Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I AM an Awful Mother!!!

Yes, I am.  There is nothing anyone can say that would make me feel any different.  I am about the worst Christian mother out there.  I am ashamed and full of guilt which of course is keeping me in this vicious cycle so the only way I know to get out of it is to be transparent and let people see me, Flaws and ALL.

So here it is... well first back story... Growing up I was in Church CONSTANTLY, not that that was a bad thing, in fact, I loved being in church when I was little.  But being there all the time, learning about God was easy.  Even though God wasn't the talk of the house -we did pray before dinner but we didn't just sit around reading the bible and such- I was still surrounded by God stuff.  I remember the first day that I heard Psalty the singing song book and the kids praise kids.  I was like 4, and I was in love.  We were at our Pastor house and listening to it on the record player while it recorded to a tape so we could have a copy of it-- I still have that same tape, it is 29 yrs old but it still works.  I then listened to that tape over and over and over again then the 2nd one came out and then the 3rd and by the time I was 12 I had the first 5 tapes and listened to them all the time.  That's how I remember learning about who God was, and how much he loved me.  I would sit on the swing set in the back yard with my tape player and just sing along with all the songs and I was in heaven.  I felt safe and at home in Psalty's world.  When I was 7 or so, we started going to a Nazerene church (where my mom is still at) and I kind of remember my sunday school classes but not all of them, but I do remember the principles that were taught.  Around 12 or so I started Bible quizzing  and so of course I was studing the bible, though not in a very devotional kind of way, but the word was finding its way into me.  And there were times that Dad and I would have conversations about biblical stuff, but it wasn't until I was in my teens and beyond.  Every summer since I was 8 I was at church camp, completely surrounded by God, which is probably the other place where I learned about God and his love. 

I'm sorry if this is sounding scattered but please bear with me and I'm sure it will all come together--at least I hope it does. 

So anyway, I learned about God and I fell in love with God.  I had great big faith, I thought that ALL things WERE possible, and I could be anything God wanted me to be. (Gaither reference if you didn't catch that one- and yes, I grew up on Southern Gospel) But I didn't get that knowledge and faith because my parents constantly read the bible to me, or talk to me about the things of God when I was little, they just kind of surrounded me and even when they weren't around me they were still inside me, they filled my being- God filled me.
But now as a parent myself I don't know how to teach my children the things of God.  When Nathian was born I (and even while I was pregnant with him) I used to read the word to him, I used to sing worship songs all the time.  But something happened, and it just stopped. Not completely, I still sing worship songs around the house but I don't sit and read the word with my kids like I dreamed I would while I was pregnant with Nathian.  Yesterday, during what seemed to me like maybe the worst day yet, I talked to the boys about obedience.  I asked them if they loved God, and Nathian said No.  I then asked him if he knew who God was, and he said, "oh, yeah, he's an angle".  I just couldn't believe my ears.  How can I expect my children to obey me when they don't even know why they need to obey.  We obey are parents in Lord because God commands it, and we obey God because we love him, and we love him because he first loved us.  Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my commandments", but if I haven't taught my children about God and his love then how can I ask them to obey him by obeying me. 

So this is why I'm a horrible mother.  I have not taught my children about the love of their Heavenly Father, I have neglected to live out God's love for my kids.  I yell at them when I'm angry- yes, I get angry with them- I make excuses why I can't sit and play with them, I get annoyed with them when they keep begging and whining.  I am in no way a good example of God to my children.  I want my children to look at me and want to be like me because I reflex Gods love.  I don't want them to grow up angry and bitter, because I unloaded all my baggage on them. 

So how do I change this?  How do I teach my children about God?  I did find, and bought, all the Psalty albums from my childhood on CD so we can listen to them in the van instead of constantly watching movies.  They kids have liked having them in and Nathian wants to take them to school to teach the kids some of the songs.  But I know that it's not enough, I don't want my kids to get the same kind of God knowledge that I got.  I want them to go into their marriages and parenting lives with the tools they need to give their children the love of God. 

I do know that one of our major issues is that Ben and I are not on the same page parentally or spiritually.  I'm not saying that he's not a godly man, because he is, it's more that, he wasn't raised in the church, he came from a broken home,  and he lived most of his life out in the world.  I'm also not saying that people who live out in the world can't come to Christ and become a totally different person and grow spiritually and even become preachers and teachers of the word quickly and sustain that passion for the rest of their lives.  I'm just saying that when we met, he wasn't really going to church, he had gone off and on for a few months and had giving his life to God, but he had no one discipling  him.  So we started out on uneven ground, and it's never really gotten anywhere near level.  This is probably the same reason that I have a hard time teaching my kids about God and Jesus-- I have a very hard time talking to Ben about the things of God because I'm so used to talking to fellow believers who have the same (or at least similar) knowledge of the word, so when talking to someone with limited knowledge (or no knowledge) I don't know how to break it down- of course with Ben, I'm worried that breaking it down he will feel belittled and I don't want to do that, So instead of talking, I avoid.  And of course then I get mad at him for not Just knowing what I'm thinking or talking about, and we end up in a fight and we become distant and so the cycle continues. 

So this is how I am an Awful mother.  I avoid talking to them about the things of God because it was never discussed with me so I don't know how to do it without sounding degrading to whomever I am talking to. 
I really am open for suggestions on how to begin to rectify this situation.  I hate being mad at the kids, and I know that most of that anger needs to be but back on me- but of course that brings guilt which brings fear which brings me further from God which brings frustration which brings anger which brings guilt.....I'm sure you see the picture.  I know that I need to find a way to forgive myself for all these wasted years but it's really hard when I know that I let God down.  I have asked for forgiveness from my heavenly father and I have also asked the boys to forgive me for not teaching them about God. 

I hope someone was able to follow this craziness which is my thought process and can help me bring my family into the word and love of God. 

Thank you for reading


Sarah Bethuel said...

I know we have talked a little about this a little - but I am in the same boat as you so so so much! I told Taylor the story of the loaves and the fishes the other day and she was amazed and laughed the whole time. She knows so little, and it is all because I have not taken the time to tell. We can make a pact to work together to be better moms, hey there is always room to grow and be better right? I hate it when I find myself being someone I don't want my kids to be around. I sometimes have Taylor pray that God will help mom have a better works every time! Much hugs and many prayers, you are not on this journey alone!

terica said...

Hey Jenn! Thanks for the comment over on my blog. I just clicked onto your blog are read this post. What a sweet sincere prayer. You know I think we all, every person, wether believers in our Heavenly Father or those who believe in something higher than us, we all have moments where we feel we need to get ourselves in check. We are not perfect. This is exactly why we chose to come to this earth. To learn. To make mistakes. To become more like Him. To return to Him and all while learning and slipping up on the way. I know in our marriage religion/spiritualty is very important and is the the very foundation of our relationship. Every now and then we have a little family council where we get on the same page, recognise what is important to each of us and proceed from there. You are a good mom. He knows this. The great thing is we can only go forward from here we can only progress. Andy and I every four months or so decide what our goal are for our children and our marriage spiritually and then goals that are more physically and or mentally. It really helps. We keep the goals up on our fridge and then each four months we add to them and by the end of the year we have 20 new goals met that become the normal in our family. Just keep doing what you are doing. You are a great mom. Do not anyone or anything make you think differently!

Brandi said...

Oh Jen!!! I just want to give you a great big hug right now...I miss you