Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pondering the next generation

Having a new grandbaby has made me think about parenting. My thoughts on parenting have changed over the years, obviously tainted by whatever stage my children were going through. Now that they're all grown with children of their own, it's interesting to look back and ponder.

I heard somewhere that our goal as Christian parents is to raise the next generation. And often raising that next generation involves sacrifice. I think that tends to be overlooked today when our culture bombards us with being happy and finding personal satisfaction. The whole idea of sacrifice is not an enticing idea.

I vividly remember questioning my father about something he could do and I couldn't. He gave me 2 reasons :

1) Rank has its privileges

2) Do as I say, not as I do.

I vividly remember NOT liking that answer. And that experience really shaped my parenting as a mother of what I would never tell my kids. It helped give me the passion to set an example for my kids, not simply tell them what they should or should not be doing.

Choosing to set an example is not the easy way to parent. It involved sacrifice. But our goal was to raise the next generation well. For example, we made the choice to not watch any movies that our kids weren't able to watch. As they got older, the kids were able to tell their friends, "Our family doesn't watch those movies" instead of 'my parents won't let me'. It was a sacrifice, but we were serious about wanting to be an example.

There are times I've felt unappreciated for my sacrifice. I've learned that it's my problem to deal with because I'm choosing to sacrifice. My kids never asked me to sacrifice, it's been my choice. So really, they don't owe me gratitude. I try to view their appreciation as a gift, not an expectation.

Sometimes I don't feel so sacrificial. Sometimes I struggle with resentment. I am naturally a selfish person and I wish I could tell you sacrifice has become easier, but it hasn't. It's a choice I make even now.

I am grateful that Christ set the best example of sacrifice for the next generation. He never said, 'do as I say, not as I do'. Knowing that gives me hope and strength and purpose.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New baby tomorrow!

Tonight the whole family got together to enjoy dinner before Jaime goes to the hospital to give birth to her 3rd son, our 7th grandchild. Loud, happy chaos best describes us all together. I just love my family. I see my husband interacting with our sons-in-law and then I watch him tenderly kiss his daughters. Later, the grandkids all jump on Oscar (I'm Grammy - he's Oscar - like the Oscar awards and Grammy awards!) I catch a glimpse of sisters hugging each other goodbye just a little more tightly than normal.

Then later, my thoughts ramble back to the time I was expecting Jaime. We were living in Arizona. Kevin had just gotten a job in Phoenix and my OB doc was in Tucson, 2 hours away. A very sweet family from our church offered a room to Christy (15 months old) and me until delivery. They were sweet and I was so thankful for them. When my labor started, they drove me to the hospital through rush hour traffic. I still smile when I remember the driver leaning out the window telling everyone THERE WAS A WOMAN HAVING A BABY IN HERE! It was funny at the time and still funny 31 years later.

I was a high risk pregnancy with Jaime. I had 3 doctors following me and they were so kind to me that they even offered to let Christy and me stay at the hospital that last month! I felt so well taken care of. Back then it was all natural labor. Instead of drugs, there was screaming! OWWWWW!! I got to choose my doc to do the actual delivery. To top off a high risk pregnancy, Jaime Renee came out with the cord wrapped around her neck 3 times! Jaime was the only one of my babies that the doctor and nurses called by name right away. I was so impressed by that. And the next day, my doctor sent me flowers to celebrate with me.

The day I was released from the hospital, we piled in the car and drove to our new duplex that still needed to be unpacked.

I said before that Jaime was a high risk pregnancy. We almost lost her more than once during the pregnancy. Choosing her name was in honor of friends and special meaning combined.
My dear friend from college, Jim, was the inspiration for Jaime. Jaime's spelling was French for 'love'. Another good friend had died tragically before Christy was born. Her name was Gail Renee. Christy became Christy Gail and Jaime became Jaime Renee. It also means "Love Reborn" in French. Very appropriate for the tenuous pregnancy it had become.

My sweet baby came into the world sucking her thumb so strongly in the womb that she had a blister on her thumb! She didn't cry much and she was easily comforted. Jaime was tiny and sweet and I was eternally thankful that she was healthy and safe. She was my snuggler.

So I think of all this as I get ready to spend time at the hospital with my Jaime as she gives birth to her 3rd child. What a precious gift from God, to see your child give birth. How blessed I am to have been present for all my grandbabies' births. And even more blessed that they want me to be there again.

Father God, please watch other my child who is love reborn. Keep her safe and bring Judson Zane into the world surrounded by people who already adore him and love him. Thank you for being in charge and loving them more than I do. And help me be whatever my daughter needs me to be. Use me to be her comfort and strength.

The circle of life is a miracle to watch unfold.

details on the new one to follow after the birth......

About Me

My photo
Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.