I have been blessed beyond expectations for the last several months to be a part o the launch team for Jen Hatmaker's new book, For the Love (available for preorder now on Amazon).
Beyond expectation, because beside the opportunity to read a fantastic book before anyone else (I am slightly competitive?), the community that has formed among the launch team members has been phenomenal. Advice, weeping with those who weep, laughter, and discussions about online dating have been just a few of the things discussed. You may not want to know. We hang it all out there, and it feels like community. Which is kind of what this book is all about.
For the next few weeks, I'll be taking chapters of the book that meant a lot to me and discussing them. Please, chime in.
Worst Beam Ever, Hope for Spicy Families, and Surviving School
|Because balance beams are for gymnasts, not parents.|
Raising kids. In a Pinterest world. Can I get an amen on that dilemma? The subtitle of the book says it all here: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.
Not enough. Not enough. Never. Enough.
The funny thing is, as Jen points out, no generation of parents has ever done more to effect that guarantee.
“Condemnation is a trick of the enemy, not the language of the heavens. Shame is not God’s tool, so if we are slaves to it, we’re way off the beaten path. And it is harsh out there, debilitating actually. If your inner monologue is critical, endlessly degrading, it’s time to move back to grace. Then we can breathe and assess our own parenting with the same kindness we extend to others. Only our overly-critical, overly-involved generation could engineer such carefully curated childhood environments and still declare ourselves failures. We are loving, capable mothers reading the room all wrong. . . .We no longer assess our lives with any accuracy. We have lost the ability to declare a job well-done. We measure our performance against an invented standard and come up wanting, and it is destroying our joy.
We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.”
You know what a huge part of the problem with not letting ourselves off the hook is? We truly think that, if we remain on this self-manufactured hook, we can control the outcome. The problem is, there is no guarantee. Ever. No amount of quality parental hoop-jumping will ever ensure your kids turn out perfect. They will never be totally safe from either harm in the world or their own bad choices. And that kills us. So we try to control it with every little pinterest-approved healthy meal or bonding craft we can muster. We will get it right. Enough will ensure the future.
Enough never is. It never will be. Stop trying to be awesome. Rest in the grace of knowing, really knowing, that the One who is in control has this. No promises of safety. But abundant promises of care and provision and loving arms that wrap around you in all heartaches and fears.
|Because this is just not real life.|
I love this quote that lets us all off that terrible hook we put ourselves on:
“Can I tell you my goal for my kids? That their childhood is mostly good. People, I declare “mostly good” a raging success. If I am mostly patient and they are mostly obedient, great. If we are mostly nurturing and they turn out mostly well-adjusted, super.”
Isn't that freeing? Isn't mostly good truly good enough? Can we give ourselves grace to be mostly good? Our kids will thank us.
Find Jen's book here. Trust me, this is so worth it. I'll keep telling you why for the next couple weeks!