Okay, so I haven’t posted in quite a while, and I can excuse it to being busy, but actually, I have been living life.
I’ve been quilting, working on my shed, and in general, getting rid of the chaos and clutter in my life, or at least trying to stay ahead of the paper trail by shredding and ridding myself of some the encumbrances in my life. My aim is to stop procrastinating and put my life in order so that I can live without the persistent self-nagging inside my head.
My daughter has also made me realize how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day happenings in our life and lose some semblance of perspective. She started her own blog and I have been shocked, albeit enlightened, by some of her postings. I have found myself reacting as a parent, and at times, grieving for her as she posts some of what she has endured in her 21 years on this earth.
Now I have the option of feeling like a total failure as a parent, or I can view it as a challenge to grow and change from this point forward. How can I improve? Looking at self as painted in the mirror by my daughter, I do not like the person she has had to live with, so I endeavor, and I draw on God, to grow to meet her needs. Now granted, my financial resources are rather limited, so I cannot possibly meet all her physical wants, but she doesn’t lack for what she needs. And spiritually and emotionally, I promise self to be the parent that she still needs.
It has been a difficult, but rewarding path, being father and and mother to my brood, but I am no fool and realize my own shortcomings, but I also know that God’s grace abounds and that He can heal and turn things around for all of us. A challenging and daring feat, but doable in His grace!
The Word of God suggests at several points that a solid step towards wisdom is knowing simply when to keep silent and listen, rather than speaking out hastily and foolishly. (A character trait I am still mastering, even at my age.) “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:28 NIV. And our Lord also teaches that our relationships with others are important to God – so much so that this passage instructs us to take care of those relationships before worship. And it’s got a correspondingly harsh condemnation of those who verbally abuse others, for He isn’t just concerned with our outward behavior, but with the thoughts and attitudes of our heart.
So, have I been a “bad” parent? In my heart, my thoughts and attitudes have always been for the well-being of my children, and while I may have lapsed here and there, I trust that God’s love and grace and forgiveness covers my multitude of sins. Certainly by no means an excuse, but certainly the promising hope that He gives me as a single parent, and that is what I choose to grasp for this Monday morning.
To my children, all I can say is, “Forgive Me” for the times I have failed you, but know that I have loved you far above my own life throughout it all. May we move forward in His abounding love and grace. I love you all very much!