Caution – this breaks all “blog laws” on length…but I am a wordy girl…so just hang with me =)
I have had a few deep, ah-ha moment, epiphanies during my years as an adoptive mom.
They are those rare moments when I read or hear another person put words around the thoughts and feelings of my heart. It happens when someone older and wiser, gives language to what I could not find words for on my own, but my heart knew was true. Those moments are so validating and I praise God for them.
One such moment was several years ago, when I read “The Connected Child” by Dr. Karyn Purvis. I cried the whole way through. It was like reading the book I had prayed and searched for. When we adopted our first kiddo 11 years ago there was no such book in print. I know b/c I searched the world over. I literally burned the traditional parenting books that seemed to promise the “A+B always produces C”. Those books focused heavily on behavior modification and strong structure and discipline. Thankfully, I found some peace and grace tucked away in few other parenting books, but they still did not fully touch what was happening in the heart of my kids. My kids needed high nurture and high structure. I made a decision I was going to stop reading books and start listening. Listening to the voice of my father, who knew my kids and loved them more than I could ever imagine. This began my journey of learning to listen to HIS voice and leading (oh how thankful I am).
Then by a strong recommendation of my close friend, Erin Kim, who knows me well, I agreed to read it. I will spare you, in this post, all the reason’s why it stood out from the others, but it touched on areas of my kids, my own heart, and what I believe to be God’s heart for my kids that no other book had. I appreciated the freedom within the principles she lays out. It is not a set of parenting rules. It is about understanding the heart of our child, how their past affects them, and then working with them to reach healing and connection. AHHHHH……. FREEDOM!!!! No formulas!!!! It was my heart and thoughts on paper, bound, printed and written by someone else…much smarter and more eloquent than myself I might add=).
It happened for me again, at the Created For Care Adoptive Momma’s retreat a few weeks ago. It was during a break out session titled “Parenting in Wisdom and Revelation” with Dr. Susan Hillis. I loved it!
She talked about how parenting is like a bridge. “Wisdom” gets you half way across the bridge then you need “revelation” to go the rest of the way. YES!!!! That is it!!!! For me “The Connected Child” was the wisdom piece. Even Dr. Purvis talked about how we need to be “attune” to what your kids need…as I believer that is the “revelation” part.
Wisdom is what most of us parents spend our time on. And it is a GOOD thing. We read books, we learn about our kids love languages, we try to understand how to give our kids grace, we read scripture about parenting, we read books about how to disciple our kids, we fret over how to discipline them, but most of us long for A+B to always =C. But it doesn’t.
Sadly, what parents often leave out is the “revelation” piece. But it is the absolute KEY!!! I see it as the difference between parenting “in the flesh” and parenting “in the spirit”.
We need to pray and seek the Lord on what HE would have for our kids. We need to pray for His eyes to see what is going on in their heart. We need to listen to His voice and leading on what our kids need. He knows. He can show us.
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” THANK YOU LORD for that promise!!!
Dr. Hillis gave an example of her daughter and her close friend, Beth Templeton’s son showing similar outward temper tantrum type behaviors. Both moms prayed about how to handle the situation. When they prayed they felt the Lord tell them to take two totally different approaches with their kids. One was to love on and treat the teen like a two year old and the other was to call the teen up to being a man. God knew what was going on in the heart of the children. Both kids responded to their moms as they parented them as they Lord led. NO FORUMLA! Two wise, Godly, educated mom’s listening to the Lord’s leading.
In my own parenting journey I did not see real healing and spiritual growth in my kids until I did both.
Wisdom came when I educated myself on what my kids had been through, how that affected them, and what I could do as a momma to help them heal, connect and attach.
Then I began to trust the “revelation” or “listening” piece. I could gain all the wisdom the world had to offer, even biblical wisdom grounded in truth, but God has given me four unique children. They are not math problems. Formulas do not work. But the God of the universe who created them and knows the deepest needs of their heart, can by the power of the Holy Spirit give me “revelation”.
Prayerful parenting in educated wisdom and spirit led revelation that’s what I vote for.
Blessings until next time,
Disclaimer – I do not employ an editor so please forgive typos, grammar errors, misspellings etc. I am a fast typer and often write while my kids are staring me down and waiting for my help. So proofing my blog will have to come some other far off day, unless of course you would like to take the job for free =).