Grown-up and Still Growing

I’m usually in the middle of a sentence when it happens.

My ten-year-old and I are discussing a math lesson gone bad.

“You know when you’re this frustrated, you can’t process the assignment anymore, you need to find a way out of the frustration first-”

Her face is red, her tears fresh.

I open my mouth to continue.  I close it.

When did I last demonstrate a healthy way to deal with frustration? I should really tuck that away and think about that later, I tell myself.

Here’s another recent scenario:

“Your biggest challenge in the next few years will be to find out who God made you to be.  You, Mookie.  Instead of worrying about what other people think, or trying to please and impress the kids around you.”

“I know,” she answers, with an understanding groan that confirms this is a regular struggle for her.

I open my mouth to continue.  I close it.

Don’t I still deal with that all the time? Didn’t I recently get to know a new community and  feel the urge to prove myself and say the right things to show I’m a person who has something to offer? I daily choose between moving toward the person God made me to or losing myself to comparison.

A third scenario:

“You’re beautiful just the way you are.”

“I just wish I were different that I am,” my daughter answers honestly.

I open my mouth to continue,  I close it.

How do I view myself every time I look in the mirror? Do I see beauty or flaws?

When I try to teach a lesson

Usually when I’m attempting to teach my children life lessons, I interrupt myself, thinking, “Hey, that’s a good point, I should really work on that myself.” It can be disheartening because I think a Mama should dole out the principles both in word and by example.

So what’s a Mama to do?

I feel like a mama caterpillar trying to teach a baby caterpillar how to turn into a butterfly while I’m still in a chrysalis, still in the midst of being transformed. How do I teach about transformation when I’m still in the middle of it? Do I stop instructing because I’m still learning and making mistakes? Or does the knowledge that I still need growth even as an adult, lead me toward grace toward myself and my kids?

As I think about it, that’s exactly what God offers in the Bible.  “No one should sin….but when he does sin, Jesus will be there to understand, comfort, forgive, and again, instruct.” Forgive and instruct, forgive and instruct, it’s a cycle that lasts an entire life, for each of us, no matter how many gray hairs we’ve acquired.



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