Parenting is hard and sacrificial. I liken it to being trapped in a storm on the ocean and most of the time I feel like I am overboard and drowning. Well, maybe I am the only person that feels like the above. After being a parent for 8 years and in those eight years multiplying our family from one child to a total of four, I finally feel the calm in the storm and I am breathing. Our life is still chaotic “like herding cats”. Our children still test boundaries, yell at top of their lungs at times, and can be unkind to one another.
What changed in 2017 /year eight of parenting? My relationship with Christ. This year I have started to cultivate a relationship with the heavenly father in prayer and through his word. I have made it a number one priority. Prioritizing the Lord first in my life has allowed me to give more grace and mercy to my children and to motherhood. I realized that I was the problem. My inflexibility to adapt, my own past childhood grievances, selfishness, and tendency toward perfection. I felt extreme friction with my children and parenting. Trying to fit my children in my unique box of what I thought (society thought) children should be. As I read through 2 Corinthians specifically 8:7 stood out to me “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” Paul was talking to the Corinthians. However, it made me think how much was I giving grace? I mean the ultimate parent God sacrificed his son because he loved us so much. I did not deserve that and I have been a very unruly, disobedient, and defiant child.
I started to read Grace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids are at Their Worst by Karis Kimmel Murray. I soon realized that I had an audible download of the book Grace Based Parenting by her father Dr. Tim Kimmel that I downloaded nearly a year ago and never listen to, until recently. Things started to click. I am still in process of implementing and figuring out how this plays out in our family with guidance from my hubby. Both parents have to be on board.
By no means am I tooting my horn. There are still many a days that I catch myself yelling and/or criticizing. But, we are creating a safe space for forgiveness to be ourselves and on those days I am on my knees and looking at my kids saying sorry and forgive me. How do I know this is working; because I see it in my kids. Children who use ” I feeling ” statements, understand how to identify their anger and proper channeling techniques. Most of all they know even in the hardest meltdowns. Mom is not judging, she has been there and she is ready to grant forgiveness and discipline to facilitate God’s plan for them.