Today I would like for you to meet Abby McDonald. She is a lovely person that I have grown to admire and respect. Her words minister to my soul. I’m thrilled that Abby is our guest writer today.
Abby McDonald is a southern girl, currently living on the mountain side of Maryland, who fell in love with writing at a young age. For most of her life, she never shared her writing with anyone. She started Fearfully Made Mom because she felt God gently pushing her to share her writing with others who may feel alone in their struggles with self-doubt, accepting God’s grace, and finding their identity in Christ. Her desire is to show women they are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who will relentlessly pursue them, even during their darkest times. Abby would love to connect with you on her Blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter
What Story Time Taught Me About Letting Go
The longer we sat, the more frustrated my son became. My tiredness came through in my tone and I fought my desire to take the book away from him and finish the reading myself.
“Sound it out, buddy. You can do this.”
He slowly mouthed each consonant and vowel of the next word. Then he came to a more difficult sentence and his impatience mounted again.
“What’s this word, Mama?” he asked with his long eyelashes batting up toward me. He knew exactly how to break me.
“No, you can read it. We’ve gone through this.”
He grunted and turned his face back toward the book. I wondered how long we’d been sitting there.
Every night since my oldest son was an infant, we’d engaged in this ritual. The bedtime story. Only recently, the role of reading had gone from Daddy and me to child.
It was a beautiful transition. But it was also quite exasperating at times. My son was used to things coming easily and without much effort, but reading required hard work and persistence. And five-year-olds aren’t big fans of either.
As a mom, I often want to step in and do the work for my kids. Rather than see them struggle, I long to take the easy route and come to their rescue.
However, doing so does not help anyone, least of all my kids.
One of the most sacrificial acts of love we give our kids is to let them make mistakes.
We let them try, fail, and sometimes fail again. Then we push them to pick themselves back up and try harder.
Story time taught me to let go and watch my child soar.
When we finally made it through the bedtime story, I could see the satisfaction on my son’s face. Despite all of his complaining and moaning, he’d done it. A smile of pride enveloped his face.
I wished I could say after that evening, making him do the work was never a fight, but I’d be lying. For a while, the struggle continued.
Now, nearly two years later, his teacher tells me he’s the best reader in the class. Over a parent-teacher conference she recalls how dynamically he reads to the class during story time, complete with voices for each character. No other child in his class does this, but mine does.
After hearing his teacher praise him, it was my turn to smile from ear to ear, and I knew all of those nights on the sofa were worth it.
Sometimes when we go through rituals such as bedtime stories with our kids, we wonder if it’s making a difference. We may not see the results we desire and get discouraged when our children don’t appear to be learning what we are trying to enforce.
Can I tell you something? Will you lean in close and let me wrap my arm around your shoulder?
Stay the course, my friend. When you least expect it, your children will recount all of the lessons and learning you’ve been pouring into them.
And when they do, simply lift up your eyes and thank God for giving them to you.
Please come back Wednesday for Story 3 from Family Rituals Series
Links to all four stories from this series