Fumbling and Floundering

Almost all of my God moments – are when I am fumbling and floundering.  It is not a pretty sight.  In many ways.

I have been parenting for 21 years, and I am so far from getting it right.  But, this month has taught me something I have never quite discovered in motherhood before.  Maybe because I was not open to it?  My husband tells me I am too hard on myself.

But either way – I found such HOPE in my fumbling and floundering, in all of its ugliness – that I am sharing this right smack dab in the middle of a magnanimous book bundle sale.   Rather counter-productive from a marketing strategy ( if I had one), but the matters of the heart mean so much more!

It gets rather confusing when you train, teach and invest into the heart of each of your children, and you in turn feel like a highway – traffic running over you hour by hour.  Isn’t there a return of investment around the corner?

Of course, I don’t love on my children FOR the investment – but when you are in a conflict in training with your child, and the tone, the words, and the resistance to listening are present – you begin to wonder – “What did I do wrong?”

This month I have been in quite the state of “loss,” as a parent.  Looking around my home and my family – wondering what is going on that is stirring the pot of conflict lately?  My husband and I have had lengthy discussions, and prayed over character issues with our children.  I am kneeling at the foot of the cross – waiting on the peace He can give me.

And then it falls – like a sweet, soft rain on my shoulders this weekend.  I woke up to knowing it will be all right.  The conflict may still be present. My child may still be in their groove of growing up, and I may still be “misunderstood.”

I can only do so much.  They have to let God tend their hearts.  This was the job that I was so eagerly wanting to take from Him.  Planting the seeds of honor, respect, responsibility, and love deeper into them.  Tilling the soil of understanding, working out their faith, and handling conflict.

This is God’s territory now.  I have been faithful.  I am still learning – but the burden of change that I was hoping to see soon – it is not mine.  I had to let it go.  And, ohhhh…. Did this hurt.  It was hard, it hurt and I am afraid.

But who needs God if they have a substitute teacher.  

The fumbling and floundering – trying to figure out what I missed, why a child would “act” like this, or tripping over my own feet to be a better parent.  It just needed to look different.  I was a tearful, questioning, hurt mom.  It is an ugly place.

Perhaps you have a child ( children) that are “giving you a run for your money?”  You just are at your wit’s end, and feel completely at a loss – and maybe like myself, like a bad parent.  The “guilt trip” per say.

It is just time to re-evaluate what steps you are taking to handle the conflict and not the child.  Matters of the heart are tender, and need nurturing.  Not controlling.

For me – all that messiness of trying to buffer the circumstances from a childs choices – was taken for me when I realized that this is how they will learn.  It is my prayer.

nina praying

The wounds of a child to a parent can be confusing.

I tend to have the thoughts – that I am being too hard on them, or I must be unreasonable ( and yes, this is often true).  But, guess what moms?  Wounds will happen.  Even in the heart of a home where all seems to “working well.”    We need to remain open to learning, change and repentance ourselves… but, there is always more room for God to do the work when we step out-of-the-way.  Remember, the workings of the heart are hidden and manifest themselves in conflict.

I’m on a new path now.  I call it joy.  

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  • Reply
    Dawn @ TheMommaKnows.com
    April 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Oh I can so relate! We went through a long rough season with a daughter…so hard. But no matter what she did we finally realized God had her and he did such a better job than we did. In March I started a new site for parents of prodigals because we all need encouragement and support in this parenting thing. Its prodigalplanet.net if you want to check it out.

  • Reply
    Amy Tilson
    April 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Oh, yes! Al the time, yes! Hanging on knowing that the real change will not, cannot come from me.

  • Reply
    Tresta Payne
    April 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    “But who needs God if they have a substitute teacher.”

    Yes! Working through wonderfully tough days here, too, but thank you for sharing hope.

  • Reply
    Heather Anderson
    June 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    This was beautifully written. My husband and I fumbled and floundered for almost a year as our oldest son chose a prodigal path that broke our hearts. By God’s grace, he is on a different path now, making wiser, more God honoring choices. But it is so very confusing and hurtful to watch your children go through these things when you have tried to raise them in a godly manner. Like you, our floundering led us to a new place with the Lord and showed us some things in ourselves and in our parenting style that needed to change. Even so, it is so important to remember that no parents, none of us, will be the perfect parent. Our children still need God. And we cannot be the Holy Spirit to them.

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