Nothing, and I mean nothing in my life, has been harder than being a parent. From when they are little and you feel your own heart beating outside your chest, you watch their every breath and meet their every need just waiting for a smile, a hug, a sloppy-wet kiss...to as they grow and you want to go all Mamabear on the kids who dare hurt them, throw out every computer from your house to protect them, and tug out your hair because everything you say seems to meet an eye roll.
I long ago made up my mind that my first priority was not being my children's friend. I cannot be that and also parent them to become who God created them to be. I can be their biggest champion, their source of bottomless love, their protector here on earth, their imperfect role model and hopefully the beacon that points them to God...but I cannot be their friend.
I don't like it. Not one bit. And that surprises me. See, while I knew parenting was going to be hard, I hadn't experienced it. Head knowledge and knowledge from the trenches is proving to be two different things entirely. It's enough to take a mom out!
Luckily, I serve a God who knows every emotion rolling through me before I even experience it. I serve a God who is my biggest champion, my source of bottomless love, my protector and perfect role model. A God who has equipped me and who only grows stronger in my weakness...because let me tell you, parenting has dragged out every single one of them for display.
So, today--because I know I'm not the only one in these trenches--I want to encourage you. Pray daily. It's a powerful weapon. Love. Laugh. Tuck into God when the going gets tough...I find my bedroom closet makes a perfect prayer closet:) You are not parenting alone. You are not parenting on your own strength. You will make mistakes. You will feel overwhelmed. You will get things wrong. But God's mercies are new with every breath of forgiveness. Your children want to see real, and--as much as it gets you eyerolls and heavy sighs--they need boundaries. Crave them. (even though they don't know it, lol).