Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brown Sugar Turns Three

Yesterday Brown Sugar turned three years old.  
Three year olds are so much fun...they are all about exploring and learning.  They love pretending and they work as if they are playing.
Brown Sugar is a typical three year old...enjoying life to its fullest.
She is also a lot of work right now.  Her will is demanding its way regularly.  And, if she doesn't get her way it is usually followed by arching of the back, whining, 
and other horrible acts of rebellion.   
Thankfully, she has a momma that loves her sooooooo much that she will not let little Brown Sugar get away with anything.  This covenant child is being reminded by the minute that her will must succeed to her mother's.  
I take parenting seriously.  I am not just raising kids.  I am called to this position to raise godly kids.  The thought of doing this on my own makes me utterly exhausted but by God's grace I do not feel as exhausted as I think I should be.  
Yep, it is hard.  I have six completely different individuals that I am trying to take time for, nurture, and disciple on their very different paths.  
I do have my moments of tears as I get frustrated 
with having to do this all by myself....oh, wait a minute!  Actually, I am not doing it all by myself.  See, that is what gets me into trouble.  When I think that I am doing it alone I find myself getting overwhelmed.  But, Sunday afternoon proved to me once again that this is not a journey that I take alone.  As we were sitting on the back porch at a friend's home I was blessed by having all these wonderful community believers back me up.  They would chime in when they did not hear a "yes mom".  They had no problem looking Brown Sugar in the eye and tell her to obey her mommy.  They had no problem encouraging Goose to be diligent in his education.  And, I believe that they will have no problem holding my kids accountable or even letting me help them in their parenting.  As one of the dad's said to me later

  "I don’t know if I’d say that parenting “takes a village” but a covenant community vowed to support one another is a truly wonderful asset."

Another gentleman that was at the fellowship time that afternoon spoke words of wisdom.  He said that, in his life, he sometimes sees things with blinders on.  He has surrounded himself with two men that he trusts to be his side mirrors (like on a car).  They help him see where he might be missing something or where he might need to be corrected.  

I have been put in some awkward positions in the past six months where I am having to make a decision that I feel I am not altogether able to make on my own.  Having my church community there to be those side mirrors is one of the greatest gifts that Eric left me with.  
As I rocked Brown Sugar to sleep last night I was thinking through all of this.  Tears rolled down my face as I realized that Brown Sugar will never know the daddy that brought her to this country and into our home.  And, I surely do not understand why God thinks that it is better for her to be raised by a single mom then by a mom and a dad.  But, when all is said and done I just have to keep "plugging along" , being consistent in my loving and training up of this little one (and the other five), and accepting the help I get from my dear friends.  


Anonymous said...

The faith you share with us while you are on this journey is a blessing to me indeed, I can learn so much from you as you follow the Lord through this time in your life!
God bless you Heather!!!

the rykens said...

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Brown Sugar! May God bless her as she continues to grow in the love and admonition of her Heavenly Father.

Second, as I read through your posts, I am constantly touched by the love and assistance with which your family is surrounded. It's the way Christ's church should be. Unfortunately this is not how all churches are. It's so sad. The churches themselves are missing out on receiving blessing that comes from coming along a family such as yours.

You remain in our prayers and look forward to the day when we can visit again.

Jessica NicDhòmhnaill said...

A very, very, very Happy 3rd Birthday to Brown Sugar! Give her a *big* hug for me!!! :-)
We're praying for y'all!!!

Love in Christ, Jessica

Erin said...

Happy Birthday!!! Give that chocolate baby lots of love from Colorado!

godlover said...

A very big Happy Birthday to Brown Sugar. They grow up so fast. Before you know it, it will be her 6th birthday, then her 12th, and then her 18th. My granddaughter that I raised for the first 6 years of her life, will be turning 21 in August. I simply can't wrap my brain around that fact. Seems like I was just changing diapers and then chasing after a 3 year old myself. She too was a very strong-willed child. And she blossomed into a beautiful, strong-willed woman. She's very forward with people. Everyone knows her thoughts on the matter whether they ask for them or not. But she is tender and obedient and loves the Lord.

It is so obvious how you raise your kids in God's truth. When you said, "I take parenting seriously. I am not just raising kids. I am called to this position to raise godly kids" my heart rejoiced at a kindred spirit. Yes our children of the covenant are fit for discipline. I didn't have that understanding when my boys were young. I was not a Christian and then when they got a little older I became one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I raised them with much discipline and not enough love. My son says I was a fantastic mother but I know better. We are to cherish each other and cherish God above all else. We are called into a covenant relationship with our heavenly Father. Bless you, Heather, for taking child rearing so seriously. It shows up in the older children, Boo and Goose and Daisy and Miss M. You are reaping the rewards of all your hard work in rearing them. Thank you for putting in the long, tiring days of labor in parenting your children but you will reap basketsful of love and honor in return. You will not stand ashamed before of your Righteous Maker. He will look at you and smile and with a tender voice say... "well done..." You are so blessed having such a wonderful congregation to lean on. In the midst of every thing they have stood by you and for you. What love!! Oh if all churches would display such love and caring of each other.

You have so blessed me with your blog. Your posts never cease to lift my spirits. You are definitely called. That's for sure! And the best part is that God put you into a position to be a blessing for so many others during the most painful upheaval of your life.

God bless you, Heather. God bless you and your family. I will continue to lift up you and yours in prayer.


P.S. Tell Brown Sugar she's loved by a whole bunch of people who have never even met her. You are all loved with the love of Christ that permeates these blogs.

Joy said...

Happy birthday to Brown Sugar! :-)

We love you, Mrs. D., and we pray for you! :-)

Edith said...

Happy Birthday to Brown Sugar.

Thank you for so openly sharing your thoughts on parenting alone and how your church is coming alongside you. That's so awesome.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe I didn't comment before this!!! I meant to, but... oh, well. Tell the little darling a belated happy birthday from her friends in TN!

Miss y'all!

Laura B.