I didn’t intend to include this in my series, but this morning I found it needed to be here.

Confession: The more I look at yesterday’s post, the more I can see that there is pride in the way I wrote about humility.

There is pride in having a life that looks good, a life that is put together. There is pride in being looked to as an example: the family who advises and prays for other families, the family whose children sit in a nice row in church and open the hymn books to the right page. There is pride in being the poster child of Christian parenting.

Humility is born only of incredible pain. But I have come to see that it is Mercy when you face your unraveling early in life instead of late.

Maybe that was me poking at the put-together families, the ones who can hold it together and ace it and look good. I can see some bitterness in my soul about that. There is nothing wrong with being a good family, with raising your children successfully in holiness. That is our goal. And if you are raising children who are turning out as you imagined, I want to bless your family, not undermine it. Forgive me.

The back story is that I grew up in a family that was looked to as an example. We faced our grief and unraveling late, and as a daughter and a mother (simultaneously) I was devastated when I came to grips with the fact that I could not prevent the same pain from repeating itself in the family I was raising. I love the family I was born into and have great respect for how my parents raised us. Like them, I have had to discover that no amount of my best parenting will protect my children from the dangerous, exhilarating, abusable, God-given power to choose.

My children’s virtue is a good aim. When my children’s virtue is about making me look good, I am in the wrong. From this posture I wrote, but with mixed and confusing motives. I could feel but not pinpoint them.

I see there can be a heart that is proud of being broken, a heart that looks at the proud people and is so glad it is not like them.

About this I am talking to Jesus, and for it I am so sorry.

– Shari

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6 years ago

Bless you, dear!

A sister
6 years ago

I need to be talking about this to Jesus also. Thank you for this.
(I do believe you had right motives and desires in what you were trying to say and where you are headed in life- even tho I don’t know you personally. :))

6 years ago

Thank you, Shari, for sharing on these “eggshell” topics of difficult children n the parenting challenges that go with them. Thank you for your openness n vulnerability n humility! May God bless u richly!
I know about wanting to b a family that looks put together! ? I hope that God will bring me to a place of humility b4 Him alone. This can b asking something scary humanly speaking?
I think I used to have the idea that parents whose child threw a tantrum in the grocery store were not giving the child the training they need at home; sometimes this may b the case. But I also know about the “trying at home but still facing tantrum situations in public”.
We have faced difficult to diagnose behaviour patterns with one of our children, n now I’m facing the strong-willed 2’s (almost 3’s) with another one. Then the one year old is beginning to exhibit a will as well. Stretching, challenging, painful, but hopefully in it all, growing experiences.

6 years ago

Thank you for this. It makes all of us look a little more closely at our own hearts, wherever we are in this journey.

Sharon Yoder
6 years ago

I feel tears. . .sending you a hug. I feel so privileged to know you, Shari.

6 years ago

Thanks, Shari for being vulnerable and honest enough to apologize. You help me look at my own life and weed out the areas of pride.

You shared so much truth – in both posts. My parents are one of those who others ask advice since it looks like their children turned out well. And my dad is quick to say that it is only because of God’s grace. And that gives me hope for my own family. My parents did a lot of things right in parenting- but they were human with their faults as well. My idea of being a perfect parent were knocked out of my head by my strong-willed firstborn’s first birthday. I now know that I have failed so miserably that only God’s grace will hold my children close to Him.

Keep sharing, sister.

6 years ago

Your heart and words are beautiful, here’s a hug from Kansas!

L. Baer
6 years ago

Hugs… I’ve been there so often, and no doubt will again.
But this keeps me trying… “Our children learn more about the grace of God from the way we respond to failure than they do from our perfections.” ( I don’t know who to credit for that.)

6 years ago

Seems there is always that blog post that causes a hitherto silent reader to make her first comment. This is mine . . . and I can’t even put into words why, other than this got to me.

6 years ago

“Impossible children” (and child rearing in general) is a hard subject to write on, and I’m grateful you are writing on it anyway. Thanks for diving in, and also for making a course correction when needed.

6 years ago

If it’s any comfort, I’m with you in the bitterness camp. Not that I want to be or am proud of it, but yes, I’ve looked at other families who actually look like they’re pulling it off, and humphed softly under my breath.

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