As a woman, whose children are now all in their mid-twenties or early thirties, writing a devotional on “Parenting"…
I sit in a dizzy state of all my memories, as I think through my life as a parent. Such a massive job/topic to write one devotional on, “Parenting”. If you are a parent yourself, you already know what I am talking about when I use the word, massive job. Not one you get paid to do with dollars or cents, however, some of you may feel as early parents your sense snuck out the back door when baby came in the front door.
You start with this amazing miracle of beauty and life in your arms that does not talk back, to the stage of the terrible twos, threes, fours, fives and so on. From the moment they say, for the first time, the word, “NO”, I have heard mothers say, “When will I see the light at the end of the tunnel”? Now, those words may or may not have come out of my mouth or thought possibly a thousand times…heed of warning to you parents, be careful what you wish for.
I understand personally the moments when, you are covered in spit up, vomit, or PB & J, and the pile of unending diapers that cost a small fortune to buy, and you have had those thoughts. Or the days when you just purchased a full house of groceries on a Friday and your teenage boys decide to have a “gaming night” at the Quinn’s, that turns into the entire weekend and all
that hard earned money that bought groceries that would have lasted your family an entire week is now gone. Not to mention the mess of dishes and pots and pans that are left behind from the tornado of demon killers and troll fighters. By the way, better that they be at your home having these moments of fun, then somewhere else. At least they are choosing
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO RELATE
You may be able to relate to a few of these examples from my personal experience in parenting, but these are some of those moments that seem to bring parents frustration and
exhaustion, as they did me and my husband. However, if you are always choosing to focus on the frustrating events of the day, and CHOOSING to allow your focus to be on dirty dishes, dirty home, dirty diapers, you are truly, completely missing the joy that is
happening around you and may even be contributing to the unhappy, peace-less home you are possibly standing in.
During the stages of parenting, whether your kids are 10 months to 18 years old, find ways to
engage. My husband, Bernie, took up gaming so he could be involved in something that our three children loved to do and spent hours getting so good that our youngest son’s friends didn’t call him Mr. Quinn or Pastor Bernie, they referred to him as BURN RAVEN. To this day, our adult children recall the many hours they spent with their dad playing games and mom bringing them lunch or cookies while they saved the world while gaming together.
Your kids will not remember or recall what a mess your kitchen was or how dirty your floors were, but they will remember how you handled those moments and how you chose to define those moments and what memories they recall. Get on the floor with those babies and see the world through their eyes and try and remember what it was like as a child to dream and live in the adventure around you. If all else fails, go stomp in a few mud puddles and get a little dirty with that little hand in yours.
Every day is a NEW day and NEW adventure to them. As adults we lose our sense of adventure and can even lose our sense of creativity. A child looks at tomorrow as a NEW CLEAN SLATE ready to be colored on and adults want to make sure that when we color, we stay in the lines. Don’t just draw lines in the sand, but instead, build a sandcastle.
Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Don’t think about what is or will go wrong with your tomorrow, think about what can and will go right. Remember, parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world and no one person is
going to achieve perfection.
HELPFUL WAYS TO ENJOY THIS GIFT/RESPONSIBILITY YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN
1. Breathe Deeply – You kind of need to do this one to survive parenting…and life
2. Laugh a lot – Don’t cry over spilled milk, literally
3. Smile – when your kids get bubble gum in their hair, or your hair …hair grows back
4. Surround yourselves with other Godly parents who have “gone through it” – make sure they are worse than you are at parenting, it will make you feel like you’re not the worst parents in the world.
5. Learn to try new things – Something that interests your kids and get good at it…they may have a cool name for you like “Burn Raven” when you do.
6. Breathe Deeply – Yeah, I said this already, but believe me, you need to do this one often
7. Love yourself as a parent – Put yourself in “time-out”. Silence does the mind a great deal of good.
8. Be on the same page with your spouse on discipline – Preferably before you need to actually discipline your children…oh, don’t disagree with one another in front of your children. Take time together to talk, pray and decide together what is the best form of discipline for the action at hand.
9. Breathe Deeply – You will need this one desperately when your kids tell you for the first time, “I HATE YOU”
10. Don’t wish for the “The Light at the End of the Tunnel” …the journey isn’t over until it’s over and try getting in the Tunnel and use it as a slide and have some fun on the
11. Enjoy being a parent – You get to be the one in charge and have waited for this moment a long time
12. Don’t be surprised when you say something for the first time, that your parent/s said to you – “Because I said so, that’s why”
13. Oh…and BREATHE DEEPLY
Joyce Meyer once said, “Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we
are waiting.” Children are not blind-eyed to how we parent, often they become the parents they had when they have children…only you can change what was possibly broken and make it
beautiful and new.
My quote would be, “Parenting is not simply raising your children to the best of your ability till
you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but doing it and sharing in the joy, laughter and tears
along the journey and seeing each day as they do… new every morning.”
"Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself."
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
In this life-giving book, Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God's plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CeCe was born and raised in the small town of Memphis, New York. She married her high school sweetheart, Bernie Quinn at the age of 20 years old. Married now for over 30 years to her best friend and blessing from God, they have been gifted with three children, two of which are married: daughter Emily and sons Nick and Thomas. They have two grand-babies, Nova and Aiden.