“i effing hate you. you mean nothing to me. you’re not my real mama. i want to tear up the adoption papers.”
it was 2009.
my friend is a modern day saint. she is. she advocates for the orphan. she travels world wide & encourages adoptive families. she works in a very high ranking government position as well. but her highest calling is truly that of a mama.
her friendship is a gift to me is so many ways. earlier this week i reached out to her and gave her a few specific prayer requests. she called me almost immediately and gave me so much to ponder. so much good to ponder. from a woman who has been on the front lines of battle with rebellious kids, angry kids, broken relationships…she’s seen it all. she’s giving me life lessons that she’s learned herself. not just fluff and well wishes sent my way.
one of the powerful things she told me sounds simple.
reflect jesus to them.
sounds simple most days? maybe even at many ages? but think about it. i know for me when my girls and i are in a heated conversation, when there is confrontation or disagreement i am probably guilty of seldom reflecting jesus. in fact, i betcha if they were reading this they’d be like, umm. yeah right mom.
reflect jesus to them.
it sure is easy to reflect them back to them. teenagers view of their reality is not always…well…reality. but it’s reality to them & to their hearts. let’s face it. these years can sometimes ( it may never happen in your home -high five–but otherwise….) be a time of hyper-focusing on the failures and weaknesses of the parents. it just happens sometimes ya’ll. it does.
this morning my friend called & told me after a recent dinner table conversation where she asked a couple of her grown kiddos who they most want to copy. after years of rebellion that very daughter told my friend “mom, you are the person I try to copy!”
5 years between the two statements.
5 years–or actually many many more—of reflecting jesus.
reflecting jesus when anger is much easier. reflecting jesus when bitterness would much prefer to take root. reflect jesus when the need to be right seems stronger. reflect jesus when your world is already filled to the brim with stress.
reflect jesus back to them.
‘you mom. you’re the person i want to copy.”
that my friends is the redeeming power that reflecting jesus to them can have. it gives hope if you’re in a place of not really knowing what to do in a situation that seems larger than life. hope & power.
i love the above image of dan & caroline taken a few years ago. that look of trust and adoration. the smiling out loud & hands held. loyalty. love. he reflects jesus in our home. slow to anger. quick to forgive. silence instead of over-reacting. quiet instead of needing to be right. loving through service. loyal.
reflect jesus to them. i can’t do this in my own strength. the natural paige isn’t jesus at all. but i have His spirit within me. if your heart believes in Him, you have it too. His strength made perfect through our weakness. feeling weak today but relying fully on Him. thankful that each morning He gives new mercies. i sure do love Him.