“How can we have a pathway in our brains for humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God if we have never learned the pattern of honoring those we can see? “ - Sally Clarkson
This whole “training up a child” thing is no joke. It is not for the weak-hearted or for the timid. It is also not for the selfish or self-ambitious. My daughter just turned 11 and it is wholly apparent to me that my “training” years are numbered. When she declared that “this was the last night she would fall asleep as a ten year old”, my heart wanted to crumble because I know the years I have wasted. I know the lessons and the afternoons I have wanted to do something else other than train her. I know the times I have wanted to shrink back from this responsibility. I know the times I have forgotten the holy calling of being her mother and training her. It’s so easy to do when there are homeschool lessons to prepare and when there is dinner to cook and those ideas and dreams that chase me down and hound me. It’s so easy to do when the laundry pile is mocking me and when the dishes just won’t quit. It’s easy to do in the midst of potty training and trying to determine which vaccines I am willing to subject my children to. It’s easy to do when everyone needs to eat again and I am tired and all I want to do is read.
Mama- hear me on this. This calling- to be their mother- is a high calling. It is holy and worth it and it will take sacrifice. But it’s also one of your parts in the kingdom. It’s training your children up for life. It’s showing them to the way. It’s pointing them to the only one who won’t leave them when the laundry pile is high and the pressures of life seem to be too much.
This season of Lent- this season of waiting. I don’t know about you but waiting kind of gets on my nerves. Sometimes I feel like life is just one big waiting room. And frankly I’m tired of it. I’m uncomfortable here. I’m hungry and I can’t concentrate on my book because of that man with the sniffles in the corner and I just want them to call my name so I can go back and then come out and get on with my life.
But all of life is waiting. My friend Charity posted this quote on Facebook a few months ago
“Make your waiting room your classroom.”
And I wanted to cry and shake my fist at the sky and also praise because all of life is a waiting room. And we can be the impatient person in the waiting room- the one who makes everyone else uncomfortable. Or we can be the person who everyone wants to sit by. The person who brings snacks and wants to talk about that new restaurant down the street instead of the nurse who is moving too slow. We can be the person who walks in smiling or the one no one wants to be near.
This parenting thing is my waiting room. I feel like all of it is waiting for my kids to get this or be able to do this. It’s waiting for them to be old enough for this or that or waiting for them to outgrow that annoying cartoon or to be able to write their name or be able to read. It’s waiting for them to outgrow unicorns or trucks. It’s waiting. Lots of waiting. (Not to mention the daily waiting for them to find their other shoe or their pants.) But it’s also my classroom.
It’s where I am being refined and growing and learning. This Lent, I’m leaning in and honoring my children more. Honoring them and teaching them to honor each other and other humans is one step closer to teaching them to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. It’s one step closer to teaching them that life is their waiting room and their classroom. It’s one step closer to teaching them to wait and to see Christ is everyone. It’s one step closer to honoring this calling to train up these children in His way.