Monday, July 29, 2013

Holes

It's Monday, so it's time for this week's Mommy Moment!




I learned an important lesson this weekend: empty holes can be quite dangerous, no matter how shallow they are.

How did I learn this, you ask?  Well, I certainly DIDN'T learn it through observation.  Nope, I got to learn this one through good old personal experience. 

My kiddos dug a hole in the back yard early this spring while I was preparing my garden.  (You know where this is going already, don't you??) They were looking for worms and having quite the good time.  Knowing that I couldn't just leave an empty hole out in my yard, I filled it in with extra potting soil when I re-potted my plants on the front porch.  Assuming the job to be done, I promptly forgot about the hole.

Until I was out picking through my cucumber vines a few nights ago, looking for hidden fruits among the leaves.  (Now you're quite certain where I'm headed, aren't you?) Having searched them all out, I proceeded to jump over the last few vines so as not to step on them.  The dirt I had poured into the hole had settled during our recent rains and left about an inch-and-a-half indentation in the ground.

And my foot found it. (You were right!)

I heard something snap on the way to the ground, so I decided that I would just stay down for a few minutes.  My oldest son went tearing into the house shouting, "MOM JUST BROKE HER ANKLE!"  Which of course brought my husband running back out looking a little panicked.

I am happy to say that it is NOT broken, only sprained (although I am told recovery would actually be quicker if I had broken it!), and I am resigned to a couple of days with an air cast and a pair of crutches. 

Lesson learned: holes, even shallow ones, can be dangerous and painful.

But what in the world does this have to do with parenting?  (Besides the fact that I should make sure my children dig in the sand box and not my back yard from now on...)

Well, I've been thinking lately about how intentional I have been (or not been) with my children.  I've focused a lot of attention on trying to teach them to act and speak with kindness, to eat right and exercise, to pick up after themselves, to be obedient without complaining.  My husband and I have struggled over decisions regarding their education.  We want to do whatever we can to ensure that they will be equipped for life outside our home, and we want them to embrace the morals and values that are close to our hearts.  All very good things.

And then I started thinking about some things that we HAVEN'T been teaching them, especially our oldest, who is an almost-thirteen-year-old boy.  Things like a proper approach to his sexuality.  Or why drugs and alcohol are so bad for us.  Or how to treat women and girls with gentility.  And I started to get overwhelmed.

You mean I have to teach them all of THAT, too?

Sigh.

And this is what God has reminded me: It doesn't matter what or how much I teach my kids, there will always be holes.  I can try to fill those holes with every ounce of wisdom I can obtain, but things will always settle and still leave an emptiness.

And as I (and my ankle) have proven, holes can be dangerous, because they create instability and unsure footing.  The "holes" I leave in what I  instill in my children may just be the inlet that Satan needs to lead them away from the life and the Lord that I so want them to know.

And then it hit me: The reason there are such deep holes in who my children are, compared to who I long for them to be, is that I am still standing on my feet trying to do this by myself.  Oh, sure...Scott and I are doing this together.

But we're both still on our feet when we should be on our knees.

God, the Perfect Father, is more than able to fill in those gaps that we as earthly parents leave in our children.  But we have to surrender control to Him and allow Him to get to work.  We've got to get down on our knees in prayer for our kids.  

And trust me, hitting the ground on purpose is MUCH less painful than ending up there after you've stepped in a hole.

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." -- Provers 22:6

 Check out this resource from Circle of Moms: Scriptures to Pray Over Your Children

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