still loves them and still wants to see them when she comes home from college. My friends have become her friends. Last trip home she went to lunch with one of my friends, and another one had her over for tea. Both friends always constantly speak into her life. A different friend of mine texts her and says how much she loves her and believes in her. This is the body of Christ.
By why is it that so much of the time we, as the body of Christ, judge or gossip about our friends' kids when they are going through a hard time? Why is it so hard to be committed when a friend's teenager is being sassy or exerting his/her independence? It becomes a lot easier to criticize or judge when a friend's three-year-old comes over and throws a tantrum than it is to stick by them, pray for and with them, and genuinely be there for our friend.
I will never forget my friends that were there for me and my kids. They still are, and my kids consider them some of their best friends.
The Bible says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you.” Luke 6:37.
Be there for your friends. Be that friend that “sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. Be a forever friend and a family friend - no matter what.
That’s what we are called to do as Christians. We are called to love each other and each other’s kids.
Oh, if you happen to have a Christie, take heart. They are wonderful blessings! Ask the Lord for wisdom and patience. My Christie is at a Christian college on a wonderful scholarship that the Lord provided because of her academic achievement. She is reading 3 books at a time right now, devouring books of scripture, has a successful apologetics blog, and hopes to get her doctorate from Oxford. Was she an exhausting child? Yes!! Has she become a woman that blessed me and always challenges me to think new ways about God? Yes!!
I have decided that I am so happy my children don't fit the mold! Life is just so much more interesting this way!
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Today, I am also writing at In Courage:
Desperate was the word that captured my feelings as a young mom of three under five years old.
Becoming a mom at 31, I did absolutely adore my precious children, but I was exhausted every day, never quite on top of the messes, sleep deprived and often short tempered. For a few years, I gingerly held life together, but seemed to become more weary and exhausted each passing day.
When my third child, Nathan, was born, he appeared perfect. An easy delivery, he slept through the night immediately and I thought, “This is going to be an easy-going baby!”
That lasted for three days.
From that moment on, he was absolutely unpredictable. He did not sleep through the night until he was 4 ½. When I would try to put him to sleep at nights, even as an infant, he would arch his back and scream and yell for thirty minutes.
From time to time, he was that child in a restaurant who would throw a chicken leg across the room, lay on the floor and kick and scream.
“No!” was his favorite word when Nathan was five years old. As the third child and second boy, it seemed he had to do something every day to get attention to be sure he was not overlooked.
“What am I supposed to do with a child like this?” I prayed every day.
I felt torn between loving my children and feeling inadequate and frustrated most days.
One day, I sat down in total defeat, a sense of darkness hovering over my soul, and wondering what I was doing wrong, I opened my Bible and read…
“Children are a blessing from God, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Slowly over the next days, as this verse began to capture my imagination, I began to ask God to show me my children from his eyes and to help me to know just how I was supposed to mother them......
for the rest of the story, go here!