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Not a perfect parent

February 2nd, 2009

It’s still hard for me to believe that my son turned 21 a couple of weeks ago! It is true what they say, children DO grow up fast!

Time crawled when my kids were babies when all I saw were dirty diapers and midnight feedings. But time, though it may have seemed slow, does not stand still. Its pace quickened through the years.

The last few teenage years of my son just zoomed by.  Unlike the family portrait on my wall taken 13 years ago that still picture my kids with chubby cheeks, my children have grown and changed.

Did I make the most of those years? Did I raise my son right? Will he make good choices? Have I taught him enough to navigate the challenges of life that he will surely face?

I’ve made my share of mistakes. My son as my firstborn got the brunt of my blunders. I probably expected too much of him, yelled at him too harshly, misunderstood him and insensitive to his needs. There is no way to rewind, edit, and re-do.

Yet, I thank God that at age 21, my son makes me proud. He’s more than what I hoped him to be. He has a kind heart for people, he has aspirations for his future, and he is keeping in step in his walk with Jesus.

I may have done some things right, but knowing my own shortcomings, I cannot give myself too much credit. Each time I write a post here on this site, I search my past experiences to share with you something I’ve learned about raising my children. But just when I think I’ve got some nuggets of wisdom to impart, I am at the same time humbled by how little I know.

If there is one thing I did that served my children well, it is the acknowledgment of my inadequacies that drives me to my dependence on God. I prayed for my children, for myself and my husband. I prayed for God to work in our lives, that he would cover our backs, that in his mercy, he makes right what we’ve done wrong.

Just yesterday I was talking with my friend who has children about the same ages as mine. She has 4 boys, bless her, and our kids grew up together. We both acknowledged that without prayer and God’s help, we could not have survived all these years as moms.

So here is my bit of wisdom today – God is our only hope.

The job of parenting is too large for the best of us. You will make some bad decisions. You’ll say the wrong thing. You’ll be unfair, unkind, and uncool.

The only chance we have of turning out good kids is to humble ourselves and acknowledge that no amount of books or blogs can make us perfect parents.  When we turn to Jesus for help, he is ready, willing and able to fill in all the missing pieces. He is the only one who loves my children more than I do. He knows best, and He will not disappoint.

Photo by mufan96

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