My children range in age from elementary to middle school to high-school. A few nights ago I was awake during the middle of the night going over my mental to do list. Sound familiar?
Bake brownies for third grade chocolate unit. Not store bought box brownies, but brownies from scratch that resemble the cookbook recipe you helped your son enter. Do I even own baking soda? I mentally searched our kitchen pantry. I couldn’t remember seeing any since I was in third grade.
Then my daughter’s senior year details elbowed my third grader’s open house details off the stage of my mind.
Invitations, announcement list, luncheons, sport’s banquets, friend’s gifts, senior photos, prom!
At this point, I reminded God how accurate my initial thought was: Parenting is like getting hit with a sledgehammer continuously.
Feeling like a heavenly jury must be nodding at my presentation I continued. I feel like I am getting hit financially teaching my daughter she doesn’t need that costly – one time only – prom dress that she has picked out. I feel like I’ve been hit emotionally and spiritually making sure she has learned the important things from her childhood, adolescence, and teen years, the stuff that actually makes one mature.
Staring at the ceiling in the dark room I was tending to my aching heart when my mind, like an elephant, trumpeted, “What about your fourteen year old son who is failing World Geography?” I think at this point I literally put my hand over my head at the thought of all the things in his world. This signaled a scene from a fair where a strong man steps up with a sledgehammer in his grip to ring the bell.
“Oh God” I cried out in my mind, turning from the heavenly jury to the heavenly judge, “parenting is like getting hit with a sledgehammer … continuously!” In a pitiful state I decided to take the God of the universe on a mental accounting of how difficult every milestone accomplishment in my children’s life had been for me. I started with the forty pound bowling ball of a baby that He deposited in my belly. After birth (which I detailed) came all the sleepless nights, childhood illnesses, potty training, table manners, learning to read, ride a bike, swimming, friend issues, morality issues, making and saving money, making good grades, learning to drive, preparing for college. I sighed heavily as if to say “Judge, I rest my case.”
No gavel came down. I was not on trial. I wasn’t even representing anyone on trial. I realized I simply had an audience with the King of the universe who ruled from a throne of grace. Then His reply came to my heart:
You are exactly right. Parenting is like getting hit with a sledgehammer continuously. Each of your children are the clay and I am the potter. Like Michelangelo I see the masterpiece of their creation buried amidst hard rock-like clay. When I go to work on an area it is there that I use you – their mother – as a hammer where I remove everything that doesn’t belong to the vision I have for them. How perceptive Pam! You feel like you are being hit with a sledgehammer when actually you are the sledge hammer being hit against the hardness of your children’ nature. Step back for a moment and see with Me the masterpieces that I have put in your care.
Where does God have you Mom as the refining, unveiling, tool in your children’s – God’s masterpieces – lives?