Wednesday, 15 January 2014 15:12

Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

Guest Blogger Paul David Tripp

It was eleven o'clock on a Sunday night and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we’d put our four children to bed later than we’d planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn't be described as joyful, I got in the car and did the late night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed as if I’d been given an impossible job to do; I’d been chosen to be the dad of four children.

It’s humbling and a bit embarrassing to admit, but I sat in my car and dreamed of what it would be like to be single. No, I didn't want to actually leave Luella and our children, but parenting seemed overwhelming at that point. I felt that I’d nothing left to face the next day of a thousand sibling battles, a thousand authority encounters, a thousand reminders, a thousand warnings, a thousand corrections, a thousand discipline moments, a thousand explanations, a thousand times of talking about the presence and grace of Jesus, a thousand times of helping one of the children to look in the mirror of God's Word and see themselves with accuracy, a thousands "please forgive me's" and a thousand " I love you's." It seemed impossible to be faithful to the task and have the time and energy to do anything else.

Published in Children
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:49

Not Wrong, Just Different

If you want to really learn how different men and women are, try raising a child together! Now, I know I am generalizing a lot and this is not just a male/female thing but its how things have played out in our house the last four months. My wife and I have a wonderful 4-month-old son and we are having a blast with him! We do seem to have different opinions (to state nicely) as to how some things need to be done however. For instance, if we drop his pacifier on the ground I’m thinking “5 second rule” however my wife has purchased all natural food grade pacifier wipes that must be used before we give the pacifier back. Am I wrong (maybe)…is she wrong? It’s not wrong, it’s just different! Little boy spits up on his shirt..I think, “a little spit up never hurt anyone”…however before I even have time to say what I’m thinking; my wife has already got him in a new onesie. Who is wrong? Neither of us! Not wrong, just different.

Published in Christian Living
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 20:36

When Shame is Your Middle Name

 

For as far back as I can remember, Shame was my middle name.  Of course, that is not hard to imagine if you also grew up in the generation I did and the adults around you used the phrase, “Shame on you!” to control your behavior.  We don’t seem to hear that as much since John Bradshaw and others wrote on shame and its effects during the decades following the 1950’s but it was a fairly common expression when I was growing up.

My shame began at birth.  I only realized this when my mother wrote a chapter for a book for Christian women.  She asked me to listen to the tape and edit the copy for her.  She told the story of her remarkable life and when she got to my birth, the story became sad.  She described her alcoholic mother coming to the hospital intoxicated while her Sunday school class was there visiting.That event, coupled with the fact that she had given me her mother’s name as my middle name, only added to the shame.  Every time one of the relatives called me by all three of my names, I felt a pang of shame.  People in our community and family associated that middle name with dysfunction, sin, rebellion, and addiction.  In addition, I looked like that grandmother so it was not hard to identify with the association that everyone had made with that name.

Published in Christian Living
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:24

Fatherhood

The past 5 weeks of my life have been the most rewarding and deeply rich times of my life. A little over a month ago my wife and I had the wonderful blessing of becoming first time parents. The little guy arrived February 10th wide-eyed and ready to go. The second he came out I knew my life would never be the same. Looking at his little hands and feet and hearing his sweet cry (although 5 weeks later that cry is not as sweet) I was in awe of the Lord’s incredible creation. I automatically went into protective mode as I watched the nurses take him and weigh him, bathe him, put a tiny little diaper on him. All I wanted was to hold him and protect him. Do anything I could do to keep him from hurting or crying.

Published in Love