Monday, June 22, 2009

Reflections on Father's Day weekend with dad

As I reflect on my time at the ranch, I have tried to put my finger on what is going on in my heart while I am there.
The picture I have is Me looking down at a version of me - or maybe it's the other way around - a version of me looking down at the real Me. I don't know which.

Being there should be relaxing and restful. The beauty and purity of being out in the country does calm my soul. The wide-open space, the delightful smells that waft through the clean air, the gorgeous view.... I love the thought of it.

However, it seems that when I am with my dad, his opinion of me takes over, and I move around with angst. I fear disappointing him - particularly when it comes to my kids.
He and his wife didn't have kids together. He was not around us much growing up either, so they have very little experience with small children. They do however, have lots of opinions about how children should behave. If my kids delay in obeying or make a bad choice, I freak out because of what they might think of me. I kept praying when I was there that God would help me release myself from anyone's opinion but my heavenly Father's. I want to be excellent - to give my whole self to God and not be affected by the opinions of man (not just any man - - my dad).

I feel like I turn into an ugly, impatient witch-mom when I am there. I had to apologize to my kids on the car ride home. Told them I wasn't very patient and gentle with them while we were there. Of course, they were like, "its ok mom."

They are always extravagant with grace and forgiveness.

When the kids were younger (little bitty), I simply felt clumsy and awkward. But now I often feel inadequate. I go through seasons of success and balance with the kids where I feel like I am shepherding them well. And then out of the blue - I'm out of control with no balance. Herding cats. Deaf cats. Cats with no common sense.

I could go on and on.

I'm not flogging myself about it. Just want to articulate these reflections so that I can continue to build awareness of certain tendencies. I just hate it when my flesh rears its nasty head. What's so good though - is that it reminds me of my need for God's transforming love, grace and power.

3 comments:

Dana said...
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Dana said...

I feel the same way around my dad. I've had a really hard time lately even. I'm 41 years old for goodness sake!! I feel as though I never measure up. That feeling of inadequacy has seeped into my every day life and into my marriage. I never measure up...

God is good, isn't he? That we can look to Him for our approval and not to man (Deward) or husband or society. Yes, I long to have the verbal (and non-verbal) approval from his lips, but until then---I'll just keep on smiling like everything is o.k.

Love you. Can't wait to see you!

georgia girl said...

I also turn into "mean witch mama" around my dad and I absolutely hate who I become around him. I hate it for myself, I hate it for Andy and I hate it for my kids.

It took Jesus a loooong time to move me through putting my value and worth into the approval and opinion of others....a curse that I definitely picked up from my earthly father.

I can think that I've come so far and then I get around him and I see how far I still have to go.

Andy and I are learning more about leaving our earthly parents and cleaving to one another. We're a little embarrassed that it has taken 13 years for us to understand and see that the leaving part isn't just a physical leaving..but a very emotional and spiritual leaving. We are determined to let Jesus show us more and more how to leave behind the emotional and spiritual things that we've brought into our marriage (and our parenting) from the origins of our pasts... Our parents gave us a lot of good and we love them and want to honor them..we say often..they did the best they could with what they had...but they also put on us some mindsets that are the opposite of God's kingdom.

Thanks for always keeping it real...

Tara L.