Monday, September 09, 2013

Sometimes We'll Get It Right

Parenting Is Not for the Faint of Heart.

Parenting Is a Joy; Parenting Is a Challenge.

Parenting on the Mission Field Can Be Complicated.

Parenting vs. Hormones: Who Has the Upper Hand?

Parenting with Clarity: What Is a Phase, What Is an Issue?

I could come up with a hundred post titles related to what I want to write today. It has been an interesting week - make than an interesting nine months - in the Garcia house. Nothing about our family life since returning to Chile has been exactly like it was before. For better, for worse? It depends on the day.

But this week I am encouraged. This week some things have gone right. This week I feel I have made re-connections with several of my children after the busyness of life had created a bit of distance between us. So much of it has to do with time, and focus.

On Wednesday morning one of my daughters and I butted heads, again. We parted ways as she left for school, frustrated and at odds with one another. I turned the pages of a journal where I have written occasional letters to my children since they were toddlers, and decided to try with the written word what we've been unable to see eye to eye about in person.

After school she read my letter and wrote the most precious one in return. And the next morning she asked me, "Mommy, can I write to you again? Because sometimes I can't tell you what I want to say, but I can write it." Finally, a connection. And the days since have been night and day from what they were before. (Thank You, Lord!)

That same day the opportunity arose for some one-on-two time with just Ian and Alec and me. Both boys piled on my lap and chattered away. At one point Ian said, "I want to be a baby again, in Haiti." That led to talking about their stories and I realized that though they've surely heard them over and again through the years, they still need to be re-told so they can begin to understand. As the "little brothers" in the family, they can sometimes get relegated to annoying status by older siblings and lost in the shuffle of homework, school projects, and the busyness of life. It is so important that they know how very much they were hoped-for, prayed-for, fought-for, and wanted! Thankfully, I think we connected on that point this week. 

This morning by some miracle all of our children were up, dressed and ready for school well ahead of schedule. Isabel asked, "Mom, what about our Proverbs for today?" While it has been my desire to read to the kids from Proverbs before school each day, I regretfully must admit we often rush out the door without having fulfilled that goal. Today, however, we could get it done. Since it is the 6th of the month, I opened to Proverbs 6 and the admonition to avoid indebtedness and slothfulness. 

Owen in particular was very attentive to what I was reading and explaining. As context to this story, I have to share that Owen has been asking us for weeks about buying a pair of roller skates. Last night and this morning, knowing that I was headed to the market where they were sold, he reminded me again. But after our Proverbs reading and on his way out the door to school, he turned to me and said, "Mom? You know about those skates? If they're too expensive, that's okay ... you don't have to get them for me." Bless his heart! He was really listening.

Yes, we have rough days ... weeks ... even months. But sometimes - by God's grace - we'll get it right.

*Note: This post was originally written last week but got lost in the craziness of our life. 
Maybe God knew I needed the reminder tonight!


Tami Parker said...

I was blessed by this, Stephanie! We also have rough days (weeks, months), but once in a while a little light of hope shines through. :) Also enjoyed your last post about Eva's temporary hamster, as did my kids. What a powerful testimony to a child's answered prayers!

Angie Washington said...

Stephanie, this is a beautiful post. What makes it most beautiful is knowing the struggles and trials that came before the triumphs and sweet connections.

I really love the letters idea! How precious! Wow. ... great photo, too. :)

Deborah said...

I love you and your family and your willingness to share, Sweet Girl! <3