Friday, June 22, 2012

Walking on Water


The other night I was reading to the kids a children's version of Matthew 14:22. It's the story where Jesus' disciples see Him walking on water and Peter asks Jesus to bring him along, too. Of course you know the story, but the paraphrased version from their book really hit me. It said, "Peter, when the storm came you stopped trusting me."


Right now my storm is figuring out how to parent what I now consider to be preschoolers. This is a whole new challenge, and more than ever I feel my actions making a huge impact. I have such an intense desire to have obedient, respectful children, and sometimes I end up impatient and too stern in my quest to obtain this. We've talked about this a million times. I am a mix of super-duper loving and sweet and very affectionate, and then I can be  very stern and serious about my expectations. I don't apologize for this, but I will challenge myself once again to consider the means to my end. I can "get" obedience, youbetcha. But in the long run don't I want them to make the choice to be obedient and not be commanded to do so?

My point is this: What if I let up on the seriousness and sternness? What if I (GASP) act more patiently and kindly, sort of like HE COMMANDS US TO DO? Do I trust Him enough to honor that sort of parenting style and still give us respectful, obedient children?

Even as I write this I feel torn because I am certain He was speaking to me, and yet I also know my personality and I know how difficult it is to manage three young children. This is not the environment for a soft-spoken mom. I need kids to cooperate and act quickly and I do believe that's realistic, the trick is to figure out how to "get" that while still exhibiting the Fruits of the Spirit to my kids.

What are your thoughts?




I read your last question and laughed! Really? You think I have it figured out? 

I remember when Catina was June, Everett and Levi's age and I wondered why God chose me to be a parent because I didn't really feel like I was doing a very good job. Do you remember this video? If I had the original version I would've posted it but you get my point. I was laughing while taping Catina's temper tantrum but there were many times I was so impatient with her. She could be very defiant and I thought it was all my fault!

Greg and I chose to follow the Love and Logic approach which really seems to be a good balance for us in being stern and loving. We have read their books and have attended a seminar and it all sounds good. It hasn't always been easy to put into practice but they share some really great ideas and concepts! 

Everyone is going to choose something different for their family and ultimately you have to go with your gut. I believe you will when you and Levi have found the right combination and really I think you already have. We won't always trust and be walking on water in every situation, but there are some days I believe we will venture out and do a leap or two across the sea to meet the One who is our ultimate guide. Jen, let's also remember to forgive ourselves for the days we sink, because we will.

I know you aren't asking for this, but you are a great mom and you even thinking about this question makes you even greater. 



  1. But of COURSE! Parenting preschoolers is definitely a storm! (Why didn't I ever make that connection before?) Yowza.

    Lately I've been convicted by the thought of how God "parents" us. If He can have grace and mercy on me, a grown adult who should know better yet still fails and sins time and time again, then I cannot be so quick to anger with my own child. (And patience! Oh, He has so much patience.) Of course He still disciplines us and allows consequences, but He doesn't yell and freak out every time we mess up. (Ugh, that's hard for me sometimes…keeping my cool as the adult in the situation!)

  2. AMEN!!! Thanks for sharing. So, so true.