“WAY TO GO, LIL SIS!” “GO, BIG SIS!” My sister and I heard these cheers as we ran by the spectators lining the streets of the Portland Half Marathon. Races are amazing that way! Total strangers calling out to runners by the name or number printed on their race bibs, encouraging them to keep going. You’ll find them all over the race course, but I especially appreciate the ones planted along a major hill or at points where my legs and lungs whine the most. I love hearing their cow bells and applause, but my favorite is reading their homemade signs. “Go, Random Stranger, Go!” “Run Like You Stole Something!” and “Smile if You Peed a Little” help me laugh through the pain.
Wouldn’t it be great if encouraging strangers lined the aisles of Target or grocery stores, supporting moms whose kids are having major temper tantrums? Imagine this: Little Lily reaches the end of her rope, wailing and screaming in seismic waves of destruction. Not an eardrum in the store is spared and shoppers get whiplash turning to stare at the commotion. Mom, glowing red with humiliation and helplessness, seriously considers climbing into the basket to cry alongside Lily.
Versus this: As the first sonic blast erupts from Lily, shoppers turn to Mom holding signs that say, “THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS!” “We <3 you, Mom!” And all the while, they gently smile, and tell the embarrassed mother they’ve been there before. They survived, and she will, too. Calmed by their empathy, Mom maintains her composure and quietly talks to Lily while hurrying to finish her shop or take the tearful toddler to the car.
OK, so a fan club like this sounds more like a fairy tale. But the truth is, each one of us already has a support system even more powerful and more reliable than we could ever dream. What’s even more incredible is that it can be ours simply by asking. I’m talking about a relationship with God, our most loyal fan and the perfect parenting partner. He never meant for us to parent alone, and He waits patiently to help in any situation. It took me a while to realize this, but now that I know my Heavenly Father is standing WITH me, it really doesn’t matter who seems to be against me – even nosey shoppers who stop to stare at the worst moments.
In God’s perfection, I am able to be my Personal Best. He’s the essential third person of my parent-child-God “TriParenting Team. ” When chaos erupts, I invite Him into the room. (Yeah, you’re right: He was already in the room, but I’m not always good at remembering that). And before I act, I ask God to guide my words, calm my heart, and help me love my child through whatever it is we are facing…no matter how ugly. I’m constantly amazed at how much easier it is to handle even the toughest battles when I acknowledge His strong and loving presence.
Question: Who’s on your “parenting team”? Have you thought about inviting God to be the captain? You can leave a comment by clicking here.