Monday, January 23, 2012

A Life of Communication with a Toddler

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
I have been reading a must-read for anyone who has children, of any age, still living at home.  It's entitled Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.  I have a comment to share upon reading Chapter 10, "Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication."

I am the stay-at-home mommy to a nearly 19 month old.  My days are filled with A LOT of supervision and a lot of "no-no's" and "let's do this instead."  All my chores have to be designed in a way where a toddler can help.  I'm constantly explaining how our doggies are nice and that we shouldn't hit them with a puzzle-piece hammer or a drumstick.  I'm learning how to deal with temper tantrams (yes, my sweet little angel has a very short fuse!) - Little Jack will know how to count to 10 soon and problem solve.  If I do get a chance to do something on my own, I'm interrupted with a toddler approaching me, book in hand.

I get tired.  And look forward to bedtime.  But then I think, "Ah!  Finally time to get done all those things I couldn't do with Little Jack awake."

I get discouraged as we have a 2-story farm house, infested with mold, that needs remodeling before it's livable again, and limited resources (ie. NONE) to accomplish this.  Grandma could keep Little Jack and I could get a job, to bring in a steady income.  I feel torn between what I think is God's calling on my life - being a wife and a mommy - and "necessity".  And just when I'm in despair about our choice God ALWAYS brings a reminder into my life that this is my calling.  Today's -

"There is a simple way to look at the cost of deep, full-orbed communication.  You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home.  This is your calling.  You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God's world.  There is nothing more important.  You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task.  You have only one opportunity to do it.  You cannot go back and do it over.
 "You live in a culture in which there are opportunities for you to do things unheard of in history.  You are presented daily with scores of options for investing your life's energies and creativity.  There is more than you could ever do.  You must, therefore, prioritize.
 Parenting is your primary calling.  Parenting will mean that you can't do all the things that you could otherwise do.  It will affect your golf handicap.  It may mean your home does not look like a picture from Better Homes and Gardens.  It will impact your career and ascent on the corporate ladder.  It will alter the kind of friendships you will be available to pursue.  It will influence the kind of ministry you are able to pursue.   It will modify the amount of time you have for bowling, hunting, television, or how many books you read.  It will mean that you can't develop every interest that comes along.  The costs are high."
 p. 97
 But the benefits FAR outweigh the costs.  Little Jack will only be a child once and I want to be the one investing in him.  And I'm journeying through what all that entails and anticipating how God is working out my path of life.

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