Almost 1 year ago to date, I posted this on building a mansion, using only a hammer and some nails. I was feeling so overwhelmed with the whole parenting thing. I was only coming to realize what a truly big job it was, and how incredibly incapable I was of doing it.
I was thinking a few days ago, about how far Drew and I have come with the whole parenting thing. I don't find it so intensely overwhelming anymore. It's still a lot of work, but I don't mind working. I just hate it when I have no idea how to get the job done.
And I thought back to the analogy of the mansion, hammer and nails. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. (hee hee, come on, laugh with me, it was funny!). The tools are out there. Many, many parents have built mansions, and done a great job of it too. But they had the tools, or they found the tools from other parents who had already built their own mansions. The tools exist to build the most exquisite marble winding stair case in my daughter, I just need to find the right tools to cut the marble into the right shape. And for my son's more rugged mahogany stair case, I can find the right tools for that also. I may not have the tools. Actually, chances are that I don't. But I can find them. I can pray and look around until I've found someone who was given the same materials and get the 'tools' from them. And that is exactly what I am learning to do.
The Bible is my final authority, but for the details of parenting, where the Bible doesn't have much to say. I am finding that God has 'mentors' (Titus 2:3-5) out there for me to find and learn from. To find out what tools worked for them and to try them on my own children until I find what works.
I know we'll make mistakes, tons and tons and tons of them. I see it everyday. But I no longer have this overwhelming sense of dread when I look at my children and see their sins and misbehavior. I simply pray and ask the Lord to show me what tool I need to help guide my children in this area of their lives. And I know he will. He cares far more about them then I do. And he knows exactly what the final products need to look like, for whatever jobs he has for them. So we can trust him to guide us each step of the way. Even if I can only see one step ahead.