“These camellia blooms are bigger and more abundant than we have ever had!” I told Phil last week. “But we will probably have a frost and and they will all turn brown.”
“You need to enjoy them while they last,” my tending toward pessimistic husband replied. “There is nothing you can do about it.” So, I cut these flowers and put them in a vase. Tonight it is supposed to get down to 17 degrees so these blooms wouldn’t make it.
I will enjoy them while they last – right on our dining room table.
Gardening is my hobby, yet there are many things I cannot control when it comes to the plants I tend. Weather is under God’s authority. I can trim, mulch, and fertilize, but freezing temperatures can still eliminate the blooms I hope to see.
This is a lot like parenting, isn’t it?
We care for our children by feeding, clothing, reading to them, limiting screen time, providing shelter….but so many factors are under God’s authority. We don’t form their personality, their God given abilities, their physical appearance.
I remember talking to my Mother about how stubborn one of our daughters was and being at a loss on how to address her defiance as a 3 year old. “Just wait, Gayle.” Mother said. “She will grow out of this stage before you know it.”
Then with a twinkle in her eye she said, “… and she will enter the NEXT stage.”
How can I enjoy my child right in the moment? Right in the stage, phase, mood – call it what you will – that they are in right now?
I need grace to love and encourage my child through each phase of their development. And then grace for the next stage….and the next.
Phil was right, instead of bemoaning the fact that my flowers will freeze, I need to enjoy their blooms for as long as they live. I need to look for and FIND the positive aspects of the stages my child is going through and enjoy those qualities – while they last.
I am not referring here to open defiance, or disobedience. I am focusing on behaviors that are the result of growth patterns, often associated with hormonal changes.
I must be honest and admit it is so much easier to have grace for grandchildren’s behavior then I had for their parent’s behavior when they were that age. The separation of a generation does that. In Ephesians 6:4 AMP Paul gives clear instruction to parents –
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with loving kindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
I pray I will search for and find the good in each stage – and enjoy it while it lasts.
In My Garden with God #15