I’ve been thinking about kids and the stages of life you go through as a parent. I know when I was in the “littles” stage, it felt relentless, the giving, and caring and stumbling through the day deprived of sleep. It was ‘meet their needs’ all day long. I thought: just wait till they’re older, till they’re more independent, I’ll get back some of my life.
Of course all of you experienced moms and grandmas know that’s a delusion. And over time and four kids later, I learned that it’s not about getting back my life, it’s about giving my life. This is my calling now, and it’s incredibly hard at times. But it’s what Jesus did for His people, didn’t he? He certainly didn’t come here to meet His needs. He came to meet His people’s need for salvation. So while I know this in my head, it’s the day to day grind, the following through that’s the struggle. In fact, most of the time I feel like I’m failing.
See, now that they’re older I don’t think: when did I feed her last, when did I last change his diaper. Now it’s: when did I really listen to her, when did I last laugh and tussle with him, when did I do that extra reading work with him, when did I show love when I felt nothing but anger? The needs are bigger now, and yet the same. Our kids need parenting through grace…. They don’t need parenting through rules and formulas and books and advice. They need their needs met, whether they have a need for boundaries, a need for love, a need for discipline, a need for extra attention, a need to be sung to sleep, a need to listened to. So when you just want to follow the rules and holler to your kid “For the last time get to bed and stay in bed” maybe you ought to think what is my child’s need right now?
It’s the living in the moment that’s hard. I’m always thinking about what I have to do next, or what I would like to do next ~ like read a book uninterrupted for an hour 😉 Grace is what’s needed, and grace is what’s given when we turn to God for help with the challenges in our different stages of life.