The Beauty of the Balance of Parenting

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

This weekend, our pastor kicked off a series about the beauty of balance (you can listen to it here if you’d like). He spoke of how Christ is balanced not by being mediocre, or lukewarm, but having strong feelings in both directions. When he loves, he loves fully, fiercely, and sacrificially. When he is angry, he is filled with righteous anger. Jesus was altogether human, and is fully God. He is full of grace, yet spoke only truth. Some might say He is a contradiction, but He simply embodies the beauty of balance.

As I listened to the metaphors of balance, it seemed even more apparent to me than usual that life is more about a balance of extremes than pulling ourselves into the middle, and letting go of what’s on either side – and especially better to have a balance than leaning on one side too heavily.

Even more than that, as it often happens with me nowadays, the pastor’s message spoke to me particularly through the lens of motherhood. It is important to have balance in every aspect of parenting children. You need lots of elements to raise well your tiny humans, and to emotionally and physically survive parenting. You need silliness and discipline. You need exercise (or at least getting out some energy) and rest. You need community and time to be alone. You need a balance of all these things. Parenting consists of small moments of a single feeling or a lesson learned, all of which are built up together to grow up your little people. Yes, there are moments where your children learn security from love and affection that you show them. There are moments where they will learn about integrity, because you went through with a consequence, even when you didn’t want to. There are joyous times for being silly and making faces, and growing imagination through pretending. There are hard conversations about right and wrong, and mistakes made and how to fix them.

But each of these things, on their own, don’t create and nurture a life. It takes all of them together, interspersed through the long days and short years of being a parent and loving a child. The beauty of balance in parenthood is what grows up our helpless babes into Jesus-loving men and women who can impact the world in a positive way. The seasons of sleepless nights (cue any “mombie” jokes you’ve ever heard), potty training (when it’s often easier to leave them in the diaper), driver’s ed (where you might be literally fearing for their lives) and college tuition (where you’re sacrificing your current comforts for their futures) all matter. The beauty is in the balance of your love for them, your willingness to make sacrifices for them, and your desire for them to be independent, well-meaning and compassionate people.

Currently

Hey y’all! Thanks for bearing with me through a summer of travel, kids out of school, a few changes, and general laziness. School starts for my eldest two kiddos next week, and I fully expect to be back in my writing swing.

In the meantime, there are a few fun things I’ve been involved with that I haven’t had the chance to write about! There have been parties and celebrations, trips and concerts, yummy food and drinks, date nights and play dates. I’ll attempt to recap you a little on what we’ve currently been up to.

Discovering || the gender of our dear friends’ first baby! They hosted a little get-together to share with us whether the sweet babe would be a boy or a girl. We found out that (just like us and most of our close friends, oddly enough) their first baby will be a sweet girl! The mama-to-be Andrea baked cupcakes with pink icing inside, and let our kids all tear into them. It was ADORABLE.

the girls, celebrating adding one to our number!
EK and her buddies dancing

Celebrating || my best gal from college Lauren, as she prepares to welcome her first baby: a girl! Three other friends and I got together to put together a baby shower this past weekend, and it was SO fun. We held it in the same place on our college campus that they held my first baby shower, and one for another friend in our college roommate group. It’s a beautiful space to begin with, so we spend more of our efforts on food, games, etc. than we do on decorations. The crowning achievement for me of this particular shower was the favor. I had seen an Instagram post a while back about a favor that was a splitter of champagne. It had a homemade label with instructions to save the splitter till the baby arrived, then post a photo of a toast on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Since Lauren is a Prosecco lover (as am I), we bought Prosecco splitters, and my friend Andrea (yes, the other one having a baby girl!) made cute tags for them. EK helped me tie the tags on, and I was VERY pleased with the result! They were definitely a crowd pleaser.

i got macarons, but when the mama-to-be is a baker, she wants to contribute, too!
the Salem girls! (and Callie, class of 2038!)
 

Listening || to the Dixie Chicks! I listened to them during their height of popularity, and have tapered off listening to them recently. But when I saw that they were coming close by on their next tour, and on my friend Mary Katherine’s 30th birthday no less, I decided to go. I got together with some girlfriends, tailgated, and went to their concert. I was a little sad that I didn’t know more songs (they were mostly songs off their new album, which I didn’t know very well), and a little aghast at the blunt political statement they were making (I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised) since I just wanted to hear them play music. But all in all, I enjoyed myself! The tickets weren’t that expensive, so I won’t complain anymore.

i stayed that night with my gal pal from high school. love her!
the birthday girl and our photobomber. it was SO HOT that night. those hats were freebies at the venue, and they say, “No hate in our state.” oh dear.

Enjoying || the last few days of no routine. The kids and I went downtown for breakfast treats and to the park this morning. It won’t be long until we don’t have many morning dates, so I’m relishing that time with them.   

Eating || summer salsa and quesadillas! Between tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and local tomatillos, we have been tearing through salsa. Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, mild or hot… It’s one of our summer favorites, and I’ll be sad when the season is over. 

you know it’s good when it’s all gone!

Shopping || for Christmas! I know y’all think I’m crazy, but I love being the early bird and getting sales before other people are even thinking about Christmas. When I sat down to order our Halloween stuff (I am so excited!) I also got a few things for Christmas presents for the kiddos. Online shopping is the actual best!

Well, that’s a big update on my life- what have you been up to? Are you happy to have school back in session and slip into a routine?