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Today’s Truth

So overflowing is His kindness toward us that He took away all our sins through the blood of His Son, by whom we are saved; and He has showered down upon us the richness of His grace—for how well He understands us and knows what is best for us at all times.

Ephesians 1:7-8

Friend to Friend

“But I want the Oreos!” Oh, one of my biggest regrets ever was introducing my daughter to that sandwich cookie. She was now obsessed—and letting the world know about it.

But that wasn’t the worst thing that happened that day. Nope. It was my reaction. There may have been yelling, screaming and a few threats thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t ashamed of my daughter’s reaction. She was being three. But my reaction? Let’s just say I’m more than three and should know better. And I do. But sometimes momming is hard. And momming will be the most guilt-producing job any of us do at any point in our lives.

So how do we parent past the guilt?

  1. Understand, different kids require different parenting (and each family is different). Feeling guilty because you’re not treating your kids the same? Are you overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the activities of your friends with their kids?

I believe that each family is given a tool box. This tool box comes with different tools: a parent with tons of extra energy, a kid who is self-sufficient, some extra money, a loving grandparent who lives close by and wants to help out, etc. We each do the best job we can with the tools we have to build what our kids need.

My friend who is a single mom can’t be expected to do all the things her friend with an involved husband and four grandparents can do. She does the best she can with the tools she has, and she relies on God for her whole parenting experience. 

  1. The world’s standards are not our standards. When I was in high school, I went to one of the top ten public schools in the country. (My alma mater is about a mile from Apple Headquarters in Cupertino California, if that gives you any indication of the caliber of people who lived in my neighborhood.) People would stop by my parents’ house and ask if they could rent a room—not to live in, but to use as a mailing address so they could register kids at Lynbrook High School. When it came time to enroll my kids in school, my friends encouraged me to use my parents’ address to get my kids into a better school.

I understand the desire for economic excellence, but at what cost? As much as I want my family to succeed, it’s more important that our kids have integrity (not lying on a school application about our address) than it is to get them into the “right” school.

When I start to feel guilty about my kids not having the advantages of other kids, I remember that the world’s standards are not my standards. Excellence is great, but raising a child with empathy is a gift to the whole world. Good grades are wonderful, but a grateful heart will serve my child and those they love for the rest of their lives.

  1. When we do mess up, we are covered. There are very few guarantees in life, but as a parent, we have one; we will mess up when it comes to parenting. We will lose our temper, yell at our kids, be too harsh, be too lenient, and make tons of mistakes in the process.

When we realize we’ve made a mistake, we need to do two things: ask for forgiveness (from God and our child) and accept that forgiveness. Raising a child who can quickly forgive when you seek restoration does two things: It reminds them that forgiveness is available, and it restores the relationship.

And when you are in the middle of the grocery store with an Oreo fiend on your hands, repeat this little part of Scripture, which has become my momming mantra, “His grace is sufficient for me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I want to be a mom that is marked by peace. Help me to feel protected in Your so that peace is the first thing that the world – and my kids – see within me. I

n Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

How do you get back to a place of peace when you are struggling with your kids? Are there certain tools, phrases, tricks or verses that help you see your situation in a new way?

More from the Girlfriends

Looking for ways to connect with your kids? Get the first two chapters of Kathi’s new book The Mom Project for some practical – and fun – inspiration.

16 Responses to “Peaceful Parenting”

  1. Kami says:

    This devotional really speaks to me as the mom of a daughter with not just ADHD, but Oppositional Defiant Disorder, too. Every day is battle upon battle upon battle. Remaining calm in the face of the constant struggle is impossible for me. I lose my cool at least once a day. When I do I apologise to my daughter and explain to her a better way I could have reacted. I don’t always turn to God for His forgiveness. I will be working on that now. Hearing about my toolbox was an eye opener. I think I shall have a look through it.

  2. Sarah says:

    This was so spot on and what I needed this morning. Thank you!!

  3. julia says:

    thank you for this. as a foster mom I sometimes feel guilty on how I parent. like I am the mean/strict one (to a certain extent i do have fun with the kids just try to have rules) and hubby is the nice/laid back/lets them get away with stuff. (withen reason) esp. with number one. had fostered different kiddos with different needs will def have to keep this in mind. thanks for this

  4. Theresa says:

    I was just wondering what version of the Bible the “Today’s Truth” comes from? I was trying to figure it out and went through a few but haven’t come across it yet. Thanks!

    • GiGs says:

      So overflowing is His kindness toward us that He took away all our sins through the blood of His Son, by whom we are saved; and He has showered down upon us the richness of His grace—for how well He understands us and knows what is best for us at all times (Ephesians 1:7-8, The Living Bible).

      Blessings!

  5. Rebecca Jones says:

    So very true, guilt is a trap and judging. Children need a lot of love and discipline and sometimes we do too, glad we have a heavenly Father who understands.

  6. Kimberly Thomason says:

    What I needed today too. Parenting is like warfare many times. Really needed a reminder that we all mess up and can start over. Saying I’m sorry and asking forgiveness and accepting grace is hard too but worth it.

  7. GRACE says:

    Amazing the way God speaks and hears our conversations. Yesterday a friend asked me if I would be ok if her family used my address so their kids could go to a different school district, I wondered what should I do, even though I should know what the answer should be. It is clear that no matter what lying is not what the Lord would have me do, my testimony of integrity would be a better example for my friend, her children and my own family. Thank you for sharing this message! Many blessings to you!

  8. Lynn says:

    Thank You so very much for this. I missed my time yesterday so I had to read today and am I glad. This is a True and Helpful read.

  9. Kathi Lipp says:

    Kami – I’m so glad that the toolbox spoke to you. We wouldn’t expect someone to build a hutch with just a hammer – why do we expect parents to do all the things. I hope that the first person you can give grace to is yourself. You sound like a loving mom in a hard circumstance who is learning, loving and growing. That? Is HUGE.

  10. Kathi Lipp says:

    Right – our Heavenly Father – the only perfect parent!

  11. Kathi Lipp says:

    I’m so glad Sara!

  12. Kathi Lipp says:

    Foster parents are my heroes. And isn’t it amazing how God pairs us up to give the comfort and also constraints that our kids need?

  13. Kathi Lipp says:

    I love that His mercies are new every morning!

  14. Kathi Lipp says:

    Grace –

    WOW – God’s timing, right? Glad you got the confirmation that you needed!

  15. Kathi Lipp says:

    Lynn – glad to have you today!

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