Friday, February 26, 2010

Profound Responsibility

A few weeks ago, just before her half birthday, Kenly discovered my shoes in the living room. Seeing them in a whole new light, Kenly sat down and decided to wear "Mama shoes." She spent nearly half and hour walking around in my shoes. At first, I just saw it as cute, and then the symbolism near took my breath away. Here I was laughing at her stumbling around in my shoes, at her clumsy resolve to be just like mama, when the profound responsibly of that statement nearly brought on a panic attack. I want to be a woman worthy of imitation, a woman who blazes a trail through life's darkest places with the light of God's grace. But oh the failure I've faced so many times. Since that day, a Steve Green song has been ever present in my mind, a soundbite on a repeating loop.

The song is call Find Us Faithful. Someone a LRBC sang is religiously when I was a mere babe.
The words are powerful. Read a few of them for yourself.

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover
And the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them
To the road we each must find

As I watched her try to be like me, I had to whisper a silent prayer to be a woman worthy of imitation. Then scripture started coming to mind.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way she should go, and when she is old she will not turn from it." So I started thinking about what it meant to train Kenly. Sure, I'll potty train her. I'll teach her the ABC and her 123's. But to truly train a child is a daily battle. The dictionary say that to train a person is "to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior by discipline and instruction." With training comes discipline, and with discipline comes frustration and sometimes anger. Little Kenly Shae is a cherub most of the time, but when she digs her heels in, we go to war. I pick important battle that involve safety and respect, but sometimes I feel as if I'm always training, or nagging to use a less positive word. The nagging aspect of parenthood brings me to another verse that keeps bouncing around in the recesses of my mind like an out of control rubber ball. Remember Ephesians 6:4? If not, it says, "Fathers (mothers), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Where is the line between training and exasperating?
I know that I'm going to be praying without ceasing to keep the balance between training and exasperating. The last few verses that have been "after me" the past few weeks are Deuteronomy 6:6-8--These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. I want my faith to be evident to Kenly. Not just on Sundays. I want it to be a part of my daily fiber. My heart thrills to hear her sing Jesus Loves Me. I love that she wants to hear more of Jesus Loves the Little Children. I smile when she says, "More chillrun." When we sit down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I find it precious that she tries with all her might to sing God Our Father. I love to hear her mimic my amen when I'm praying over her during a bad night, but I want more. I want her to feel God's power and presence when she can't wrap her arms around Him. I want her faith to surpass anything I could imagine. But I fear that my example will keep her from great faith. How often do I snatch things back from God? How often do I rely on my own strength?

So watching her walk around made me realize that I want to be a better person. I want to blaze a trail I'd be proud for Kenly to follow. So, Deuteronomy 4:9 is going to be my prayer.
"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."


Help me to be careful. Help me to teach Kenly about the amazing things I've seen you do in my life. Help me to a good example to follow. Help me to lean on you for the strength to train without exasperating. Thank you for the awesome privilege of carrying the weight of responsibility that comes with the title of mama.


1 comment:

Matthew said...

I think you pretty much nailed every worry and fear that I have had with raising Joshua. It is truely an awesome responsibility that our Heavenly Father gives to us. I am constantly aware of my failures and pray that God would not let those negatively impact Joshua. But don't forget to truely enjoy those moments of cuteness. I love watching Joshua do similar things.