Not Slaves: Teach Them That They're Free

*Reflections from a conversation with a friend earlier today

Motherhood is everything I thought it would be but more. I thought it would be fun; it's way more fun than I imagined. I thought it would be challenging; it's far more challenging than I ever could've guessed. I thought it would be sweet and precious and a million other things, and it's all those things in a bigger, more kind of way than I ever dreamed.

Often times I look at my life and think wow! I am living the dream! And I am. But I also have a lot of moments when I look at my life and think wow; I am royally screwing this up. And these little people? They're the ones who will suffer the most.

You know those moments. The moments when your toddler just won't listen and you either 1) lose patience and allow frustration to set the tone or 2) blame yourself thinking things like She's not listening. It must be because I'm not consistent enough or stern enough or attentive enough. It must be my fault. And then there are the moments when you can't do anything without someone crying. And the moments when someone falls and scrapes their knee, and you know deep in your momma-heart that, had you been paying just a little closer attention they wouldn't have fallen. And the moments when you're so overwhelmed by the dishes and the laundry and the needy little arms clinging to your leg and the crumbs from last night's supper that you still haven't gotten around to sweeping up and the empty pantry because you haven't gone shopping yet this week and the voice inside your head saying Keep up! Do better! You're not tired! You don't deserve to nap today. Look at that mom over there; she has everything together; be like her! And go to the gym, why don't ya? If you want those last few pounds of baby weight to disappear you should probably go run or swim or BOTH and lay off the chocolate chip stash.... And on it goes.

Those moments can drown us.

But there's is so much more to life, to wife and motherhood, than these to-do lists and comparisons!

We've been listening to this CD non-stop since Christmas. It's so good. The last song is our favorite, and we've listened to it and sung it so much that Afton has it memorized. I didn't realize it until recently, though.

It was one of those I'm-a-failure days, and Afton all of a sudden started singing, "Whoa, whoa whoa ohhh ohh. Whoa ohh oh oh oh!! You split a sea and walk fruuuu it! Dwownin loooove. And I sing am a child o'God. Noooo a slave a fear. Ammmm a child o'God." And it hit me in that moment. Maybe I'm not messing it all up quite as badly as I thought. And I'm wiling to bet that you aren't either. Because, you know what? If our kids get that, nothing can stop them.

How may chains will they be able to avoid altogether if they know from early on that they are NOT slaves. That they ARE children of God. How much pain and heartache and insecurity can they avoid if they know their identity?

So yes, let's teach them to listen and to be kind and all those other things we, as parents, want our children to know. But, above all, let's show them their own identity. Because all the rest stems from that, anyway.