Happy & Content New Year!
My given name is Katherine Grace. Katherine means pure. Pure Grace.
It is by pure Grace that I enjoy the blessings that I do. I don’t believe I have done ANYTHING to deserve the life I’ve had. In fact, I would expect to have had it a whole lot worse if we, are in this life held accountable for every misdeed, bad choice, or stupid behavior.
So, I find myself very hesitant to offer advice because I couldn’t tell you how the big picture works. I laugh when I think how I would explain how I’ve lived.
“How did you do it KT?”
Well, first you need a wonderfully generous Dr. Father to subsidize your lifestyle for 54 years.
What? You don’t have one? That’s a problem.
So, I don’t have big advice for big problems. I have little advice for little problems.
I DO have quite a bit of general knowledge about a lot of things. Mostly varied theologies and history. However, I think I have some wisdom on parenting, I’ve raised 4 adults and am still raising a 13-year-old.
Wisdom is defined as “the ability…to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight,”
Remember you are your child’s first conception of God. I mean the big picture of God. How the universe works. Before you teach them your traditions, you teach them what they might expect from God. How God might treat them.
Do you meet their basic needs? Do they have to scream to get them? Are you stingy?
Do you anticipate their needs? Do you listen to their quietest pleas?
If you want your child to “believe” in a loving God. You need to BE a loving parent.
Although I don’t identify myself strongly with any religion, I was raised Presbyterian and converted to Mormonism and have now evolved into a peacenik “Be ye kind” Buddhist type. But I still tend to couch things in Bible text terms.
In Matthew 7:9-11 it reads:
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?…If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Seems clear that we are to shower our children with good gifts just like our Heavenly Father showers us. Don’t be afraid to answer your children’s prayers. Don’t be afraid to explain why they may be praying amiss. Don’t be afraid to tell them they can dream (pray) about anything and one day if they get an education and are lucky,THEY may get those things on their wish list. You don’t have to demean the dream or feel guilty you can’t provide it.
Provide what you can.
What can we ALL provide? No matter our big problems?
A safe place for our children to express themselves. Validation that we hear what they are saying. Encouragement that they are up to the task.
When my children did something wrong (too strong a word), let’s say unexpected, I would think,
“Did my Heavenly Father punish me every time I did something I wasn’t, maybe suppose to do?”
No he didn’t.
We have heard it over and over that we teach by example. Doesn’t matter what our words are.
So, if we want to teach mercy? Be merciful.
I’m not talking about letting your kids get away with bad behavior. I’m saying that if you have a child looking at you with remorseful eyes, maybe a big hug and a talk is what you should do, not a strict punishment. I have found that explaining to my children how what they did might have hurt them or me, I usually get understanding. In the big picture ALL our laws and rules were (ostensibly) made for our protection. We don’t want to get hurt. We don’t want to hurt people or animals.
That IS the law. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Don’t hurt yourself, don’t yell at yourself, don’t trip yourself.
Comfort yourself, feed yourself, believe in yourself.
And your children are your closest neighbors.
I have grown so grateful for the times both my earthly and Heavenly father had mercy on me.
There is the old poem about children learning what they live.
This year let us show our children what a loving merciful God could be like. And on the off chance there is no God, we have created the most loving environment we were capable of sharing with our children.