Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Dream Child

Did you have a picture of what your child(ren) would be like? Did you ever dream about the type of person he/she would be? What they would grow up to do?

I think most parents have dreams about their children, even if they don't get specific. I've never really had a dream about the career my children will have like I've heard many parents do. I haven't made specific goals for sports or academics or accomplishments for my children. I haven't made a list of acceptable qualities in a spouse (unless you count my 2 requirements - that they love God and love my child). Yet still, my children are not exactly what I imagined.

It's because of this crazy phenomenon of each of them being born with their own little personalities. Crazy. I thought I'd have most everything to do with how they turned out. (Truth be told, I'm SO glad this isn't true!)

Many people believe children are born as blank slates and they become who they are based on their environments. Other people believe children are who they are and nothing will change that. I believe somewhere in the middle. And that's where much of the struggle happens.

I knew so much more about parenting before I became a parent. You just loved them and disciplined them and everything would work out. Now I'm a mom of 4, ages 12-6. I love them. And I discipline them. And there is SO MUCH MORE than those two things to being a parent.

There is the child who exasperates me because she is a good arguer and very persistent. There's the child who's struggled with reading and taken a whole lot of time and attention to help with this learning challenge. The child who feels everything deeply, and sometimes goes off the deep end emotionally. And the child who is really good at staying under the radar and not listening.

They have brought me more challenges than I ever imagined, just because they didn't do or think the way I expected.

And that's exactly how it's supposed to be!

God made each of them - to be their own unique person. My job is not to set my expectations of what I want them to be: my dream child, but to foster them into the unique person God created them to be.

That doesn't make my job easier, but it makes it much more valuable. I'm not here to just help them accomplish things and become a good citizen, but to learn to grow in the Lord to become the person He designed them to be.

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