Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parenting for Dummies Part Two

First, Chaia has had a rough day. She was heading pretty assuredly toward re-intubation which is not great. But there is silver-lining in that...she was heading there because her respiratory system was failing...not her cardiac system...so her heart is ok right now. And because of that we can re-intubate if necessary.

But, they took some tests at 7 p.m. and the results were markedly turned toward the positive, so now we are holding off until the next round of tests at 1 a.m. to see if they think she can continue to battle on her own.

Second. Chaia is not ours. She is a gift. I mean that. It is God who gives life. So the work of parenting is pretty simple. If you commit yourself to the primary work of parenting, you will do well for yourself and for your kids.

Your primary work as a parent isn't friendship. You'll never be cool. You're old.

Your primary work as a parent isn't success. Even if they make great money, they won't give it back to you anyways...Because you're not cool and you're old.

Your primary work as a parent isn't to make them responsible adults. There's no such thing...just a bunch of posers who'd rather be playing with Legos.

Your primary work as a parent isn't "to give them every chance you never had." If you are doing that with your kid...everyone else around your kid hates your kid and hates you for spoiling your kid. (Learn to say "no")

Your primary work as a parent isn't any of these things...Instead it is STEWARDSHIP. In fact your whole life's work should be an act of stewardship. God gifts you with children, with money, with that breath you just took, with friends, with family, with food, with opportunities...and the whole point of those gifts is that you might let them roll right back up to God in thanksgiving and glory.

But in our brokeness, we take these things and distort them...and instead of rolling them back up to the giftgiver, we turn them inward toward ourselves. So money isn't stewarded...it turns into greed and consumerism. Food isn't stewarded...it turns into gluttony or apathy. Children aren't stewarded...they are turned into idols we live vicariously through.

I wrote Chaia a letter the other day before her extubation and I just remember this line that jumped off the pages of my heart. "Your mom and I love you so much...more than words can describe...but we don't love you THAT MUCH. So much that we would make you the center of our lives. So much that we would gain you and lose our souls. So much that you could become an idol. We don’t love you that much, and it is the greatest gift we can give you."

Chaia isn't, wasn't and will never be ours. She is a gift and she belongs to God.

That is what it means to follow Christ...to turn everything about our lives to Him in worship...no matter the cost.

It's better that way. With all that is in us, we know this to be true.

12 comments:

Steph Wright said...

Well said. You are wise beyond your years. Not that you're old, cause that would make me old. Psalm 127:3 "Children are a gift from the Lord"

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing so much with everyone! You and Shaina are wonderful examples for all. I do get caught up in me instead of turning it all over to God! I pray for all of you each day and will continue without ceasing! In the words of Mrs. Storm "God is good...all the time! All the time...God is good!" God truly knows what we all need and He has a plan for us all! Thank you!

Maryann

Sarah Burnett said...

No truer words have been spoken about parenting. Your journey has been an encouragement to be a Christ follower and worshiper of Him first, everything else is a gift from Him to be used for His glory- we are only stewards of what He has given us. Thank you for speaking the Truth. I am praying for your family. I was praying through the night last night and will continue to pray every moment I'm prompted to. Thank you for worshipping God alone!

Larry Peterson said...

Amen brother!

lawrence said...

Wise words that we should all heed, thank you Ben. :love the Giver not the gift: Tough journey for all three of you, these waters are deep and dark, but what treasures does our Lord reveal to us there.
Your family in South AfricaXX

Anonymous said...

Well said! Your faith and wisdom are an inspiring testimony to Gods love. As I sit in my moms room in these wee hours waiting for her last earthly breath(her vent was removed around 3pm yesterday) I find myself thinking about Chaia and her testimony and the impact her story is having on people all over the world. God is amazing!! Love you guys! Janet W

Courtney said...

It's so cool how God is directing hundreds to your blog now b/c of miss chaia and you are pointing so many directly back to Him. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree this you and your blog writers! You are wise beyond your years! God has treated us to see many things and taught us many things through Chaia! God Bless her and continuing in prayers for
Chaia and her parents!!!

Cathy said...

I have 4 children and I thank the Lord everyday for them. I pray for Chaia, you and Shaina daily. I have been a lost sheep and being directed back to him by you and your family. I thank you for this. God is Good!!

Nate said...

Amen!!! So true. Praying for you all.

MamaMarty said...

The Spirit is truly at work through you! May you continue in HIS strength to share the GOOD NEWS through your example and testimony. This world needs more Bens and Shainas!

:) said...

How did you become so wise in such a short life span? You and Shaina are so giving and my faith pales in comparison to yours.

God bless Chaia and both of you. You will all remain in my prayers.