My favorite part about being a mom is that I’m shaping and molding a young mind, and it’s all up to me. Consequently, that is also the most terrifying part about being a mom. I mean clearly my kids are gonna be on a therapist’s couch one day, talking about how every night at 8pm mom would yell at them to “Go to Bed!”
I blame Freud. That guy. What an a-hole. He blamed his mother for everything. Who gave that guy his first accreditation into the world of psychology. I mean why do we even know that mother-loving weirdo anyway…?
So here I sit, one day after having visited the American Girl Store, and I have good news. We were able to keep the house. We didn’t have to mortgage it in order to visit and leave said store. All is well.
But it got me thinking…this mom-ing business is not for the weak at heart. I mean here I am walking around this store with tons of other moms who I know have threatened more than once that if their kid throws one more fit they are leaving with nothing…and I secretly keep hoping mine does throw a fit so we CAN leave with nothing! What a win for me that would be. Unfortunately, the kid was a saint. What can I say?
I am working overtime on not letting my kids grow up entitled. We have had to scale back quite a bit in the Olson household. We decided we wanted more adventures than stuff, but stuff still gets in the way sometimes. We have this token system in our house, where the kids earn tokens for doing things they weren’t asked to do, being kind to one another without prompting, using manners, and just showing some darn good characteristics thereby making me feel like I’m succeeding at life more than 10% of the time. When they receive 30 tokens, they get $5.
This may not seem like a big deal, but to the tiny one, this is her Shark Tank. She is in it to win it and she is kicking butt and taking names and she loooveeeesss getting her $5 to spend, to which she will drag you to the store to spend immediately!! She will also hunt you down and ask you where her $5 is daily like a mafia boss looking to get his protection money. She’s no joke.
The big one on the other hand is slightly less enthused. It is his own fault really. Any time the kid gets close to getting 30 tokens, he ends up doing something really dumb that costs us money, to which he ends up having to give that $5 back to us, and more sometimes, to replace whatever he has carelessly wasted or thrown away. Laziness is this kid’s downfall. Ugh. Teenagers.
But here is where it alllll boils down to…
I can be the best mom I can be. I can do everything right, I can read all the parenting books and keep up on the latest trends in discipline and parenting and homeschooling and taking them to VBS and AWANAS and youth camp and all that jazz….and my kids could still end up a murderer.
I stand by my previous assumption: parenting is such a crap-shoot.
I was brought up in a good family, a single mom, but a good family. I had people who loved me. I was a great kid…at least in my opinion. I made straight A’s, I had good friends. I checked about 87% of the boxes. And yet, from about 18 to about 30 I still made the conscious decision to drive my life off a cliff. I even married someone extremely similar to my biological father even though I’d never met the guy. So, what made it all go south…?
I’m convinced it is this: ancestral sin.
No matter how hard we try with THIS generation, we strive and we tend to and we do the whole training up a child in the way they should go schpeal, and yet, sometimes we still fall short. Our kids turn to drugs, get involved in unhealthy living, find the worst of the worst and make those people their BFFs. Why?
Here’s my thoughts and I’m not saying they’re right, but here they are:
We can’t help the life we were born into. We can’t help that the idiots before us came before and are therefore screwing up on DNA track and messing with our futures. Raising my kids is not a one-man job. It is not even a two-man job. It is a me, my husband, our support family and friend-family job, but most important, it is a GOD sized job, that truly only God can handle. Because He knows where we’ve come from, better than we do. He knows I come from a long line of fiercely independent, strong-minded, and loud women. He also knows where all this anger and rage we fiery women contain comes from. He’s knows it better than we do because He’s been there from the beginning.
So, what do we do about all this junk that ends up following us from one generation to the next? Do we just strive to do better, be better, make better choices, take better jobs, buy bigger houses?!?!
Instead, we pray.
We pray constantly. Consistently. Fervently. All those pretty prayerful words. Because we are not just raising up this one generation, we raising up the next 100. And if we can’t take the time to pray and ask God to break those ancestral ties that bind us and our kids and their kids and their kid’s kids…then we are dead in the water.
I strongly believe in breaking strongholds. I strongly believe in breaking the ties of ancestral sin in our lives. And I strongly believe in spiritual battles. I’m so glad God has equipped us for the fight. Not only has He given us Jesus to fight on our behalf, but He’s given us brothers and sisters to fight along side us, lift us up and pray with us for all these lies and strongholds the enemy has on our lives and our kid’s lives to be broken. For good. Forever.
I pray for Jalen constantly. I’m constantly praying for him to do better than me, be better than us, and to be set free from the bonds that ancestral sin has had over our lives for generations. We can’t just always assume that something is the way it is because it has always been that way. No. We have to believe that things can change and get better and be better, because that IS the life Jesus has called us to.
The Abundant Life.
Will you come find it with me? Let’s find it in our homes, in our kids, in our families, in our friends, in our communities, and let’s never forget: we are not in this fight alone, and while the fight does belong to the Lord, we are fighting alongside Him, but not with weapons, but with prayerful hearts. And we don’t find with swords in our hands and on our feet. We fight on our knees, knowing full-well that a surrendered heart is the one that conquers all.
It’s that weird upside kingdom thing Jesus talked about, where nothing makes sense, but you trust Him anyway, because you know that He is faithful, He is true, and He is for you. And He is for your kids too. Even when they are teenagers and everything that comes out of their mouth makes you just want to slap the crap out of them…yep, even then.
So, fight on sister. Don’t give up the fight. He’s in it with you. And so am I.