A dear, sweet friend of mine ---mother to three, nearly grown children--- wrote this on her blog recently. I wanted to share it here at Graceland:
I was looking through pictures on my computer and was struck by this one. It was taken in 2004 and the kids were running from me because they were tired of me taking pictures of them. The funny thing is, I couldn't figure out the camera and all of the pictures came out too dark except for this one. Boy, they sure do grow up fast.
It makes me laugh. How much time do we spend in our lives running from our parents?
Frappy is going to school through the summer again. She wants to be a physical therapist and will have 3 years of medical school after she gets her bachelor's degree. She is majoring in Spanish. She's called me a couple times this week in tears. She just isn't getting chemistry. She has three pre-requisite chemistry classes she needs to get through and is currently in the second one. She is meeting with a tutor today and will likely see one for the duration of the class. She just turned 20 and could graduate from college next year. We are thinking it might be wise to ease up a bit and take another semester.
Frappy has been working for a wealthy woman in town cleaning and doing yard work. She wasn't able to find a job most of the school year and she is worried about us paying for things for her. She's been paying for her own gas and food. She had me laughing so hard one day when she called!
Frappy: Oh my gosh Mom this job SUCKS!!!
Frappy: It's like the JOB JAR!!!
I had an old fashioned glass jar with a wooden lid that I named the Job Jar. In it were a bunch of slips of paper with jobs on them like picking all the leaves out of the rocks, scrubbing the walls, scrubbing the baseboards, cleaning out the junk drawer, etc. They were punishments when they got in trouble. I'd yell, "That's it! Two jobs from the Job Jar!"
Me: Laughing... Really?
Frappy: YES!!! I feel like telling her, "Dude! Get a Job Jar and make your 12 year old do this stuff!" That kid just lays around the pool and watches me do stuff. He doesn't even clean his room! I don't think it is good for kids to not have to do chores.
Me: Oh Really now??? You didn't think that back then!
Frappy: Yeah, well... you know.
Me: Laughing... Yes, I know.
Well, she called crying again last night. She had been upset the day before because the lady texted her saying the house looked great and she didn't need her. She was counting on that money. Yesterday she worked but then got a text saying, again, that everything was great and they wouldn't need her until Monday. I told her not to worry and that we would help her but she is wanting to pay for things herself. I then called Mr. Macchiato to have him call her and see if he could settle her down. Daddy did.
I think we all run from our parents at some point... be it literally or figuratively. We want to figure things out for ourselves. We want to be independent and free. We don't want rules and responsibilities not of our choosing. We don't see the wisdom or understand that our parents are trying to protect us and guide us so that our lives are better for us.
Who better to run to when we get knocked down by life than those we know in our hearts love us?
I think God chose to identify himself as a father for a reason. As a parent I have learned more lessons about Him through the hands and hearts of my children than in any other circumstance. I think the love we feel for our children is the closest thing we can grasp to how He feels about us. To me, it breaks my heart to see my children making choices that will bring them pain and/or make their life harder for them.
Even though this has been a rough week for our Frappy... listening to her cry as she laid her worries and frustration out blessed me greatly. Since she's gone away to college, I've been re-instated as Mom, Kisser of all Boo Boo's. It seems like a long time that I was placed in the position of, Mom, Sayer of NO! and consequently the very Gatekeeper of Hell (I read that about me in Chai Tea's journal once).
I don't know about you, but, I sometimes have a hard time praying. Last night I took a look at how I felt when Frappy runs to me... and then about God as my Father. If I, a totally fallable and sinful mother feel the way I do when my child runs to me... How much more so does my Father in Heaven when I run to Him?
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