Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Jimmy got to practice being a parent this week. For two days he carried around the fake baby from health class. It’s a computer-programmed experiment designed to convince teens they are not ready to be moms and dads and it probably does the trick. But come on, teachers. It’s nearly the end of the quarter and my son hasn’t slept in two straight nights. This boy’s already logging detention hours all week long from too many tardies – almost solely the fault of a particular brother who tortures us all every morning, and whose first hour teacher doesn’t seem to care. Ugh. Life’s not fair.
Parenting is not an easy calling. This is the point of the health class experience, and it’s certainly the lesson of real-life, too. We’re all in over our heads.
My work is ministry to moms and dads. And I still shake my head when I think about the timing of how God put me in this position. How my new job title and my new mom title overlapped so neatly, and it was no mistake my professional training would roll out in real time. The lessons He’s taught me in recent years have been His blessing.
Last weekend I volunteered at a parenting conference held the past three years at my kids’ school. Each year since becoming the mom of five I’ve helped with the event, a whole day of sessions filled with parenting advice. Each year I’ve come away head spinning, heart aching, more than a little overwhelmed.
But this time was different. Unexpected.
The theme of this conference (perhaps unintended) was parenting in a digital age. Each speaker addressed it. The statistics and realities swamping our families in this wildly connected world we live in. And I’ll be the first to confess, these are the challenges that have been the most daunting for me the past couple of years. I’m in over my head – no question.
So it was a surprise last Saturday at the Legacy conference when all day long I felt affirmed. Encouraged. I sensed God’s pleasure. Why?
It’s this. I finally realized – I CAN’T do this. Like really – can’t. We can’t do this – my husband and me. It’s impossible. Every year the stats are more dismal, the realities more stunning. Our kids can outsmart us; the possibilities can sink us. We’re IN OVER OUR HEADS. And that, my friends, is good news.
As in. GOSPEL.
I’ve said it this way a hundred times. The Good News of the Gospel is Jesus does for us what we can’t do ourselves. This is what saved us, and it’s saving us still.
We literally CAN’T. We can’t do it. Moms, dads, and kids, and the rest of us, too. If we think we can do this, we’re fooling ourselves.
It’s taken so many years to finally get this message. But last Saturday I realized it’s working. I am totally dependent on God. I can’t, but He can and HE IS.
There’s not one thing I’m really equipped to handle, and yet miracles are happening all the time. It’s just like the sign says on my dining room wall: The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still. And it’s true.
My job is to love my boys and to show them Jesus. The rest is HIS. I say it often. God, this is up to you! And it’s working. He is ABLE to do it.
Last Sunday we got some parenting practice when one of our teens had a driving mishap. In our own driveway. (I have to smile now thinking about how my very last post was about Sandcastles, and let’s just say this was an inevitable wave.) Two cars looking tough and a teen shook up – but later both Kyle and I had the same impression. It was worth it to show boys the love of their Father. Boys – are you watching? Are you noticing HIM?
We can’t do this. There’s no possible way. But He does for us what we can’t do ourselves.
Good news for this mom who’s in over her head (: