Monday, February 23, 2015

Parenting is Not for the Faint of Heart

I have a teenager.

He is a great kid who is dealing with teenage issues. The poor boy has a mother (me) who has no idea how to parent a great kid dealing with teenage issues. The poor boy has a father who is much better at dealing with teenage issues, but who is, unfortunately, in the final throws of residency and is seldom home when said teenager is awake.

Every single day I fall so unbelievably short of what I feel I should be for my children. It is so easy for me to interact with my littles, but it has been so much harder with my older children. Somehow, I'm not sure when, the dynamics of our relationship changed. Instead of constant chatter, there seems to be an awkwardness that wasn't there before. We haven't transitioned well (or maybe transitioned at all) into a parent-teen relationship. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure where to even start.

I've spent a lot of time thinking and on my knees over these concerns. Sometimes the answers I get are so counterintuitive. Sometimes I don't know how to implement the answers I receive. I think that that is part of the challenge right now, to trust the inspiration I have received and then seek further inspiration for implementation - trusting that even though it doesn't make sense to me, it is right. This isn't easy, but I suppose growth and humility don't come without struggle. And I need a great deal of both.

The book pictured above is one of my favorites. I have turned to it time and again and am preparing to reread it once more. One of my favorite quotes is from the preface-

   The scriptures are inexhaustible, and no one has mastered them except the Master himself, though
   he has promised he will guide the least of us through them if we ask. May these thoughts generate
   an interest and a curiosity in you to search the Lord's word for encouragement and revelation to
   bless you in your parenting, the most intensely and critical - and magnificently fulfilling - of all
   vocations. May you have the comfort - as you experience all the frustrations, apprehensions, and
   anxieties, as well as the elations, delights, and joys of being a mother or father - that the Savior
   himself lovingly spoke of your calling:
   "And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he
   said unto them, Whosever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and
   whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" (Mark 9:36-37)

   Having a child in our home may be the closest thing to having the Father and Son themselves
   within our walls.