Monday, January 14, 2008

On painting my son's room

It's been "Design on Dime" around here, at least in terms of my second son's bedroom. We ordered a new quilt from my new favorite place for bargains, Overstocks.com, and I've spent a couple of days painting. Gone are the little boy soccer ball, football and basketball stencils and in their place is now a nice shade of khaki.

It was all my idea. My son would have never complained, not in a million years. But one day I was despositing a stack of laundry for him to put up and I realized his room was slightly on the side of little boy-ish, and not so much almost teenager-ish.

How does that happen? This particular room has been home to three of my four sons over the years. It has housed a crib for a baby, it's been decorated in cars and trucks for a toddler, it's been stenciled in various sports balls for my little boy now no longer a little boy.

I'm not overly sentimental, but I will admit to some degree of nostalgia. It's amazing to me how quickly time really does fly. When in the throes of baby and toddlerhood, I thought that stage would never end. But it did, and far sooner than I thought.

A part of me misses it, misses my boys being little boys. Parenting then was less complicated, or so it seems from this vantage point. Parenting here at the 13 (almost 14), 12, 10 and 8 year old stage is hard and busy and exhausting and not so cut and dried. Complicated, to say the very least.

How I beg God for wisdom in this impossible task of parenting. How I pray for my boys, that they will love the Lord Jesus with the surrender of their lives to His purpose and pleasure, and that God will mold them into the image of Christ. I pray they will be bold witnesses of the glory of God and that they will know that there is far more to this life than being popular or having the right stuff or being athletic or tall.

I ask the same for myself. I see the poor example of faith I demonstrate for my children. I see my weak witness and my propensity to discontent and my desire for the material things of this world. I am often angry and impatient and stressed, and I fear the hypocrite in me.

Parenting is impossible, yes. I cannot be the mother my boys need. I am asked how I do it, particularly when we would go the grocery store when the boys were small. As I reflect on how it was, four young boys hanging on the grocery cart and one mom, weary and worn out, I wonder myself how I did it!

My answer is usually this: It's just God's grace.

Sometimes I have wished for a better answer, one that sounds more like I have it all together, one that sounds more like victory and less like defeat.

But here's the deal: I cannot do this. It is just God's grace. Just Him, not me. It's only through the strength and power and ability of His Spirit that I can do the all things He has called me to do. I must rely on Him, on His mercy, on His provision, on His wisdom. Daily. Hourly.

What a privilege, what a responsibility to be a mom, to raise a generation of men in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This I know: I will fail, my God will not. All that is of eternal value is of Him, and not me.

11 comments:

  1. Time does fly, doesn't it? It's always baffled me how days & weeks can creep yet months & years can fly.

    One of the hardest aspects of parenting for me to adjust to was the lack of immediate feedback. In my job, I always saw results and also had that yearly performance appraisal. With my kids, the results won't be known for years! But that teaches me to trust Him for the results, and it takes the pressure off of me.

    You are so right - whatever is of eternal value is of Him and not me!

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  2. My Friend....you know me - I read this and cried...those passages, even the removal of the GI Joe's makes me VERY sad...and you are so right when our boys were babies - life was simpler, even though at the time it did not seem that way....I think that it takes a village and to that end I am praying with you that our boys will grow into Godly men...I am not always the Mom that G needs and I know that, but I certainly do want to be and for that guidance, I am turning to God for strength, wisdom and sometimes endurance, lots of endurance...I am no Spring chicken...ha...

    I love you and I thank you for the influence that you and R have had on my precious boy...Your No. 2 is quite the charmer and he has won the heart of this ol gal....(he even lets me hug on him - I love it!!)I know that he will enjoy his new digs....

    MdA

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  3. This is an encouragement to me that all the everyday, seemingly unimportant stuff I do has eternal value in the light of His grace.

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  4. I SO understand and often lament the same woes at my blog. With my 4 sons ( ages 18,16,13, and 12) I can really relate. Unfortunately one of their bedrooms still has a firetruck border around the top of their wall. I am blessed that they don't care! I so agree that parenting is far more complicated. http://ruweary2.blogspot.com/2008/01/from-potty-training-to-wisdom-teeth-it.html I enjoy commiserating with you!

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  5. I am a mother of three boys ages 10 (in 6 days), 8.5 and 6.5. Just today while the Lord and I shared some quiet moments He reminded me that He alone is my strength. He has my boys' best interest at heart and to trust Him in all things. Something I seem to need to hear all the time. :) It is such an honor to raise mighty warriors for our Lord. Thank you for sharing Lisa. I enjoy your blog so much. I feel as though I am a few steps behind you in regards to our boys' ages. Like you, I am not that sentimental but with my oldest turning 10, double digits(!) has caused me to slow down and take a fresh look around.

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  6. I need this today. Thank you. :-)

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  7. Lisa,
    I need to read this again...

    I have been so reflective lately of my role as mom to my kids and this place we have before the Lord.

    I am facilitating a DVD class at our church on "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp, which is forcing me into this place. I read the book 10 years ago when my three oldest were 6, 3, and 1. A lot has changed since then, and therefore this book has new meaning as I look at a 16, 12 (almost 13), 11, 7 and 3 year old.

    As usual, excellent post!

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  8. Lisa, I cannot imagin a better Godly example for a child than you and R. I often look to you for motivation when I become overwhelmed with the thoughts of our third. I am positive your boys see Jesus through you and it is my hope that one day, my children will be able to say the same. I'm so glad my God is there, I too could not do it without Him.

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  9. I totally relate to this Lisa! I know it is only by the grace of God. Sometimes I feel totally inadequate and yet God is there and at work in their hearts in spite of me. Praise God.

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  10. I am a mother of three boys ages 10 (in 6 days), 8.5 and 6.5. Just today while the Lord and I shared some quiet moments He reminded me that He alone is my strength. He has my boys' best interest at heart and to trust Him in all things. Something I seem to need to hear all the time. :) It is such an honor to raise mighty warriors for our Lord. Thank you for sharing Lisa. I enjoy your blog so much. I feel as though I am a few steps behind you in regards to our boys' ages. Like you, I am not that sentimental but with my oldest turning 10, double digits(!) has caused me to slow down and take a fresh look around.

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  11. I need this today. Thank you. :-)

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