31 January 2009

Parenting: A Sacred Path

Posted in Everyday Sacred, Spirituality

First Appeared in February 2009 Redeemer Reporter

Everything is spiritual. There is not one part of our lives or this world that is beyond God’s presence. Our lives are not divided between sacred and secular, between Sunday and the rest of the week. All of life is infused with the grace of God. Therefore, everything we do – from the sublime to the mundane – can be seen a spiritual practice, a way of opening ourselves to God and growing in love. Parenting is one of those practices, and, for many, one of the most important.

Last month a number of parents with children from 3 months to 22 years old gathered to talk about our parenting and spirituality, using a booklet by Patience Robbins called Parenting: A Sacred Path.

We shared our joys, fears, comforts, and challenges. Here are some of our gleanings from these very rich conversations:

  • Newer parents learned from more experienced parents about the similarities and differences in the various stages of childhood and parenting
  • We observed that our unconditional love for our children often brings us to heartbreaking moments, much like how Jesus’ unconditional love for us took him to the cross
  • We talked about how we see our parenting as a holy calling, which begins with the miracle of being able to create life, and continues through all our moments of joy and struggle
  • We described our efforts to accept and love our children as they are, and not wishing, in the midst of our frustration or exhaustion, that they were somehow different
  • One parent shared her mantra “there is no moment but this moment” as a way that she remembers to slow down and take the time to be present with her children
  • One parent talked about how Luther described every morning as being a new baptism, and that despite any failures of the previous day, today is always a new day, and all things are possible with God.

We will pick up the conversation on February 8th and continue through March 1st. These are some of the questions we will consider:

  • What are some small and repetitive tasks that you would like to transform into prayer?
  • How has parenting expanded your heart?
  • What childlike qualities would you like to embody (wonder, spontineity, simplicity, innocence, playfulness, curiostity, trust…)?
  • Am I holding on to blame or judgement of myself for any parenting failures?
  • Can you think of a time when you have entrusted your children to God?

Parents and grandparents of all ages are welcome to join the conversation. Until we meet again, may you know God’s strength and grace as you care for you children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. May you find moments of quiet in the midst of the swirling chaos that is life with kids. May you recognize your parenting as holy and sacred, and may you continue to grow in love for you children and into God’s love for you.

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