being a parent is way harder than i ever imagined it would be.

when i had babies, it was all about feeding, changing and cuddling.  i worried when they cried for a long time or slept along time or ate more/less than usual...

when i had toddlers, it was all about routine, play and cuddling.  i worried about teaching them rules for life - clean up after you make a mess, say please and thank you and the like....

as they started school, it was still about routine with plenty of time for play and less-frequent cuddles (by their choice).  i worried about them fitting in and making friends, being able to do school with some degree of 'success' and developing Christ-like character...

my kids are still young, but now that they are learning more about the world and people, my heart breaks regularly.  it is so hard to hear how they process friendships.  it is so hard to hear them say they feel stupid in a particular situation or like they don't fit.  it is so hard to watch them struggle.  i've never known such pain in my heart.  honestly, sometimes i wonder if i'd known how much this would hurt...

and they're not even teenagers yet.

i've heard mothers further along on the journey say how having children drove them to their knees more than ever before.  i don't think i could say i fully understood that when they were babies, toddlers, pre-and-early-schoolers.  don't get me wrong - i've always prayed for my kids, and i probably would have told you i understood the real need for prayer at every stage.

but now.

tears and questions that i have no answers for lead me to lean on Jesus in a new way.  the angst of my child brings angst in my own heart - sometimes reliving my own youth, sometimes watching something i've never seen before.  i desperately want to have all the answers.  where are the books that give me all the answers??  i want to make it all better, like kissing a boo-boo and applying a colourful bandage, but i just can't.

and so i give lots of hugs and listen even more.  i try to reassure and encourage.  i point to scripture and tell my own stories.  and i pray, and pray, and pray.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches
he may strengthen you 
with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
18 may have power
together with all the Lord’s holy people, 
to grasp how wide 
and long 
and high 
and deep 
is the love of Christ
19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure 
of all the fullness of God.
eph 3:16-19


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