Friday, September 14, 2018

A Smallness

I was always told as a child, that adults are bigger, smarter. I have this glitch in my brain code telling me that I need to stomp my foot and demand my children listen to me. I need to be bigger and smarter. I am the grown up, I am the mom, I am the person God put in charge of YOU, CHILD!

I hang my head and wag it back and forth while they look at me with wide eyes, and an even wider attempt to completely ignore me.

All talk, Mama.

All puffed up chest, forceful words, arrogant example for the kids I tell not to be arrogant.

Hypocrite, maybe. Poor parenting. Terrible perspective. Defeated. Failing. Unfaithful. Unwise.

Okay, this spiral just hit the bottom and everything's flying. I am trying to grasp my hope, while camping in a parenting fail.

But, when I get here, to this familiar destruction, I am tempted to let go of hope, and fly...maybe run away to apathy or self-centeredness, or book a gazillion girls' nights and maybe a solo vacay somewhere. Honestly, I think a few of those ideas have their very important place, and I might just do at least one girls' night and vacay soon. But, for now, I try to find Truth to suck away this storm, and it's all about looking in the mirror and really seeing the problem.

It's me.

Why me? Don't you respect ME, CHILD? It's all about YOU doing good for ME!

 I've been parenting out of pride, in old patterns, without the truth that's been planted long ago.


All talk, Mama.

I know in my heart, I want better for my children, for me. I have bought into Christ's economy. Small is big. The least of these is the most. The gentle spirit is bold. Love over success. Why do I always need a reminder? But I do. And I sought one today.  I listened to Sharon Hodde Miller, and her words calm my storm and remind me what I want to live for:

"Humility is a smallness we freely choose. It is a glad lowering. It is possessing an identity firmly planted in Christ, which means it has nothing to prove." 

A glad lowering. Not just a lowering, but a glad one. Can I smile again? Can I let these quick blips just be blips and smile with my children again? And can I do if just because it's my God's example, and not try and prove that I am doing it, but that I am able to sit in smallness with lips firmly shut?

No talk, Mama. My kids aren't the only ones going through growing pains. Ouch. Heart growing hurts. But, I know it's worth it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hungry Bellies

I was starving today. I rushed to Target before school pick up, and sat with some cheese and crackers, a bit of fruit, in my lap, ready to devour. This snack is nothing, though. Not a drop in my bucket, really. Just another quick bite of many other quick bites, big bites, hearty meals. 

This is nothing compared to the bags we packed for my son’s fellow schoolmates. No, I just wanted a little something, but those bags were filled with a lot more. Maybe a little everything they would eat over the weekend.

The counselor used words like: insecure, hiding food, storing food from the lunch room, asking for snacks multiple times throughout a school day. Embarrassed. Identified. Hungry. 

These words describe kids that sit next to my well-fed son. These kids walk the halls of a school filled with Nikes, Jansport, iPads, Organic lunches, Non-GMO snacks, braces, retainers, clean clothes...and all they want is something in their belly.

I am the first one to say that I am thankful for all I can give my kids, and I know that I take it for granted too much. But, I nearly lost it today at the matter-of-fact explanation of our target recipients of the sacks of Mac n cheese and granola bars. I could hardly keep it together.
These are babies. 
And they are hungry. 
And it IS up to those of us given much to care for them—no matter what. No matter background or bias.

Thank GOD for schools, counselors, teachers, administrations who must step in for the parents who just can’t give good things to their children—whatever their reason—because there is no reason NO EXCUSE that one child in this country should wonder how they will eat on a weekend.

Not one.