Monday, March 25, 2013

Raising Children in Humility {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

We've entered Holy Week, and I'm upstairs, sorting folded laundry into drawers in the boys' room.  We made it through Palm Sunday without anyone being poked in the eye with a frond, miraculous as that is, but sibling arguments are never far away even on the holiest of days.  My kids chaff in their relationships with one another, siblings being the very first that you somehow have to learn to live with - like it or not.  I intervene in their interactions, but realize that my oldest may need a bit more.  I set a stack of folded tshirts in Jonah's drawer while my oldest puts his own away, take a deep breath, and begin.

In a week that follows the news blowing up about a couple of selfish teens in Stuebenville, I'm caught wondering just how to raise up these children so that they know how to treat others.  That they value love and selflessness and charity above what feels good to them at the moment.  I wonder how to train young men in righteousness and I battle fears about sending my children out into that world, the one that puts self first and tramples others in a relentless pursuit of selfish desires.

It's bigger than all the other parenting roles combined, bigger than the decisions that we agonize over: epidural vs natural, breast vs bottle, homeschool vs traditional.  It's my biggest challenge and my greatest responsibility.  All of that terrifies me and sees me sending pleading prayers heavenward, asking for grace and guidance.  How do I teach, lead, show these little ones that the way down?  That to follow Christ's bloodstained footsteps means to give up on selfish ambition, to forsake the world's version of success and to lower ourselves?  I fumble for the words to explain, because in our world, it's backwards.

"Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed..."

It's about love.  When Jesus gave us his new commandments, we hear it.  To Love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, we must love others.  And loving others rarely comes in a neat package of emotions and pretty pink hearts.  Loving others because we love Him means loving those who don't deserve our love, because none of us deserve His.  It means letting go of our idea of what's "fair" and letting Him handle all of that.  But when you are 9 and your toddler brother gets into your room and dumps legos and your Mama asks you to pick it up, it's hard to see how this could possibly be fair.  How it could possibly be right.  But God tells us to quiet our tongues whipping hard and just do it.  Just serve, humbly, lovingly, righteously.  And that He'll cover the rest.

I tell him that to be all powerful is to be all loving and giving and serving.  Taking and crushing and climbing over others is not the way to greatness, and is a path that will only lead to misery.

It's about loving Him first, that's what drives the loving of others.  When he says "if you love me, you'll keep my commands," we see that.  It's not about others being worthy, but about how worthy He is.  Serving others when the opportunity arises is never a waste of your time, and may just be what He has for you in that moment.  Faith in action is selfless love and I know I forget that, grown as I am.  A constant struggle against humanity, against cultural norms, against my own selfish self.  Yet I keep trying because I know that every word I say, ever action I make, 5 pairs of eyes are watching, taking their cues.

He sits quiet on the bed after picking up hundreds of legos and although he says nothing, I know he's listening...taking it in.  I offer up a prayer of gratitude, for this boy.  This young man who stands next to me in the pew, and speaks confidently his confession of faith, his prayers, his confession, hands clasped and head hung.  He hears and he knows and neither of us will ever get it completely right but I know we're both trying.

Easter is on the horizon, and it will be a long week.  But we know how the story ends.  Maybe that is what matters most of all, and in that we can be confident.  The way up is down and a life of humility is His call on the lives of those who love Him.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:

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  1. 'Just serve'! I need to hear and remember that! I'm afraid that I was a '9 year old', this morning, I think I may have even used the words 'it's not fair' as I picked up yet more spilt toys!
    Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
    Have a great monday.

    1. I am that 9 year old so often! My own words can seem like an indictment on myself. But we still have to raise them, even when we're not perfect ourselves! God bless you day!

  2. I have lurked here for a while and although I'm not sure that I've commented before, I really felt the need to comment today. Such wonderful writing and an awesome reminder for me. Sometimes I forget to be the adult!

    1. Thanks for coming out of hiding, Sara! Thank you <3.

  3. I find it so hard to balance, when I should step in and settle something and when I should remind them of principles but not settle things. It's a constant flex and a daily discipleship on my part and theirs...K


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