Our oldest daughter Emma is on the golf team at her high school this year. She just picked up a club for the first time 2 weeks ago. She came home one day saying she was terrible. When we asked why she felt that way she told us that she swings the club, but doesn’t hit the ball. She hits in front of it, behind it, or over it, but just isn’t connecting.
Parenting feels that way to me sometimes. Gary and I want our girls to know that they were created by a God who loves them. He pursues their hearts, and is always with them – even in those moments when they feel the most alone. We want our girls to learn to be people who love well, are willing to serve others and see others the way God created them to be – not just see the external. We pray that they will value honesty and responsibility and learn to treat others with kindness.
So, we parent… we try to take advantage of moments to teach them these truths. We sometimes plan a time to talk with one or the other of them about something specific, but most often it is just taking advantage of teachable moments. A lot of those moments, though, feel like those missed swings Emma was complaining about. It doesn’t feel like the lesson we are trying to give is hitting its intended mark.
What do I do with that frustration? How do I keep going when it feels like the lessons aren’t sticking? How do I respond when we have to go back to a lesson I thought we had learned already? I stick with it! I keep swinging at the ball, practicing parenting the way God has shown me, even when it feels awkward in the execution.
But there are moments when the truth does connect, like when the girls are saddened by behavior in themselves or others that they recognize will only hurt them. Those are the moments that keep me swinging away.
Gary is doing a great job encouraging Emma! She has come home many days saying how bad she is, but every single time Gary looks at her and says – just keep trying, have fun, don’t worry about how good you are, just enjoy it.
Parenting is perseverance – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Parenting requires you to spend time with the Lord, for it is only His strength and wisdom that will get you through each day. Parenting requires good friends that you can process your own struggles with; women who have gone ahead of you and have been there. Keep swinging away – enjoy the process of parenting – and enjoy your children in that process.
– enjoying the journey!
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.