Ida Fischer: 100% Qualified

48URC0M7Y2There are always moments as a parent when your shortcomings and weaknesses seem to overshadow the good you do. And sometimes it feels like a child’s actions are meant purely to drive you over the edge, push you to your outer limits where patience and kind words seem very, very far away. It feels so hard to react in a way that builds up, that shows love, when you yourself are at your wit’s end. At moments like these you might pause, eyes wide in fear and awful revelation: ‘Oh (mild expletive). I’m a bad parent. I’m ruining my kid.’ But you aren’t. Really. You are absolutely and by all means the very best parent out there for your children and here’s why:

You put in the time.

It’s as simple as that. That adrenaline loaded moment of pure ecstasy when your wide awake new born gazes up into your eyes passes, or that euphoric moment when you hold your adoptive son or daughter for the first time, and then it starts: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of blood sweat and tears. Sure, you might return to work but mentally you are still 100% on duty. You are the one that gets to know every weird little tick and tendency. You can differentiate cries in the night. Cries of pain from cries of frustration or pleas for attention. You can see a fight between siblings brewing from a mile off. You know what kind of quiet you have to watch out for. You know exactly what your 2 year old is saying. You know more than you’d like to about their bowel movements. The list goes on and on.

Recently I got a call from the school nurse. My daughter, who had broken her leg, was juggling flags in PE class and, forgetting for a moment, jumped to catch one and came down on her broken leg. It hurt and she panicked, she was so terrified that she’d hurt it worse. The nurse sounded irritated when she called, my daughter had already been sitting in her office for 1/2 hour and wasn’t calming down; could I come get her. There was also blame; ‘she should know better, she shouldn’t be participating in the first place.’ When I arrived there she was, waiting for me in a chair by the front office looking small and scared. And oh, her eyes welled up and her lip quivered, ‘I want to go home with you.’

And I knew exactly what to do. I knew that it was more fear than pain. I knew her over-developed sense of responsibility was crushed and she felt like she’d messed up bad. I knew she didn’t need words from me – no more words – just my arms wrapped around her and my love flowing through her, accepting her. I felt her lean into me, we sat quietly for a moment then she picked up the book she’d been looking at. ‘Can I finish the book before I go back to class? It’s a funny one.’ And that was that. We finished the book, she took my hand and I walked her back to class.QIV7VQGW7K

When I came back by the office, I thanked the nurse for calling me and explained that she’d gone back to class. The nurse looked surprised, she’d given up. And that, my friends, is the power we have as moms. The power of knowing someone through and through. We truly can – and do- sweep in and save the day on a regular basis. Just like a super hero. So next time you are doubting yourself or your abilities as a parent, remember that beyond the innate love and connection that binds us to our kids, we’ve put in the time; enough hours to be considered an expert in the field. We’ve got battle wounds that have healed but left scars. We’ve sacrificed so much, and we’ve got heads so jam-packed full of knowledge of our children that other regular things (like remembering what you went upstairs for) slip our minds continually. But the things that truly matter are there for good.

Granted, it’s a steep learning curve but you are qualified, 100%, for this job. Don’t ever forget it.

Ida

Ida Fischer is a MOPS alumna.   She is married to Maarten and mother to Sam (10), Noa (8), and Mylo (5). She enjoys everything outdoors, reading, and spending time alone to paint. You can find her blog and artwork at Ida Fischer Art and Illustration.

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Jan Roberson: Agape

 

Agape; Greek verb meaning to love.

JQBY35SC9KWe are approaching Valentine’s Day, a day that Hallmark cards created to celebrate love…especially that of couples. (Does that sound cynical?) It’s a day that my single adult children hate (I remember feeling the same). A day that finds some wives disappointed in their Prince Charming because he just doesn’t get it. A day, like most holidays, that the grieving and lonely hurt more.

Or, it’s a fun day of giving and receiving cards and candy and flowers. A fun day of hearts and kisses. A day of bringing treats and valentines to school. A day of thinking of others.

Regardless of how each of us approaches this particular holiday of expressing love, one fact remains: we are loved. Each of us, individually. You are loved. Even if you don’t feel loved. You are loved.

This week I was studying the book of Ephesians in the Bible. I looked up a word in the Greek with all of its definitions and references. The word was love. The Greek has several words for love, but this one is usually reserved for describing God’s kind of love.

I have known about this verb for a long time, but I was struck anew as I read this definition. To love (agape style): To delight; finding one’s joy in someone; regard with strong affection; to esteem; to direct the will to love someone; willful direction to love.

The Bible repeatedly uses this word about God toward us. God delights in us. God finds joy in us. God regards us with strong affection. God willfully directs His love to us.

Not only this, but also we find in the Bible that God is the source of all love. He is love. He cannot deny His character of love; love is who He is and what He does.

You may not believe the Bible or believe in God; you may or may not go to church; you may or may not have been raised in a loving home; you may or may not feel loved by family and friends. None of this changes the fact that you are personally loved by God, the maker of the Universe.

I have found that people everywhere respond to love. When a person knows and feels loved, they act differently. They seem more positive, more confident. And a person who is loved seems to find it easier to love. Love spills out and makes more love.OV26AOMUMI

God’s love is not the garden variety of the word love that is thrown out everywhere for everything. God’s love is powerful and life-changing. This is the essence of the gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ. God is love and He has poured out this love and affection and delight on all of us.

There is a caveat: Do we choose this love or not? We can stand under that beautiful, powerful waterfall of unfailing love or we can look at it from a distance. We get to decide. This is where it starts.

“This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” I John 4:10

 

 

Jan Roberson has been a mentor in the Bigfork MOPS for 8 years. She has taught in public and private schools, homeschooled and has been a private tutor. Dan and Jan have two adult children, Caitlin and Nathaniel, and have lived in the Flathead Valley for more than 20 years.