The Two Hardest Words for Parents

I can hear the dishwasher humming.  The washing machine is running too.  I feel a small sense of accomplishment today.

The bedding for our dogs is currently being sanitized. One of our friends, either Ashlee the genius mutt or Griffin our socially awkward Schnauzer, messed in the crate last night. It was probably just an accident but I'm trying to convince myself that the mess was a message that one of our dogs, like myself, is fed up with this nasty weather.

I wasn't the first one who noticed the mess in the dog's crate.  I didn't let them out this morning and have spent the day with a dual stopped up/runny nose.  My husband, Jason, had the misfortune of finding the treasure buried in the dogs' blanket.

As much as I hate cleaning up dog poop, I cringed as I saw him start to clean up the mess.  My mind raced back to other times he volunteered to remedy a messy situation, like the time he decided to wash my favorite rug with a water hose. (I miss that rug.) Would he clean up this mess in a manner I saw fit?

Determined to let him prove himself capable, I planted my feet there in the kitchen where I had my own thing to do and promised to keep quiet. There was stench-y, stained dog bedding in his hands.  I was going to allow the stuff to stay there. 

I did snap a picture of his efforts, but was disallowed sharing privileges. He didn't say I couldn't tell you about it though. With a shovel and a jug of Gain, not only did he wash the dogs' bedding, he provided me a few fresh breaths of air needed to do some thinking.

  1. It is not always my job to fix everything.
  2. It's not my job to tell others how to fix everything.

I'm not strong enough.  I'm not wise enough.

I'm not created to fix/control/handle everything.

When I attempt to do it all/be it all, I'm robbing others the chance to be a part of improvement.

When I do it myself, I steal the opportunity that someone has to learn how to do it. 

And here's the biggest one...

In believing that only I can make things right, no trust exists.

It seems to have become annual ritual to have a word of the year. Never one to rigidly follow the rules I'm going to hang on two, the two hardest words for a parent to hear...

"Let go"

I scratched out a prayer in my spiral last week.  To summarize my impulsive scrawling, I prayed that God would help me let go in a particular situation regarding one of my children. I was given almost immediate (and heart-twisting) opportunity to do so...and I stunk it up.  Daily, since then, I'm continuing to stink it up. (Stink upon stink, I'm worse than my dogs.) Even though I'm learning to say the right things out loud, proper trust is absent from my heart.

It's in my DNA to want to wrestle over mess that's already in capable arms.

My faith calls for better.

Dear God, please help us as parents to seek change in our heart's makeup. Help us to trust you more.  Help us to recognize our limits and your limitlessness, In 2018 help us to let go of things that your strong arms already hold.

The Dog Poop Cleaner/My Favorite Set of Earthly Arms

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2 thoughts on “The Two Hardest Words for Parents

  1. Oh my - tears flowing! I wish I could tell you it gets easier as you age. This is just as appropriate for me with my grandson as it is for you. I needed this so much today. And yes, God, change my heart - help me to TRUST you and your infinite handling of life’s issues! Thank you God!

    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      You're right. I'm learning the same Liz, that it doesn't get easier. We'll just keep praying for help, huh.


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