Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gifts from my children

I love Veronika's question in response to my blog entry the other day, where my son mentioned how I reflect God to him:

How about the other way round? How do your children express God for you?

Love, Veronika

My children reflect God in a million myriad ways, it would be impossible to enumerate all their amazing qualities. (Do all parents feel that way?) When I think about their impact on *my* life, though, I think about two specific attributes their advent revealed in me.

First, my daughter. Despite graduating high school at the top of my class and college in three whirlwind years, I still went into early adulthood with some severe self-esteem issues. A lot of my choices were based on not feeling worthy or admirable. I "settled" for a lot of situations and did things out of desperation.

But then I had my girl. I saw her as perfect. She was a pleasure to have around and to be with. I loved cuddling with her happiness. Her little clothes were so charming and her manner so lovely. I felt my number one duty was not to do anything to put her loveliness at risk.

When I was out with her, people would comment on how delightful she was, and then they'd say, "You must be an excellent mother." Huh! That was a new idea. I was excellent at something.

She continued lovely and charming and delightful, and bright and inquisitive and creative, and so on and so on. I fulfilled my role as mother, caring for her and loving her unconditionally. I couldn't take credit for her native qualities, but I began to see that I had in myself the ability to do a good job and to put someone else first. What I gained from those early years of her place on this earth was confidence in myself, for the first time, for a job well done.

The confidence she gave me led me to put my own life in order. I stopped settling for things and instead began to insist on my own happiness and well-being. I made some mistakes in the process, but the inner confidence I'd gained kept me on course.

Then my son came along. The circumstances were such that I was on my own entirely. I never doubted the rightness of having him, but I did doubt my own ability to pull it off. Early in the pregnancy and through the infancy period, I had only one option. I had to put my trust in God. There was no other way to make it through.

And I found out an amazing thing. Relying on God is not a weakness, it's a strength. Up until that point, I'd been forging my own path, getting things done through sheer strength of will. Now, with minimal human help available and a vastly huge job ahead of me of raising these two kids on my own, I reached my personal limit. That's when God stepped in. God—you know, Omnipotence. All power. There isn't much beyond God's limits! Certainly not the raising of two children. God could definitely help me with that.

And I was helped. Putting my trust in the Divine opened the way for me to gather all that the three of us needed to have a very happy, energetic, productive life. He, too, was a delight always to have around. Just funny, all the time, and himself, definitely. He required a bit more running around than his sister, but it was always entrancing. How did I have the strength? I couldn't have done it without Divine help. Having my son taught me what strength is, and where it comes from.

These two remain my two favorite people. I love basking in their individuality and rejoicing. And, I now look at strength as inexhaustible and confidence as natural. These are my gifts from my children.

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At 12/24/2006 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous rev. Veronika said...

I understand, your children became your helpers along your path. How wonderful! Blessings to the three of you who are really One in God. Amen.


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