I read this post on 'Setting Your Course' at Raising Five last week and it has got me thinking. I have been both looking back 10 years and trying to look ahead to the next ten years. Where do I want to be, or more accurately where do I want our family to be?
10 years ago our oldest was three and we were expecting #2 in September. I was huge and hot (not like sexy hot, just huge hot). Fast forward: We now have 5 kiddos. Oldest is 13 and youngest is 1. Although I am not an expert, I have learned a couple things.
I thought I knew a lot about parenting. I tend to be back and white. I thought parenting had a formula and if done correctly would achieve the desired results. ha. Sometimes the formula applied correctly still does not get the desired result. I have come to learn that children actually have a mind and will and will use them. Sometimes creating unwanted behavior.
I thought the first three years were the most critical. ha again. They are all important. And if you ask a child the current moment is the most important.
I thought all good parents produce good kids. Ha. Sometimes bad parents produce good kids and sometimes good parents produce bad kids. This still makes me shake my head in unbelief. I have seen parents who go against every parenting rule and still have great kids and visa versa.
As I look ahead and think of our oldest 10 years from now and 23 (oh my goodness). And our youngest who has yet to speak a sentence or use the toilet and think of her going into 6th grade I am reminded how time flies. Two of our kids will be adults, two teens and one on the brink. I want our family to stand out as one that did not compromise. We held to Christ's standards. We did not cave to the world. We are salt and light and that we bloomed where we were planted. That our family made a difference for Christ in the world. That we touched people's lives and they felt Christ's love through us.
I still like things black and white. Formulas and such. God has given us a guide in His Word. Principals to live by. I have learned that God is creative and these can look different in each family. There is no one perfect formula. We are to train and teach our children the ways of the Lord and He promises to bless that. But children have minds and wills of their own and can make bad choices and choose the wrong path. That is the freedom each of us has.
Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace on this opinionated and judgmental momma.