I can’t believe school is about to start. After this, I only have one more summer with my daughter before her senior year. Did I take advantage of this summer? Do they know God loves them? I need to get them involved in more. They should have gone to camp this year………
And on and on and on it went. This morning, as I lay in bed, my thoughts began to spiral into all I have done and all I should do and the places where I just don’t feel I am getting it right.
If only I would have.
Can you relate?
With so much vying for our attention, social media and the dangerous trap of comparison, we can easily start to feel like we are falling behind, or not measuring up. The weight of it all can come crashing down on our shoulders in an instant leaving us feeling paralyzed and less then.
But, friends, here is the thing. We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to get it all right. And God doesn’t expect that of us.
I can so quickly think of all the things I need to be doing more of with my children.
They should be more involved at our church. They should have gone to summer camp. We should have read more devotions. Am I being a good example? Do they see Christ in me?
And when I get to the heart of it – to the why I am feeling this way – I realize the bottom line is, I just want them to know how much they are loved by the Lord. I want them to know and experience life with Christ. I want them to understand grace. and that the boundaries we are given are not rules made by a distant God, but by a loving God who wants us to flourish. I want them to live their best life with Jesus.
So I put pressure on myself and I make mental lists of things we need to do. I make it way more about me than it was ever meant to be.
And all that grace I hope my children live with and embrace and absorb, I seem to forget exists for me, too. It’s funny how it works that way sometimes. Isn’t it?
Friends, it’s good to want good things for our children. It’s good to lead them and guide them and point them to the One who loves them most of all. But the reality is, we won’t get it all right. We will mess up and fall short and make mistakes and have to own those mistakes and say the beautiful words, “I’m sorry”. And the amazing thing is, our kids will learn from watching us fall down. They aren’t looking for perfection and it is a gift when we share our imperfections with them.
This morning, I lay in bed with my should haves and could haves and if only I would haves and then I remembered the most beautiful tool I have of in all of my parenting resources – prayer.
I can pray for God to fill in the gaps.
I can pray for God to surround them with people who love the Lord.
I can pray for Him to direct my steps and show me how to parent each of my children best.
And I can remember the words from Ephesians 2:8-9, “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
I can cast my burdens upon Him. I can trust Him with my children, because He loves them most of all. And there – i will find rest.
Lord, give me wisdom in how to best raise each of my children. Lord, show me their individual needs and help me to nurture their hearts, minds and souls. God, I pray for the gaps to be filled and that You will bring people into their lives who love You and will share Your love with them. God, I am sorry for the ways I have made things about me that were never meant to be. Help me to keep You at the focus of all things and give me wisdom and discernment in how to best guide my children. Lord, I pray that any guilt will be removed. I pray that I will see the needs of my home, and be Your hands and feet.