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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: From Arachnophobia to Kiddo-phobia
By Ann Renae Hair


From Arachnophobia to Kiddo-phobia

I used to be afraid of spiders. Now I’m afraid of kids! Well, not kids exactly, but parenting them. I have wondered: Why weren’t we warned? Then I realized: If we knew in advance how scary it is to be a parent, we may choose not go there! Then we would miss out on all that the Lord has for us to experience that teaches us more about Him!

I’m so thankful for a few foundational truths that I learned in a parenting class at church when my son was two years old. However, I was not prepared for the emotional battle. These little people that I loved and adored (and were so cute) had little minds of there own that they didn’t mind using. Everything I knew in my head became mush when my emotions were stretched. I became like a rubber band, ready to snap at any given moment. I never hurt my kids, but I definitely wasn’t helping them or enjoying them like I dreamed about motherhood. I knew that what they were getting away with was not best for them – and so young!

I was fearful of my kids not “turning out right”. In desperation I prayed for wisdom. With obsession I read every parenting book I could get my hands on. Wisdom became my idol. With each book came the next experiment in technique that I tried on my kids. Wow, were they confused! It was almost like a game – Mom of the week! I was stressed out, yelling, crying and lacking joy.

Meanwhile, knowing I was failing more and more often, I was really tested by God about my motives. Or shall I say motive? SELF! Ugh. Ouch. I didn’t see that one coming. I realized that I was reacting to my non-perfect children, based on my selfish expectations, rather than responding to them with patient training. Then I painfully realized their behaviors with which I was most frustrated, were a mirror of ME! I was also exasperating them by presenting my requests of them in the form of suggestions or questions, rather than specific instructions, anticipating response more mature than most adults can manage! With truth exposed, confessed, and forgiven, healing began. Fear began to lose its grip. Fine strands of hope began to weave into the making of each day through the process of transformation. Stress…became a response to the current challenge; Yelling…became a conversation to better understand each other and our God; Crying…became tears of joy! This process continues to refine me that I might reflect my Savior to my precious children.

The opposite of being fearful is being confident. I was relying on myself and the logical tactics of others. I’m now confident in God and the step by step method of growth we each have to walk; no games, no gimmicks, no clever tricks – just faith, hope and love that leads to joy.

Fearfulness comes from focusing on results. I saw a t-shirt this week that said, “The Journey is the Destination”. Our pastors have taught that our eternal relationship with God begins at the point of salvation – not at death. We can share a taste of heaven with others, here on earth. Where better to start than with our children?

What actually scares me the most is to think of what kind of person I might be, if not for the privilege of parenting. As for the spiders, I just squish ‘em!

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This article has been read 580 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/30/07
Love your last line. Great advice here, and a wonderful job of walking us through your process. I'd try to make a point of avoiding exclamation marks as a rule, and use stronger words instead. A great read.
Rhonda Clark08/31/07
Great devotional. I love the spider reference. Good title too.
dub W09/03/07
Good devotion, if you PM me I will tell you where to send it. Edit out the exclamation marks and the essay will be stronger. Definately belongs in puppy pen.
Dee Yoder 09/03/07
Wonderful, wonderful! I enjoyed reading your devotional very much. It's so important to model the love of the Lord to our children, yet it's hard to do when a million little hands and voices are grasping and calling for attention! You have a natural voice in your writing that's very appealing!
Jacquelyn Horne09/03/07
Most mothers fear their ability to be a good mother. You told that story gracefully.
Tracy Walshaw09/04/07
Great job! I admire when writers can say something profound with only a few words, and for me you did that when you said how everything in the brain became mush when emotions were stretched. That rang so true for me! I feel your honesty in your writing, no pretension, and that's exactly what makes a great writer!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/05/07
OUCH! This hurts! WAY too much foot-stepping here. LOL. You have a great writing future ahead of you. You definitely know how to define a point clearly and bring it full circle (to that last sentence about the spiders - ew). This is a gem. P.S. LOVE the title. :-)
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/05/07
From title to last sentence, you did a great job. I loved the "Mom of the week" idea. You have excellent reminders for parents here.
LaNaye Perkins09/05/07
What a wonderful message you have given in us in this piece. Keep up the great work!
Betty Castleberry09/05/07
And what mom can't relate to this?
This was a nice devotional. I loved the last line. Well done.
Brenda Welc09/05/07
You spoke to me just know. Not only with children do we see mirrors, but co-workers too! (But that's another story) Great writing and very insightful. Good Job!