Now, since this is a public blog, and since MOTY’s NEVER blogflog their children..I will not reveal any of their minor deficiencies…In fact, some people (like their grandparents) think my children ARE the children-of-the-year, and I don’t want to disillusion them.
I just want to go back to Monday’s post and say that when we burn the harsh measuring sticks we use for ourselves, and begin to view our mothering through the lens of the gospel, our kids notice. If I am truly convinced that the gospel asserts that, while I am “… much worse off than I ever imagined,” I am also “far more loved than I ever believed,” my children live out of that belief too.
Instead of measuring themselves by grades, popularity, ability to keep their rooms clean (my kids certainly never had any desire to win that award!), or general capacity to walk through life neither erring nor sinning, they begin to live out of the freedom of their righteousness in Christ.
That’s a mouthful for a little or a big kid, so what does that look like in daily, lived reality?
Two vignettes from yesterday. Three of my children are traveling, two on choir tour, one on her way to London via Philadelphia for 6 weeks on a missions internship (PLEASE NOTE: Highly acceptable, SUPERCHRISTIAN activities for COTY candidates!).
Around lunchtime, I received a text from my youngest son. Did you know fifteen words on a glassy screen can crack through with the author’s pain? He wrote: “Mom, I don’t know what to do. I’m always losing SOMEthing. And my wallet isn’t in my carry on. I feel so bad.” So there he was on a bus from Phoenix to L.A. hoping his wallet was in his suitcase under the bus, but feeling pretty low about himself.
My response: Okay, We’ll pray. Dear God, let Robert’s wallet be found. And comfort Robert.
Second text: “Robert, worse case, we lost some money and a learner’s license [yes, careful reader, the same one that nearly put me under trying to help him procure.]. It’s not like you hurt someone. “
I won’t take you through the whole conversation, but his next text said, “Thanks, I feel better.” (Followed by a little bit of self-condemnation about irresponsibility.) I reminded him that he is responsible in the things that matter (I know, people reading this who know Robert are stunned at the thought Robert could be ‘irresponsible.’ Others, like his 5th grade teacher, know how much recovery he has made in certain arenas.)
Okay, I am running out of time and space (given the average reader will read at most, half a screen☺), so I’m going to write part 2 tomorrow. Let me end here by preaching the gospel to myself and to you.
What should I have done? Let him know that he just can’t make mistakes like these because the next one might be much more costly? Or reminded him that God shows unlimited grace for mistakes and infinite mercy toward our sins.? If I don’t believe this for myself, can my kids believe it for themselves? I am a recovering judge, my self-critique the harshest, and my children have heard me say, “How could I be so stupid?!” But they have also heard me say, “Yes, you’re right, it was just a mistake. Let’s see how God redeems.”
More tomorrow on how that kind of thinking really does groom them to be “Children-of-the-Year.”