There is something within me that keeps nudging me to write this post. Part of me doesn't want to because I don't want to sound self righteous and sanctimonous. The truth is, I write this with great humility becuase it comes from failure on my part. I am still desperately scrambling to learn this lesson in order to give my children the best childhood and upbringing I can.
I am sure you have all heared the saying, "If momma ain't happy, then nobody is happy." It really is true. Now I understand many people read it to say, then everybody better tow the line and walk on eggshells to ensure momma's happiness. But I read it, for me, to say momma you better get your act together, practice good self care, and understand the power your mood and mindset can have on your precious family. It can spread peace and warmth or it can wreak horrible havoc.
So what is the key to this? I think we have to lead an examine life. We have to be willing to peel back the layers and deal with the hard issues in ourselves so we don't blindly pass on our baggage and issues to our children. Seriously, if you refuse to deal with your issues and insist to practice the same broken behavior over and over again, how can you expect your children to do better? And isn't that insane to practice the same behavior over and over expecting a different outcome?
This post may be all over the place because it is swirling in my head. A few exampled leap to mind, self image and fear. I think these are biggies we pass on to our children and don't even know we are doing it.
I have met so many women who hate themselves. Listen to them and they will tell you. They are fat, stupid, lazy, worthless, pond scum really. Sometimes they will tell you outright. Sometimes it is in their "jokes". However they express it they are seriously in pain and are hurting so badly. Look at their precious faces. They are silently screaming for help but in their hearts they believe they are too worthless to be bothered with. They don't deserve to be healed and whole. They don't matter. I have seen these same women shocked and heart broken becasue their 9 year old daughters have started to repeat their self speak. They honestly cannot understand why their children would think such horrible things. They do not understand that as the mother, they are a role model and their children take most of their cues from momma. Mommas who hate themselves inadvertently teach their babies to hate themselves. It is heartbreaking.
The other thing is shame and fear. How many of deal with shame and fear? More than we would like to believe. How many examples do we give our children that life is a mean, scary, horrible place and it is better to never reach for the stars because you "might" fail. Instead of teaching our children that failure can be an amazing teacher or staring your fears in the face and overcoming it with determination, we teach them to hide and whatever you do, don't put yourself out there. You might get hurt. Are we truly willing to sacrifice joy, adventure, empowerment, and freedom because we "might" get hurt? Is that what we want to teach our children? To live a life of quiet desperation? That is better than rejection and possible failure?
John and I made a committment about many things when we first held our precious Hannah. There she lay, so warm and cuddled in my arms with her life stretching out before her. In that moment, we knew that we wanted to parent very differently than the norm. We knew we would fly in the face of many of the mainstream mainstays. We knew it would be hard but oh my, we didn't know it would be this hard.
You see, we are determined to raise children that are strong, independent, courageous, passionate, and willing to strike out on their own when they determine it is right for them. We pray they will love God and others fiercely and passionately. Throughout scripture we are command to do this and we are determine to raise our children to do just that. But you see, in order to do this, it means we have to get ourselves straightened out just a bit. (Hello, understatement party of one?) It means I have to face my fears, my baggage, my brokenness. I have to be painfully real and honest and not hide behind self-saving lies and niceties. It means I have to brook confusion and thoughts that do not have black and white answers but are filled to overflowing with murky shades of gray. It means I have to do the hard work and sometimes reopen a horrific painful wound so the puss and vileness can be cleansed and God can then heal me cleanly. We didn't know it would be this hard. But it is.
I have been struggling lately. Not with my faith per say because I believe wholeheartedly in God and in Christ. But there were other things, man made religiousthings really. Our church has just started a very long series on doctrine. Something within the first sermon filled my heart with purpose and understanding. It was stated that there are three types of doctrine, primary, secondary, and tertiary and it is primary doctrine that is really important. Don't let secondary and tertiary get you off balance becasue they are, in essence, debatable. It is primary that matters the most. For me that can be summed up with our life verse, I guess you could call it, Love God with EVERYTHING you have and love your neighbor (everybody not you) as yourself. Oh, and that means you better love yourself too.
So here is where I am, learning, delving, being in pain and joy. I ordered a couple of the books that is going along with the series. I also ordered a devotional from Tozer. I love Tozer. His writing speak directly to my heart. It should be here by Monday and I very much want it! I am going to spend the next several months refocusing on the primary doctrine of Christianity, my place in God's love, and whatever issues may stand in the way of God using me both within my family and elsewhere.
So momma understand, you really do set do set the tone for you home, your children, for life. It is so important for you to find peace and equilibrium. Don't be afraid of the hard work you will have to do to get there. It will be worth it. I promise.