The Diary Of a Baby Mama has officially hit its first milestone of 100 posts!
When I started this blog late last year, I didn’t know where it would go. All I knew was that God was prompting me to write and that I must be obedient.
The wealth of wisdom, insight, and healing that has poured from these posts since I started has been amazing.
GOD is amazing.
Little becomes much when you place it in His hands.
So to mark my 100th post, I’m not going to be before you long (smile). I just want to encourage you to obey the voice of the Lord in your own life. Not everyone will understand and most times, you won’t even see the full picture. But trust His leading. He’s already been where you’re about to go and He is FAITHFUL.
Here’s to 100 more posts, 100 times more wisdom, insight revelation and healing.
To celebrate, here’s a look back at a post that touched so many of you. It also happens to be one of my favorites. -Mel
Wars, divorces, family feuds, and split churches have all come about because one or more parties refused to utter these two simple words: “I’m sorry”. I can’t help but tell you how amazed I am by the power resident within those two words. I’m amazed at how many offenses I’ve personally been willing to remit simply because someone said them sincerely, and without delay. Still reeling from the blow or bleeding from the cut, I’ve heard my own voice say, “It’s ok” or “that’s alright, don’t worry about it”, all because someone said “I’m sorry”.
Let me just be truthful here. The word “sorry” is something I’m quite familiar with. As a child, it was a requirement and it was demanded of us. If you offended either or both of my parents at any time, an “I’m sorry” was required. I know how to apologize as a subordinate. What I wasn’t as familiar with was watching those in authority over me exercise this same ability to utter these two simple words.
What does it do to a child to see a parent who refuses to apologize when they know (and God too) that they were clearly in the wrong, and not the child? What does it do to a child who sees a parent ignore their own guilt and instead punish them?
Well since we’re all being so honest here, I’ll tell you what it does, from my perspective. It undermines the very foundation of respect that a parent works so hard to build. When a parent refuses to apologize, it sets up an impression in a child’s mind that authority operates without accountability and respect for those under the power of their authority.
Oh, and that’s another new word that I’d like to introduce to this conversation: RESPECT.
That’s a word that I grew up understanding. Respect was demanded when it could not be commanded. Respect was a serious matter and the lack of it was a sign of defiance.
But what does it tell a child when they must respect but be disrespected?
What does it say to children who must reverence authority that has so little regard for them?
Respect has never been the issue in most of our lives. It is MUTUAL respect that causes us to stumble.
It never occurred to some of us that mutual respect was both appropriate, needed and GODLY. Parents respecting their children? Wow.What a peculiar concept!
But it’s something that I’m learning daily that is vital to both natural and spiritual productivity.
Last night, I had a decision to make. As a mother, I was within my “motherly rights” to correct my daughter. She had disobeyed me and after repeated (usually 2-3 times) demands on my part that she stop what she was doing, I reacted in a way that I knew was not right.
Now, let me just say this for the benefit of all readers and mommies for whom I am particularly burdened. There are many things that we have the “right” to do as parents. Our cultures condone it. Our family backgrounds endorse it and even our relatives insist on it. But one thing I must say is that as a woman BRAND NEW to the world of parenting; no babysitting experience, no small children in my company, no nieces or nephews, the knowledge I do have regarding parenting came solely from God Almighty. And I must say, He’s done a FINE JOB of guiding me in the way that I should go with raising them. But last night,I transgressed against Him. My culture, my society and my parenting 101 books all backed me up in my response to my daughter. But my spirit was grieved.
After about 10 minutes, I went back into my childrens’ room, picked Caitlyn up out of her crib and held her. I told her in her ear, “I’m sorry. Mommy’s sorry”. Soon Matthew crawled out of his bed, and I apologized to him too. I apologized to him because he was a witness to mommy responding inappropriately to his sister’s bad behavior. He said, “It’s ok mommy”. And immediately my mind went back to the love I had and have for my parents. Despite their flaws, as a child, they were my biggest heroes. Despite their bad days with short tempers, I loved them. When they calmed down and were in a better mood, I loved them. It was ok because even though their words may not have said, “I’m sorry”, their next hug was enough for me.
But what a gift it is to say the words.
I want my children to know that authority is not an iron fist but a warm wing of safety. I want them to know that they are respected. Should a three year old and four year old child be respected? Absolutely, before they were in my womb, they were in the presence of Almighty God. I am their earthly mother but He is their Heavenly Father, as He is mine. And one day, their love and devotion will return to Him, as it should.
God doesn’t rule us with fear, but with His unfailing love. We don’t believe that love has the ability to correct, to chasten and to instill. I see the look in my son’s eyes when he feels he has disappointed me and how he breathes a little sigh of relief when he comes tentatively for a hug and I take him in my arms, no punishment attached. Grace and mercy. What an abiding gift that is presented to us new every morning by our Heavenly Father and is given to us to share with our fellow man.
It wasn’t common or even recommended that those in authority apologize to those beneath them in my life. It would undermine their position and eat away at their authority like termites.
But little did we know that it wasn’t the words “I’m sorry” that exposed our foundations to decay but our inability to confess our faults one to another.
Mommy isn’t always right. Some decisions are bad. Some comments need to be stricken from the record. Some actions need to be acknowledged and atoned for. But it amazes me every time I hear the words “It’s OK” after the words “I’m sorry” are extended.
There are those in my circle of influence who do not agree with the way I parent my children. They believe I should take a more heavy handed approach. Meanwhile, I’m anxious to see and to hear exactly what gift these two unique spiritual beings bring to the world with their presence. That is the mutual respect I’m talking about. They have a destiny to fulfill, just like I do. And even though I’m 32 yrs in and they’re only 3 and 4 yrs in, it doesn’t make their assignment any less significant than mine.
Understanding that parenting is one of the most challenging assignments there is can be half the battle. Doing what is right for your child or children may put you at odds with years of family traditions and sentiments. But that is the calling. Embrace it.
Prayer Point: Father, help us to understand how grace and mercy operate to our advantage as parents and to not be afraid to extend it to our children, as you so freely extend it to us. Help us to respect our children as gifts from you and souls that you have given into our care temporarily as you guide them to their destiny and purpose in You. May we understand that our authority is not a dictatorship but a responsibility to seek You first and relay Your instructions to those You’ve placed under us. May we walk in love and hold in high esteem and trust the love and devotion of our chldren to us.