A hard post to write

I have been absent for quite a while. This may have been the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started this blog 7 years ago.

God has been leading me in new directions, to new challenges. I have been putting off sharing because I’m not “there”. Not good enough at it. Not completely ready to be that real. That raw.

There are a lot of layers to this journey, but the main crux is that God has asked me to change my entire way of thinking about this parenting thing and the relationships I’m building with my babies.

More than anything, I want to lead my children like Jesus. I want to point them to Him in all we do. I fail miserably more often than not-it seems-but I try. Too, I research my parenting decisions to the point of annoyance: cloth v disposables, home v school, home v hospital, repeat Cesarean v VBAC, unprocessed foods v Standard American Diet, et cetera ad nauseam.

For many years, up until a few months ago, this meant disciplining according to the “Biblical” methods of punishment, including spanking and swatting. And, because of my upbringing and spirited nature, yelling.  Most of the time, the swats were ‘by the book’, not angry, not out of control, doing my best to dole out “Biblical discipline”, and show God to my children.

Now I’m changing all that.

I took a second and third (and many many more) look at what the Bible really says. I prayed a lot. I googled a lot. I turned to commentaries and back to the Bible.

Until now, I had a very, without realizing it, adversarial style of parenting; an us v. them attitude. I thought you had to ‘win at all costs’, you had to make them ‘submit. I honestly thought this was right. I thought this was Godly.  I believed in this. I trusted men and women of the faith who are after our children’s hearts for the Lord, who I believe are well meaning but very wrong.

Until now, I thought “gentle parenting” was UNparenting. I thought taking punitive measures to force obedience was the right thing to do. I thought I could ‘break a child’s will without breaking their spirit’. I thought this was best for them, for our family.

It is hard to admit when you are wrong.

I was wrong.

I am learning new tools. I am learning new ways in which to interact with our beautiful gifts from above. I am failing. A lot. I am thankful His mercies are new every morning. I am thankful for this new challenge.

Now I know better and I’ll do better. These precious gifts are too valuable not to.

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