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Self-parenting

April 6, 2011
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Re-emerging. Coming back I think. A long week of anxiety, emotion, stress that tossed my sheets into knots and my stomach with them; that drove me to bake, was it daily?; and distracted my soul from seeing God in the midst. It should come as no surprise that in the heat of Lent: Relentless acts of justice, God would have more to teach me than I am teaching the kids.

Before we attempt to parent our children, we need to self-parent. Teach ourselves the truths. Soak them in as the lies drain away.

Our goal had been to stand in solidarity with those who lack physical resources. We had talked about Sylvie and her children working in a rock quarry and Rebecca making the unimaginable choice of malaria medication for one child or food for the others. We had made small strides in experiencing the difficulty of those choices. Incarnation. Entering in as Jesus had entered in.

But they were so far away. So very unreal to our very existence. So intangible…

Until last week. And God backed us up to the Red Sea and asked us to trust him. In a tangible and real way, made me able to stand in solidarity with those mothers who make hard choices, able to taste their anxiety, the stress-filled belly in the morning. The “no”, “no”, “no’s” to the requests and wants and needs that come from each child throughout the day about town and in the home. The longing to just say yes. The fury at hard choices, forced to make, when all I want is whimsy.

But when the back is at the Red Sea, God is more real and you see.

Toughest questions come from the mouths of children all tangled up with naivety and simplistic conclusions. One had asked if God would provide for Sylvie and Rebecca while another had declared they should just trust him to take care of them! He told us if he fed the sparrows and clothed the flowers, how much more valuable are we and how little we need worry. And my adult mind translates- financial freedom.

But they are still poor. And little Christine might die of malaria. And I still worry about the clothes…

Is that what he means? Is that the conclusion of Matthew 6? Should not my rest come from another promise?

I am wondering, as I self-parent, no longer distant in my experience of their lack. Thankful for that. Thankful.

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