Tweaked

March 24, 2011

Parenting

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“We’re all tweaked!”

This phrase could easily be considered my most commonly spoken mantra.  It’s a statement often escaping my lips as a reminder to myself or others that we’re all frail, broken people; no one is without issues, challenges, insecurities, and character blemishes.

Often on the heels of that statement, especially in conversations about parenting, I will add, “And we all tweak our kids…it’s just a question of how we’ll tweak ‘em.”

These statements are not intended to be fatalistic, but rather a reminder that none of us are perfect.  No one is without flaws and therefore no one can parent without flaw.

That said, I have been deeply aware of my inadequacies as a mother recently.  I’ve been observing specific ways my behavior and choices are affecting my Jessie-Girl in ways I would prefer not to see.  Whether it be my tendency toward being an overly-controlling parent, or my too-high expectations for my girl, or my moments of insensitivity, or my struggles with grief, or my unwelcome temper, or…the list could go on and on—I have been noting the shaping consequences of my shortcomings on the precious little lady entrusted to my care. 

It hurts.  It hurts to be broken.  But hurts even more to “break” someone else!

It is one thing to know I will tweak Jessie, but it is quite another to begin to get glimpses of it—to notice the manner by which my deficits unfavorably impact such a beautiful young soul.  Of course, it’s not that my issues don’t affect others too (no question Drake can attest to that!), it’s just that parenting is the most powerfully shaping influence, with incredibly far-reaching implications.

I feel the sobering weight of my role as a mother, coupled with the solemn reality of my tweaked-ness, and it sends me to my knees begging for redemption.  I am desperate for God’s grace to flood my life and saturate my parenting, while equally, if not more-so, desperate for God’s mercy and grace to inundate Jessie’s life.   

A couple days ago I awoke in the middle of the night gripped by thoughts of my little lady, feeling the weight of my disappointments as a parent.  With tears pouring down my face, I got out of bed and went to Jessie’s room.  I watched as her blanket rose and fell with the depth of her breath, then snuggled beside her under her checkered-pink sheets—my arm settling around her waist, feeling her warmth.   In the darkness of her room, as I held my little girl close to me while she slept, deeply aware of my faults, imperfections, and deficiencies as a mother, I found myself pleading with God to parent Jessie—to intervene in the midst of all my inadequacies and somehow shape her with his undying, perfect love.

As I got up to leave, I gave my slumbering girl a soft kiss on her lips.  Her eyes unexpectedly opened and with one glance at me, the most beautiful, sweet, loving smile swept across her face.  She reached her arms around my neck, pulled me in close and whispered, “I love you, mama,” then settled back in to rest.

In that moment, all the parts of me that felt crushed and damaged were bandaged up with the deep love of my girl and the reflections of God’s grace in and through her life.

I am definitely tweaked!  But thank goodness I serve a God who can redeem me out of my tweaked-ness…and redeem my daughter despite my tweaked-ness!

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How do you deal with your own tweaked-ness?

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