Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pray without ceasing

Being a parent is a humbling experience. Nothing else in my experience brings me to my knees so often. (Yes, it's been one of those days.) I am rarely the type of parent I want to be and very often feel like a fraud, especially when others tell me how wonderful they think I am or how special I must be to raise 9 children. I know for a fact that I am neither wonderful nor special. I am instead short tempered, impatient, ungrateful, uncaring, and very imperfect. I react instead of behave purposefully and I am shown daily the depths of my own sinfulness. Really, it's not a pretty sight. But I keep going, keep getting up in the morning, keep trying to be a better parent because I am continuing to learn that I do not do this hard thing on my own. Oh, every so often (ahem, all the time) I forget myself and try to parent without divine help, but very quickly I'm reminded that it doesn't work. I need God's help. Actually, I need more than God's help, I need to let go of trying to parent on my own and let God parent through me. That is where the 'pray without ceasing' line comes in. When I was younger, I used to find this a difficult command. How could anyone ever do that? But as I parent, it's all I can do. Being a mother only works really well when I pray my way through the day. Believe me, there is always something to pray about. And it's not just 'Help, what do I do now?!?" types of prayers (though they are very frequent). It's also prayers of thankfulness and rejoicing. It's confessing my too numerous faults and receiving God's grace and peace. I am so thankful that God is the better parent, both because of how He parents me and because of how He parents my children...if I let Him. It can be hard (and scary) here in the trenches and I sometimes wonder how God can ask me to do this. But my imperfections serve to show God's greatness. If He can use me, even me, He can do anything.

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