Wednesday, March 14, 2012

when the storm passes

It's amazing to think that sometimes parenting actually goes the way you want it to.

Frankly, I think it's pretty hard work, overall.  And I fall short oh-so-many times.  Like with the chore chart or the TV time limits or the losing my temper and making empty threats.

On the couch, talking with my girlfriend, we lament the attitudes of our oldest daughters as they play upstairs.  Not bashing them, just earnestly sharing how we choose to teach and guide and them, trying not to scar them along the way.  Wondering that somehow, despite our best intentions, we've let it get this far.

We don't really understand where the attitudes come from sometimes, or how to keep them at bay.  And we criticize ourselves -- are we not giving enough, disciplining enough, loving enough?  We are both those types that tend to drown in the negative instead of finding hope in the positive.  It's easy to get down that way.

And so, as we talk, we choose to begin this Spring Break holding onto the hope that God is guiding us, that we will make mistakes, but that He can bring redemption.  We  make a silent pact that we will celebrate the good ten times more than we will ponder the bad.  We will chase away the shadows and dance in the sunlight (that is, if it ever stops raining here).  We will be excited for what the week could possibly hold instead of choosing to dread an attitude onslaught.

And because God loves the gathering of women who strive to come under His guidance, He sends down a sign from up above.  No, it's not from Heaven, but from the upstairs bedroom.  It's a letter that holds promise.  It's power in the written form that healing happens, that truth reigns, and that love pours forth even after a stormy season.
Linking with Painting ProsePlaydates with God, and God Bumps.


  1. So sweet! Isabel has gotten into writing me notes as well. Most are notes of complaint that she prefers to express in writing (like her momma!) but every once in a while I get a sweet one like that and I'm reminded. I bet God feels the same way when we pray grocery lists and then we remember to praise him alone.

  2. I have kept some of the notes the girls wrote me when they were little ... after they knew they had been unkind. One note came with a dollar to buy anything I wanted. :-)

    Hang in there, dearest. Your hard work pays off. And believe it or not ... even those hard moments became funny memories ... LATER.


  3. We had our rain early in the week and I hear it's on its way back.

    You have chosen the best way to begin your spring break, Jen. And I just love signs from above (whether they be from the heavens or the upstairs, who knows?). Isn't that what spring is all about? New life, beginning new each day.

  4. What a keeper to hold close to your heart. Parenting is such hard work and often one you don't see the results for so many years. I think the secret is just to keep trying and hold onto your ideals. We try, we fail but eventually they grow up and we are amazed at the adults they have become.

  5. Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17 I love it!! The expressions of love from my children can undo sometimes, especially when I'm wallowing in a whole lot of negative about me & my parenting. What a lovely reminder of God's love in our lives -- the notes, the friends to share the journey as we help each other along!

  6. Oh that is so sweet and must have been so encouraging to your mommy heart! I know I keep those notes from our your heart for God and your girls, Jennifer :)

  7. OH...a sweet...sweet gift...treasure it over and over...especially on those hard days...blessings~

  8. Such a sweet keepsake to treasure!

    I found that in the midst of a difficult season there would be an occasional rainbow through which our parental teaching would shine, if only for a moment or two. Keith and I would exclaim in excitement and exasperation, "Oh, my gosh, they DO get it!" As they grew older those moments became more frequent, like the glimmers of sun as it dances through the clouds, as opposed to the much more rare rainbow.

    Take heart. Your lessons are in their hearts, waiting to be gifted back to you, moment by moment, like the refreshing rains of summer!

    I wrote a while ago about something we did with our girls that I invite you to consider: Pillow Journals. I think you could have lots of fun and conversation with them. Let me know if you do. I love to hear how moms are strengthening their relationships with their family!

  9. I have had your same thoughts. Spent my daughter's middle school years walking on egg shells and crying myself to sleep many nights. And then she grew past the season and she is back to her beautiful lovely self, the girl I gave birth to and thought would never show herself again. For me, those seasons were times to press in and hear Him, completely trust in Him when the circumstances were making me feel differently. Your a good mom Jen, and He seems to show us the fruit in their lives (like your letter) when we need it the most.

  10. Oh! Joy!!!
    Evidence of things gone doubt...

    Relish it!

  11. Isn't it odd how often we in the blogging world write about similar subjects? Today I wrote a letter to my prodigal, and I'm holding to the fact that God will be able to finish His work in him.

  12. My daughter went through a really really rough stage. There was no communication between us...only anger on her part. Yet, I couldn't ask for a sweeter daughter now. Hang in there.


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