How to become a weak parent


All my children have played in the water. Emmyn’s the only one who ever crawled in.

Oh, this girl. She keeps me on my toes.

It’s a great thing to do when you’re busy in the kitchen, cleaning up or preparing dinner. I’m sure you’ve done it too; filled the sink up and let them play. Your children stand there on their stool all cute. Sometimes wearing just a diaper; other times totally naked, cute as can be, saying things like, “lookie momma” and “woooow.”

Not my Emmyn.

She throws the water. She turns on the hot water. She gets in feet first. She lives life to it’s very fullest. She is lively.

Oh, lively to say the least. She will look me straight in the eyes and say, “No.”

I’ll say, “Let’s go brush our teeth.” She’ll say, “I already did.”

She totally did not.

Do you have an Emmyn? Are her feet always wet or dirty? Her diaper always off and naked bun-buns exposed? And why is she still in a diaper anyway? Does she have a favorite shirt she wants to wear every day and she doesn’t care if it’s two sizes too small? Did you hide the shirt last night and this morning you are anticipating the daily melt down for the shirt? Oh, and of course it doesn’t matter what store you’re in or if you’re at the library; perhaps even just on the phone, she is loud.

Oh, momma. I am right there with you.

How do we handle these lively little ones, living life to it’s fullest, pressing each and every button us mommas have?

Are there days when you just want the elevator to stop so you can get off? She can just keep pressing buttons–but let you off at the 1,243 rd floor because you’ve had enough.

Yeah, me too.

I think it was after the tenth Emmyn episode, subtracting 92 from 68 for the one-hundredth time with my eight year old, telling my five year old, once again, to pick up the legos before I cut my foot on them; helping my eleven year old with entry level geometry (can you tell I hate math?) all while needing to head out the door to pick up the teenager, when I asked myself the question, a.g.a.i.n…

“LORD, am I doing anything right?”

He simply whispered, “My grace is enough” and my face couldn’t help but smile big and I thought,

Yes, it is.

The Apostle Paul shares,

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

Am I saying my little Emmyn is a thorn of my flesh? A messenger of Satan? No. But she sure isn’t an angel and I always know she is there. She challenges me, keeps me humble, reminds me daily of the struggle between good and bad. She tells me no, she hits, she kicks, she scowls. Some would think, she hates me at times but then, she turns sweetly and kisses me.

I am weak in many ways- but weak in parenting? I can’t do that! After all, that is where this momma needs to be the strongest, right?

Maybe not.

Parenting–It’s the one thing I want to pick up and handle all on my own.

In fear, I worry.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in trying to “fix” one of my children, I forget to pray about it! (okay, most times) and then the even more humbling thing? When I do pray about it… I still sit and make my plan of attack. “I have to handle this with strength and an iron fist– I have to be ready to head into battle.” 

I don’t want to be weak.

I want to fix it. Fix her.


How do I truly surrender my weakness? And after surrender, what about boasting? How do I boast about that weakness–and gladly at that?

How do we then boast in our weakness so that Christ’s power can rest on us? After all, that’s what we need most in times like this, right? How do we rejoice time.and.time.again?

By His grace. His grace is enough. 

It’s like– “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” It’s like the King who came to rule, but ruled in love.  It’s almost incomprehensible. We must become weak to become strong.

We have to come to grips with having a child, wild child at that, different than our other cookie cutter children. [or other peoples cookie cutter children] She is given to us, for this moment, from God.“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him…” Psalm 127:3

We have to pray for wisdom. Pray God will show us how to love her. How to love her best. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3: 17-18

We have to have limits, she can’t run all over us. We have to pray God will help us keep to those limits, without giving in. Besides, that’s the only way we will be able to keep those limits because we both know, those limits haven’t worked in the past. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We have to do good. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-12

When they are good, no matter what they might have done before, we have to praise them— that’s how they know we love and notice them. That’s how they see Jesus in us. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15: 21-24

We have to smile, even when it’s hard. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

We have to clothe ourselves.  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

We have to forgive them. Sometimes, the children who hurt us most, are old enough to know better. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

We have to become a servant of all-– and sometimes, this means serving our children. Even when it’s hard. Even after they’ve told you no, hit you, kicked, and screamed. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

We must be strong in our weakness. We must understand this simple truth: By becoming weak and surrendering our joys, our failures, and all the in-betweens of parenting to the One who makes us strong, we will grow in strength. [Like the really good, “super hero Jesus” kind of strength.] “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

That is the only strength I honestly need, right? the strength that comes from the One clothed in grace. [OK- that, and a really great time out spot.] 😉

Ah! It’s a crazy life! This life of “mom” So crazy, but beautifully blessed.

Becoming weak time and time again,


yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> don’t click the creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = /

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