“But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect through weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 1 Corinthians 12:9-10.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,‘ Zechariah 4:6
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
I was not, nor will I ever be, ready to be a parent. Whenever I feel as though I am starting to get the hang of it, my heart and mouth spew out impatient anger or ignore that little foolishness and defiance one time too many and I fail myself, my kids — and the Lord.
I’ve been particularly concerned about my oldest these days. She’s shifted out of her preschool years and into her young childhood imperceptibly this last year or so. I am so proud of her, but I see within her a reflection of myself sometimes … My self-righteousness. Inclination to judge others while completely ignoring my own wrongdoing. Vanity. Exclusion of others. The world is this child’s to conquer and she has all the right stuff to do it — but I desperately don’t want her to conquer and achieve in the world’s economy while utterly failing to understand, appreciate and welcome her place in God’s economy.
So, as we approached registration for kindergarten, I panicked. What had I been doing this entire 5 years she has been with me nearly every minute of her life? Had I trained her to make wise decisions choosing her friends? Had I impressed upon her that the heart of her actions is what really counts, not merely the level of outward obedience? Is she kind and loving?
I thought that, perhaps, the best thing to do would be to keep her home for another year. Or, at least only send her to half-day kindergarten — so that I could have more control over her circumstances than full-day kindergarten. Particularly in light of the fact that our smallest baby boy is due in August. How could I possibly keep track of what was going on with Jubilee in school in a sleep-deprived zombie state?
I still haven’t — Kagan and I still haven’t — decided which schooling option is the best for her. But I see now, how some of my concerns were utterly foolish. I cannot know everything that is going on in my child’s heart. I cannot shield her from making wrong decisions — I cannot even shield myself from that! God can use my weakness. Me being weak is what He needs to do His best work in me, because then I am out of the way and He can truly be my power and strength. That I am so arrogant to feel that my best mothering is done in times I feel good and am making wise decisions shows how little I tend to trust Him day to day.
What if my best mothering occurs by God’s grace? Sampson was the strongest man on earth — but it wasn’t ever because of anything He did — it was because God caused his strength to grow as his hair grew! What if my best moments as a mom are those which occur by ‘dumb luck’ (aka, God’s engineering and nothing of my own).
I think this might just be so; so, give me Jesus.