Mix a good amount of love and support. Combine a little discipline. Sprinkle regularly with food and shelter. Bake for about 18 years. Yields one fully-prepared, well-adjusted adult.
In my quest for this precise parenting recipe I read too many parenting books. I was overwhelmed and we hadn’t even delivered our baby yet.
As a new mom I quickly discovered that being a parent is far more complicated than a simple formula. It’s filled with unexpected twists and turns.
If there was something to get into, our toddler got into it. He didn’t follow the textbook when it came to potty training.
He didn’t sit still in preschool during circle time.
I was so sure I just hadn’t found the perfect parenting recipe yet. I was discouraged.
As we continued to have more children, I gradually came to the realization that I would never find that perfect parenting recipe because one doesn’t exist.
As I faced new aspects of parenting I learned one thing was needed. It seemed so basic, so simple, but at the same time so powerful. Pray!
Pray often. Pray specific. Pray hard. Pray at 3 a.m. when the medicine doesn’t seem to be making the fever go down.
Pray when your daughter is hurt by her friend’s careless words.
Pray when your child is in trouble at school. Pray!
I am continually amazed at how God faithfully answers these prayers, and guides us through the complex and rewarding journey of parenting.
In the end it was liberating to let go of the notion of a perfect parenting recipe anyway. As I have discovered with countless baking fiascos in the kitchen, if you get the recipe wrong you have a flop.
I am so thankful God didn’t design parenting that way. Because even if there was an exact recipe none of us would get it perfect. It’s a comfort to remember that God is always working in the life of our family. He can use everything, even my weaknesses, to raise awesome kids.
And it’s a relief to know that as a mom only need one ingredient is needed…prayer.
If anyone lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:15 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV)
Jen Sones lives in South Texas with her husband, Eric, and their four children. She shares Christ-centered devotions for women on her blog preparinggoodsoil.com.