Ever been in a store and witnessed a child meltdown? The parent is either a. trying to ignore, b. negotiating/pleading, or c. hoisting kid in prem and getting out quick. (yes, I was c. person).
Parenting can mess people up.
We think we’re calm, sane people, but kids blow that up. You get a new spectrum of emotions, including fierce protector, bottomless love, anxiety, grief,… add another child to the mix and watch anger jump on the Richter when you see one hurt the other.
Yes, that was me who clapped hard, stood up and shouted STOP at my kids during Hema breakfast. Yes, the restaurant went silent.
It can feel like a sliding scale between brain mush and losing mind, but is something more profound going on?
“Kids are like cloister bells: when you hear them, they bring the here and now.”
Mirjam van der Vegt said this in “Koester Je Hart – 40 Stilte Tips Voor Je Leven” (Cherish Your Heart – 40 Silence Tips for your Life) and I thought, Word.
What if my “now,” to-do’s, worries, — aren’t so important?
And the greatest insights I ever got on God’s Heart came NOT from a sermon, but my kids.
Kids expose flaws in our hearts and this world.
You may think you’re a nice person, but let me introduce you to Selfish when constantly choosing between sleep, food, showers,.. versus whatever need the child is voicing. Patient person? Check your temperature when every school morning, off and on for 75 minutes, you’re reminding two: Get Ready.
Having kids is the Hardest Thing I’ll ever do. And the most important.
Lifetime occupation, pulverizing to the heart, and while some people want to stick them behind the wallpaper (Dutch phrase), no one can deny the power of a laugh, quip or smile to completely erase a bad mood–even if just for a moment.
“Out of the mouth of babies and infants you established Strength.. to still the enemy…” (Psalm 8:2)
True Story: I remember crying in a church parking lot years ago because someone said, “Wow, I could enjoy the Service today because your kids were gone most of it.” (I’m paraphrasing, slightly). (OMFGICBTSAYFKMIGDRNJHM!!!).
Do we even know what Church is? And how about Jesus’s example? He spotlighted kids as the greatest while adults wanted to send them away in one verse, or get them quiet in another.
Who’s the Real Teacher?
When kids have class with a “strict teacher,” are they learning about the real, cruel world, or trying to change it? (like Special Opps for God?). When parents teach responsibility, aren’t kids also chipping away at tempers and building patience and grace so needed in this world? When kids are going wild, are they challenging the freedom-constricting tendencies of institutions, programmes, or even my own parenting style sometimes?
And, Hello: Kids are exposing our jacked Porn system.
Smartphones and tablets increasingly in young hands and many are getting direct access to (harcore) porn. Your kid doesn’t have a phone? What’s s/he seeing at the playground, sports club or at a friend’s house? Kids can get hooked, feel shame, and how many households know this needs addressing well before the teen years??
1 in every 10 visitors to a porn site is under 10yrs.
Kids are always helping wake/shake the world… Wars and torture, civil rights (sit-ins), climate change (ty Greta), gun violence (the High Schoolers), Revolutions (Hong Kong, Czech Republic, China….) and Infinitely more.
But they don’t just help break stuff, they Build too.
When Craig Greenfield took his kids down the street where people were drug- dealing, they’d snap, “Kids on the block!” All using and pushing stopped and the kids were greeted with genuine love. Why?
Maybe because kids treat people like they’re People…
Kids make us infinitely Brave, give us endurance, sometimes (many times?) give us the will to carry on. So “hand-of-God” yet so fragile and vulnerable.
Warning: As a parent it may feel like your whole life vanished…
When can I recover my Self, my Dreams, My…. , My…. ? Who am I?
But we change.
Our dreams change.
Our heart and vision changes.
Our Fire starts burning deeper and hotter…
So maybe the kids aren’t holding us back, but sling-shooting us further…
And when we get *there*, may they be right there with us.
The next time you’re tempted to see kids as a distraction, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and Stop. Now, approach them like they may be the Main Event. ❤
Hey, I’m Jasmine, drinking tea (oh, yes she did!) and wondering if this resonated, or how you’re managing? Share a comment below. You can also follow the Blog to never miss a post or connect through the social media links. 🙂
Extra info for Porn-proofing kids:
-Lesson 1: Porn is Crazy Addictive. (From my Unashamed List of 10 Life & Sex Lessons Mom Never Told Me)
–Lisa Ling CNN Special: “Porn Ed” (scroll down on the site for the Specials).
-“Good Pictures, Bad Pictures” (amazing read-along book for older kids/teens & junior version too).
-Protect Young Minds website (chock-full of GREAT tips & resources).
-FTND/Fight the New Drug website (various clips and media for the new generation).
-feature image, kid to adult heart shrink, I can’t locate the source, happy for help!
-3 Bears + Mom & Child face-off, from movie “Brave” (Disney 2012) *geek post, “Don’t make God a Bear” here.
-Kids as Stars, possibly called ‘Slow Magic,’ artist unknown.
-Golden Lights – Gian D via Unsplash
-Skeletons, artist unknown.
-Bouquet Thrower – Banksy