toilet paper, but I haven't seen this scene for years.
I miss little kids. Having a "baby" who's 8 going on 24 is not the same as being the mom of a baby or a toddler. I love my kids at every stage, but I miss those early years.
I miss little problems. I miss the simplicity of wiping up spills and putting away a bajillion Legos for the kajillionth time. At the time these problems seemed so hard, and they were, but now seem so simple compared to the situations we face now.
As I look back on those early years, there is more than just love of little ones tearing at my heart. There's regret. I didn't completely understand what I was doing.
I loved what I was doing. I planned to be a mom. I prayed faithfully. I studied the Bible. I asked older women questions. I was in my element, serving in the career I had chosen - MOTHERHOOD.
But, somehow, I missed out on some important aspects of parenting. I didn't understand the small problems, like spilled milk, were preparing me for larger problems.
I also didn't understand I needed to handle my children's small problems in a way that would build trust and confidence so they'd come to me with their bigger problems. Over reacting and ungodly anger can prove inability to handle their problems. If you're faithful in little issues, you'll be prove faithful in larger issues.
Do you want your teenager to come to you and confess the true details of how they dented your car? Be patient and gracious now when they tell you how they broke your glass or your vase. Yes, they still might be reprimanded for playing ball in the house, but they have to know you value their right standing with the Lord and their safety more than your possessions.
Do you want your teenager to come to you and discuss all friendship/relationship problems? Begin now training their relationship skills and your listening skills in dealing with their sibling confrontations. Hear both sides. Teach them to confess and ask for forgiveness. Let them know that nothing they tell you will freak you out. Allow them to entrust their relationship problems to you.
Do you want a teenager to admit to their weaknesses? Don't deride and rail on them for their weaknesses as children. Have a bed wetter or one hard to poddy train? Be patient. Be encouraging. Be supportive. Even when you have washed the bedding for the third night in a row, bite your tongue. Do you have a child prone to stealing? Lying? The goodness of God leads to repentance, deal with them with firmness and a determination to find the truth, but in a spirit of grace and not offended anger. But, let them trust you with their weaknesses.
Picture how you want your children to act as teenagers and young adults. Then trace backwards to the stage they're at now. Pray for wisdom, and ask the Lord to show you how to root out sin in their life, teach them to apply the Word of God to their weaknesses and help them grow into that godly young adult you envisioned.
I Thessalonians 5:14
"Now we exhort you, brethren,
warn those who are unruly,
comfort the fainthearted,
uphold the weak,
be patient with all."
Motherhood, despite having those days, is still the best job I've ever loved.