Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pondering Parenthood

Someone might have told me, when I was 24 and preparing to bring my first baby home from the hospital, that I would never again be the same person. Someone might have told me that the momentous event of childbirth I had just experienced was minor in comparison to the joys, the tears, the fears, the pride, the struggles and the triumphs of the years ahead. But I don't think anyone told me that there was no end to parenthood; that I had just signed up for a job from which I would never retire. If someone had told me all of this, would I still have signed up? Yes! Without a doubt.

A parent's role just keeps changing. In the beginning we are the 24-7 caretakers. Then, before we know it, the child begins exercising some independence. And, if we do our job properly, eventually the child matures and steps out into the world prepared to take care of himself 24-7. Aaaah - NOW is it time to retire from parenthood? No way!

Now is the time to pray harder than ever before. Now is the time to be there. Just BE there. Now is the time to watch, with pride and with a bit of fear, the unfolding of a mature life that is, hopefully, stronger and wiser than we were at that age. Now is the time to listen and encourage. Now is the time to give advice ONLY when asked. Now is the time to thank God for the tremendous growth of the little seed of faith that we planted and watered for 18 years.

And now may be the time in life to learn from our children, to be encouraged by our children, and to rejoice in the realization that the world is a better place because our children are in it; to watch our children walk through trials with confidence and faith - more confidence and stronger faith than we had at their age - and come through them, by the grace of God, triumphant.


Anonymous said...

What can one say to such a true and beautifully written piece?




Anonymous said...

I agree, GR! Amen........thanks, Linda! Genie

Kelsey said...

You did a pretty good job. (With the post and the whole raising your kids thing.)

That was a very sweet post and you made me tear up. It's nice to hear encouraging words from your parents. You guys are great at that, as well as the advise only when asked thing. That's a very nice gift to give a son and his bride :)

Mommy said...

Any chance you and my mother-in-law could have lunch sometime?

Tacky, I know.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how honored I am to read a post like that. Every time I think back to things you and Dad have taught me, I realize just how much love you must have. The experience that my family and I are going through now is just one small step in our lives and would be a horribly stressful and possibly damaging situation if it were not for the example of faith in Christ that I have in you.

At this point, I actually think this time is hardest on our family and friends, mostly because Kelsey and I are fully experiencing the peace that passes all understanding. Really, we don’t get it but we’re calm, peaceful and (right now at least) patient. We know that we are in this place just to get to the next step in our lives.

You and dad have always said that I always land on my feet, and I used to think that is because of things like luck, applied wisdom and my charming personality. I’ve known for a few years now that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. God has always smiled upon me and will continue to forever.