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Someone is Watching

January 25, 2013

do and say

My kids never seem to pay attention to me.

When I give instructions that are ignored. often the answer is “I didn’t hear you!”

But yet, under nearly identical circumstances, Gabe and I will be having a conversation over their heads that doesn’t even concern them and suddenly a question arises from the floor.

When it comes to things I WANT them to hear, they go deaf.

When it comes to things I DON’T WANT them to hear, they develop an auditory acuity that makes dogs look hard of hearing.

Same goes for things that I do. They are always watching.

When Scooby was barely 18 months old and still speaking his garbled, baby language, he would grab a toy phone off and answer it: ‘Lo? ‘Dis Gabe! How you?!

Which is precisely how his father answers his cell phone. Every time.

It’s not something we taught him. It’s something he watched, witnessed and overheard.

Like every parent since the beginning of time (I’m certain Adam and Eve did this), I fall into the trap of lecturing my kids. My parents did it to me, their parents did it to them, and, just as I did, my kids zone out. They hear nothing.

But when another driver cuts me off – they are watching every move and listening to every word.

When I am disappointed in an outcome, they are watching.

When I stub my toe, or spill my smoothie all over the kitchen counter and down inside the drawers (like last Saturday), they are watching.

It is a mind-boggling business, this. Parenting – how can we ever do…enough?

The answer is simple…the cracks are how the Light gets through.

They are watching my ever move, and they see my every flaw. Children, especially teens, sense hypocrisy a mile away. If we remain true to ourselves, living courageously with our whole heart, then while they will see all our mistakes…they’ll seem them and they’ll see something more.

They’ll see Jesus.

As long as Jesus is what’s holding me together, then no matter how many times I fall down, I’ll always be able to get back up again. I am just a broken vessel that carries an extraordinary message.

God said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” He made his light shine in our hearts. It shows us the light of God’s glory in the face of Christ.

Treasure is kept in clay jars. In the same way, we have the treasure of the good news in these earthly bodies of ours. That shows that the mighty power of the good news comes from God. It doesn’t come from us.

We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn’t make us lose hope. Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out.

II Corinthians 4-9, NIrV

If that isn’t a metaphor for parenting, I don’t know what is. We are bewildered, we are pushed hard from all sides. But we do not lose hope. God does not desert us.

Keep shining. 

Have you noticed your children picking up habits or mannerisms from you?

What habits or mannerisms did you pick up from your parents? 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Bethany Hall Fitelson permalink
    January 25, 2013 8:49 am

    This is both challenging and encouraging. I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the idea that I can’t hide my true self from my kid (or spouse) yet it’s impossible to be perfect. The other morning we were about to be late for church (as usual) and I was struggling with Sophia’s car seat and muttering under my breath. Then she repeated after me “shoot!” I was shocked that she repeated what I said but so glad I wasn’t using worse words at the time. This makes me feel the need to work on my own heart so that I’m being the best example I can be (with language, road rage, and everything else). But you reminded me that I won’t be perfect and I can’t always be the example I want to be, and I need to display to my kid what it’s like to be imperfect and ask forgiveness. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. January 25, 2013 11:01 am

    Ah yes, the dreaded mimicry. I distinctly remember walking down the hall of our home (more than once) and overhearing my children playing house or school or whatever and each of them uttering phrases, right down to the intonation, that I had used with them. And they were not at all flattering. Oy vey. Somehow they survive our mistakes. Thank God for grace. And time.

  3. January 25, 2013 11:52 am

    Just what I needed to hear, ponder and be reminded of today. Thanks, once again.

  4. January 28, 2013 1:55 pm

    I think this is true for all relationships…sometimes when we’re weakest, God has the most opportunity to use us in others’ lives. Thanks, Adelle!


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