Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who gets my best?

I asked myself that question today.  Is my family getting my best?
Before I lead you to assume that I am advocating perfection, I need to clear that up.  I am NOT talking about perfection.  This is not a post about being cookie-cutter little families who aren't honest about their issues.  My story I want to share is actually about a moment of confession and humility from my child.
I rarely have an opportunity to stay and visit with my son's preschool class, but today I was pressured by the longing eyes of my child to stay for a little bit of circle time.  Our 5 year old has an amazing teacher at Agape who welcomes families to stick around and see how they spend 5 days a week, from 9-noon.  She began circle time with different types of prayer to God; things they were thankful for, things they were sorry for, opportunities to ask for God's help.  As you can imagine, the conversations were sweet and comical. "I am thankful for being able to stretch my fingers like this"(demonstration included.)  "I am sorry for not listening to my sister and for telling her that I only have one sweater"(huh?)  Then my child raised his hand to share.  As the mother, I shifted uncomfortably as I wondered what he might share.
My child proceeded to tell an "I'm sorry" prayer about something that happened in our home last night.  I will spare you the details he shared in class, but the basis was an event of him not obeying and how truly sorry he was for being disobedient.  We had a sweet mommy/son moment and the teacher recognized that I was touched by his confession and the fact that he seemed truly remorseful.  She proceeded to pull me aside and tell me how he often shares things he is sorry about and also asks daily for his class to pray for his baby brother growing in my belly.  She started cry, I started to cry, and I leaned in for another hug from my son.
I realized in that moment that my child's teachers and classmates got to see a side of my son that we do not always see.  Even though it was a moment of confession, it was a good moment.  They see daily what I sometimes miss: humility, kindness, a gentle nature.  Not the world's view of a perfect son, but his character through good and bad.  Why don't I always get to see that?  Why do we argue instead of apologize?  How come teachers and classmates get to see the best?
Then I asked myself, do I always give my best?  Or do I let my guard down with my family, because I know they will love me no matter what?  In times when I sin and hurt  them, am I quick to ask forgiveness and admit my fault?  The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  We can't deny that sin creeps into family situations, but how we trust God in the midst of it is what matters.  Do we continue to pull from the emptiness of us or do we cling to the fullness of God and all He has to offer us.  His fruit is for us.
I am proud of who my son is becoming and the part of his character that is reflective of God's fruit.  And I am going to ask God to help me offer the best to him and to all of my family.  Our children are going to learn so much more from our humility than from our attempt at a perfect picture. 
Let's offer our families HIS best today.

tap. tap. Is this thing on?

Who are those cute little pumpkin heads?  That would be my big boys, who are growing up too fast.  I like to tell D and J to stop growing, which brings laughter and a rolling of the eyes from a 5 and 3 year old.  "C'mon mom, we can't stop growing.  It just happens."  You are right, son, but I wish I could bottle up this cuteness to be brought out at a later date.  Say, maybe those teenage years when you aren't quite so cuddly?
I am anticipating a re-entry to the world of personal blogging in the next few months.  (yes, mom...you and the other 3 people that read this will be thrilled!)  I will attempt to give comical updates to the world of the Gaskillrascals as we work our way down the path of parenthood.
One reason for my long break was a job that seems to take much of my time.  I love what I get to do at Hope.  It seemed like the perfect job for someone with my skills.  I get to work with families, yet my scenery is constantly changing.  I advocate in my church for a family ministry perspective, while working with some terrific women.  I have a schedule that is flexible and I am able to be home more often than not.  But life is ever-changing and this next stage is going to bring more challenges than this mom can handle.  I am taking the wise advice of my friend/co-worker and blogger Nicole once said to me....when you start something new, sometimes something else has to be dropped.  And for us, the entry of another rascal to our family qualifies as a reason to drop things.  When we have our third boy in February, I imagine lots of things will be dropped.  But those of you out there with a minor case of adult add can relate to my need to be doing lots of things.  I like having many balls in the air.  So, blogging will be one of those balls.  Maybe we could say an outlet for my energy? 
Looking forward to sharing some funny stories...better go fix breakfast, so that one of those stories is not about me being late to drop off my kids at school.