Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Speaking Of Shrinking Worlds

In yesterday's post, I wrote "Her world is so large and unusual. But I get to be the one who shrinks it when needed, making it common and comfortable." Which somehow led me to these scrambled thoughts.

I cut up vibrant, vitamin-rich veggies and juicy, jewel-toned fruits for my daughters to snack on. To fill up their hunger and feed their growing bodies, I provide healthy bits of food - lovingly prepared - in hopes that they will grow strong and vibrant and healthy themselves.

I read stories without ceasing - happily so. Modulating my voice to convey emotions and images that seep into the minds of my sweet girls, I fill them up with these moments. I wish with all the might in my soul that they will come to love reading and revel in the mystery of pages yet unturned. That they will delight in discovering knowledge.

My husband and I are a team that steers them onto safe, well-lit paths lined with protection and guidance, and - as much as it is possible for parents to do so - we decide what is best for them. Putting in hours of thought and agonizing over the details of every disciplinary choice, we pray that we are raising them right. We do our very best to make sure they are being led in the ways of charity and kindness; wondering if they follow for understanding reasons, or simply to avoid punishment.

We speak softly of God's love, elaborating when questions are asked. We weave a foundation of faith, hoping that it will raise them to lofty heights in a relationship with the One who loves them more fully than even we as parents are capable of doing. Showing them with our lives and relationships how to give God's love back to everyone we encounter, we try to be more faithful followers. And when our children recognize our weaknesses - for surely they will - we hope they're learning to understand that faith is a journey.

But I also worry. I second-guess. I blame myself for every misstep they make. I blame myself for not knowing how to do everything right.

I wonder: does any of this translate into a guarantee of a happy, confident, faithful life for them? How can all of the love pouring out of my hands and mouth and heart not be enough to know - really know - that they won't hate me when they're older? That they won't merge into the world as completely different people from the children we thought we were raising.

I wonder.

I worry.

Yet, I continue on my path - happily so. What else is there to do, after all, but to raise my children with joy?

14 comments:

  1. You writing is so beautiful. And your mothering too... :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart, dear friend.

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  3. A beautiful post indeed; well-said, Sarah.

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  4. My mind went immediately to this verse as I was reading your post (beautiful by the way)
    Ps. 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it...."
    Isn't it comforting to KNOW that God will use US to mold his children...humbling :)

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  5. The worry seems to come attachced with the parenting.
    There are no guarentees and it is a bit freaky. But you are so right, the joy they bring is worth the worry.

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  6. Sarah! I think we had teh same thoughts today. I will admit yours is more beautifully written. Yes, I worry all the time, over everything! Raise them in joy, girl!

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  7. Sarah, that's a pretty great description of motherhood, if you ask me. I really don't think you need to worry at all because of the type of mother you are to your girls.

    You might be interested in a book that I found encouraging, "You're a Better Parent Than You Think!" by Dr. Ray Guarendi. I got my (used) copy for a few cents from amazon!

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  8. Oh, p.s., all his books are great. "Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime" was another big help for me.

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  9. What a touching post. I love seeing these glimpses of you. And I agree, it's hard to know--really know--that you're giving everything you can to motherhood, but not to know if it's enough. There are so many things that can derail our children in this world, but I think you're providing your girls with the best protection because, as you said, you're raising them with joy. Thanks for another reminder that as different as our lives may be, we're all in this together.

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  10. This is beautifully written (as always). It's hard, as a parent, to recognize that our children are willful human beings who will eventually make their own choices regarding what they've been taught -- and because WE are not in control, there is a possibility that despite our best efforts, they might choose at some point to go astray. I'm so thankful that God tells us that "HIS power is made perfect in OUR weakness." I know He's in control, it's just relinquising it to Him that is a constant struggle.

    I just finished reading a FANTASTIC book called The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. It is one of the best books on parenting specifically geared towards mothers, that I have ever read. And since I know you like to read, I thought I'd recommend it!

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  11. i wonder and worry all the time too about my kids. thats our job as moms.

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  12. That's exactly how I feel too. Pretty much all the time.

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  13. You're awesome! You make me excited about having kids!

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  14. God has trusted you with such special, precious little people because he knows you can do it. Mia and Lauren are some lucky little girls...they hit the parent jackpot, so to speak!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?