Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Praying Upside Down Prayers

My mom gave me a neat devotional called Upside Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa Bergren for mother's day and it has really been on my heart a lot recently.  Here's a quote, "As parents, we don't like to see our kids fail - even if failure might provide just the reality check they need.  I'm no scientist, but I think we're biologically programmed to try to protect our children from the hurt and pain that failure brings, even if it means pushing them to persevere in something that lies outside their strengths and long-term interests.  We make the tone-deaf kid practice piano.  We book time at the batting cages for a child who's better suited to the library than the ball field. We insist on the advanced-placement class, thinking it will aid on college applications, even though the pressure makes the child (and therefore the whole family) miserable all year. 
     Factor in the reality that we somehow think a child's failure is a reflection on us - What will people think of me if my child fails? - and we actually exacerbate the problem.  We pressure our children to achieve success at all costs, sometimes to the detriment of something more valuable.  That isn't to say we shouldn't encourage our kids to do their best and to follow through on their commitments.  I'm not advocating dropouts.  I'm advocating dropping things that don't matter and really winnowing down to the things that move God, the things that should move us too.  I'm challenging us to weather the What Will They Think of Me storm in favor of trusting - truly trusting - the Father with our kids." 

Great thoughts.  We've really enjoyed some upside down parenting lately and we've encountered so many of the issues in this book!  Stepping aside and letting God handle situations is never easy, particularly with our children.  And as they get older and begin to make some of their own choices, it is no less hard, but a more natural transition, to step back and allow God to work.  I guess that is why the early years are so important.  You are going to have to step back and let God move as they grow and it is so important that they know faith as young children as a foundation for that.  Ally has decided she no longer likes pitching after five years of special coaches and countless dollars, and hours upon hours we've all spent pursuing this passion.  Her choice doesn't upset us, we might even be a tad relieved in a way.  Most importantly, she's making choices with God at the root of her decisions.  It's just wild to see your kids growing and choosing, finding answers from God without your input.  Kinda shocking - and cool - kind of peeling off the layers to reveal the flower bud of who they are really going to be, and with God tending the flower that's always exciting.

One of the prayers Lisa Bergren asks you to pray in this book is, that your kids will get caught doing things wrong.  Now, that's a blog post about a 10 year old boy right there - for another day. 

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