Friday, February 6, 2009

I Loved Them Enough, But Did I Love Them Right??

One of my IVL friends posted the question on her blog the other day, asking if we (the blogosphere) have any regrets. My first impulse was to say "Who, me? What in the world could I possibly regret?" Then this little voice in my head (or was it the voice in my little head?) said "Shut up and don't answer, or you'll hog the entire comments section..."

Teach your children well...

My kids are all smart in very different ways. There's tremendous some common sense, enviable some critical thinking skills, good great writing talent, and great above average analytical thinking. None were fiscally prudent as teens and young adults, but then, they didn't exactly have Warren Buffet as a mentor.

They were blessed with SuckerMom. You want it? You got it. Because I love you.

I'm proud that they have grown up to be kind, respectful, and loving, but not always to each other. They're siblings.

In other words, they are human. Beautifully, wonderfully, perfectly, and yes, sinfully human. Born in His image, made to seek Him, and still searching for the answers to life.

I often wonder why I didn't teach my offspring to deal with disappointment with a little more grace and acceptance and as a routine part of life. How to tough out the disasters and heartbreak life hurls at you. To "find the glory in suffering." To recognize that God will not keep them in the darkness, yet He never promised them a perfectly happy life either - on earth, at least.

I probably wouldn't have listened to this advice had it been given to me at the right time. I commented to a blog friend today, I want some "do-overs." The consequences for not getting it right the first time are very heavy today.

But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't make it quite so easy for them. As a matter of fact, I would have made them darned close to miserable.

A bit poorer. A little more tired. And a lot hungrier.

Rather than doing the paper route myself and allow a teenager to sleep in because I loved him so much, I would drag his sorry butt out of bed...because I loved him so much.

Rather than not make a careless, unapologetic teenager pay to fix the dented garage door frame because I loved him so much, I would make him work his skinny tushy off and figure out how to get that door frame fixed...because I loved him so much.

Rather than offering a mall shopping trip (lunch included) to a sobbing teen rejected by friends because I loved her so much, I would talk it out, let her cry it out, and show her how to suck it up...because I loved her so much.

Life stinks sometimes. It throws us curve balls, fast balls, and we get beaned by foul balls. It breaks hearts, spirits, and wills. But God will never leave us where we are - He is only asking us to perservere because He has so many wonderful plans for us, and He wants us to feverishly seek Him in order to fulfill those plans. Sometimes He will bring us to our knees, sometimes flat on our faces, sometimes even drag us through the mud - just to get our attention. He doesn't care if we come to Him angry, questioning, and untrusting - He just wants us to come to Him, and beg for His mercy. Because any relationship with Him is the start to a wonderful relationship with Him. And He has such wonderful plans for that relationship.

It's a tough lesson to learn as an adult, but it's never too late to learn.

I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that l might enjoy all things.

I was given nothing that I asked for; But everything that I had hoped for.

Tea today: Young hyson


Elaine said...

This was so beautiful my friend. I loved this, what a great lesson, and one that I will truly cherish and remember. It is never too late, for you, have just taught this child of God something...

Beth in NC said...

That was great Candy. I pray I remember your words as my young child grows. My husband is determined she will have chores. She is too small and young to feed our cows -- but we may have to get some chickens. That would be just right. Ha.

Bless you!

gitz said...

I remember when one of my nephews was really little, maybe not even a year old yet, and my brother disciplined him for something that to me seemed inconsequential compared to the crying that ensued by saying no. I asked my brother if it just killed him to see my nephew cry and he said no- that it told him he was doing his job... that he was teaching him that even when the right thing doesn't make you happy it's still the right thing.

I loved and admired his parenting... I also loved that I was the aunt and got to hug him happy again :)

Beth E. said...

Your post is very timely. I was thinking just this afternoon how I wished I could "do-over" certain times in my boys' lives.

There was a particular time when our oldest boy was about 10-11 yrs. Our ignorance (mine and hubby's) proved to have disastrous results, which manifested years later in our son's life. He made some very poor choices. It truly broke my heart when I found out. Can't share the details. Just thinking about it knocks the breath right out of me, even today.

What DOES get me through that experience is the knowledge that God can take that heartbreaking as it was...cause good to come from it, and use it for His glory.

katdish said...

Aw, Candy! Don't be so hard on yourself. My mom was just like you, and look how I turned out!

Wait...nevermind. (sorry, my bad)

sherri said...

To answer your question, "Did I love them right?"...yes, very much so.

This was a great reminder to those of us who have already been there, but even a better guideline for parents still in the throws of raising their little ones.

Good stuff.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Just to be clear, they all turned out wonderful. Beautiful children and not just on the outside. My angst arises only when a circumstancs cause them suffering and make them feel uncertain and a bit hopeless - relationships, finances, future....

My prayer is that they deal with it down on their knees, perhaps with their face planted in the ground, listening to Him, and knowing in their hearts that Jesus will carry them as He has carried me. Because He does a heck of a lot better job than Mom.

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Oh Candace, this was so wonderful. Thank you for your sweet wisdom

Helen said...

Candace, every parent is human and will therefore make mistakes. My parents were staying out after dark (in High School) nine O' Clock curfew (in college, I was a commuter student) and a whole bunch of things I could pick apart if I was so inclined. But I am not so inclined, even though it did affect my personality in ways I still try to get over, because I know that they made their mistakes in love. Every child should be so blessed as to be able to say that. Thankfully, yours are able to, and so am I..

heartafire said...

Wow. What a fantastic post on parenting. You have such wisdom; it is so kind of you to share it with those of us who have children young enough to maybe heed some of this sound experience. I am afraid I too often take the easier softer path of parenting, because it's so very hard to see my children suffer. I know absolutely that you are right about these things. I am going to read this often. Your humility is refreshing---I always count that as the hallmark of a true blue believer.

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