Outnumbered and Overwhelmed (by Grace)
I have to be honest…last year I swore off parenting books.
I’m a single parent with five children—ages 19 down to 6. I’m outnumbered and overwhelmed. And usually when I read parenting books, I just end up feeling like a failure. I can’t see the hope… I just see all the missed opportunities, bad choices, thoughtless words, lack of consistency and huge mistakes.
I decided I just wanted to read God’s word and seek answers there. My plan was to get my head and heart right with God and pray that He would make me into the parent He wants me to be.
And although the process is taking longer than I’d like, I see God molding me into the momma He wants me to be.
And He has changed my heart about seeking advice from parenting books.
Recently, I picked up Grace Based Parenting and oh how blessed I’ve been.
I think what I’ve loved the best is that it doesn’t just encourage me to offer grace to my children, but to accept the grace God offers to me.
“We’ve got to love them in the way that God loves us—when they’re unappreciative, when they don’t deserve it, when it’s inconvenient, when it is costly to us, even when it’s painful.” (p.54)
As I read about grace-based parenting, I’m being encouraged and blessed that I’m being parented by my heavenly Father in a perfectly grace-based parenting way.
All those things that I’m called to do to bless my children are things that God lovingly and perfectly offers me.
God loves me just as I am. He cherishes all the things that make me uniquely me. I’m valuable, beloved, and precious to God. God feels that way about my children. And He has blessed me with being part of showing my children love… His love.
Like Tim Kimmel says, “Our attitude shouldn’t be that we “have” to do all these things for them, but that we “get” to.” (p. 56)
What a wonderful reminder of the gift of being a parent! These sweet people God has given us to parent are not a burden but a beautiful blessing!
They might make messes (lots of messes) and they might drive me bonkers with disrespect, disobedience, or down right fussiness, but I know that is also me with my heavenly Father. When I look at my own life, I see a fair amount of self-made messes and some serious obedience issues, and yet, God looks at me with complete and utter love.
“… our children need is to be raised by parents who treat them in the way Christ treats us as parents. As we’ve already said, the primary way Christ deals with us is through His infinite grace.” (p. 97)
I want my children to understand to their core how deeply they are loved by me and even more importantly by the heavenly Father.
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