Practice makes….well, needs more practice

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Okay, so this was bound to happen (especially in my inbox…).


Today’s guest blogger, April sent me her blog post on time, but somehow I just now found it waiting patiently to be posted. Yikes, I guess that it’s a good thing that April loves me in spite of myself.


April and fam juggle life in a Chinese city of  a few million, but somehow their little blond heads are easy to spot. You will love getting to know them a bit better in today’s post. I’m sure that after today, you’ll want to go to April’s own blog site and get better acquainted. It’s where I go when I need a little writing inspiration….


And who knows, maybe you too needed to go back and revisit being a doer rather than just a hearer. I know I did.




This is how the scene usually goes down in our home…


Eden: “Mom!! Salem says he’s the oldest and the biggest!! But I’m the oldest and the biggest!! Tell him I’m the oldest and the biggest and to stop lyyyyyyyying!!


Salem: grinning sheepishly over in the corner for having success at ruffling his sister’s feathers.


And then what follows is me giving Eden a half-hearted-because-I’m-in-the-middle-of-making-dinner lecture on What is the Truth. 


You know what the truth is. The truth is that you were born first. You are the oldest. You are the biggest. So does it really matter what he says if you already know the truth?! Don’t let it bother you!


For weeks we’ve had this conversation, trying to get her to understand What is Truth, and why it doesn’t matter what her brother says. Why, when she knows the truth, the un-truths of this world fade away.


Parenting would be so easy if all you had to do was stand around and give your children lectures about What is Truth.


Too bad we’re called upon to put it into practice in our own lives as well.


I live in a place where having three children is almost unheard of. Most parents here think I’m a rockstar for having three children, much less three WHITE children. To them, it’s amazing that we can leave the house with everyone wearing pants and matching socks. Imagine their shock when I yell out my child’s name across the playground and my child responds and comes to me. Obedience, that gets the most attention.


So with all the accolades I get… “You’re so great! You’ve got three children! They’re all so beautiful and white with blonde hair! They sleep in their own beds?! Oh my, how do you do it?! Surely you are exhausted because your children are so obedient! Your baby will eat carrots?!?!…surely your methods of raising children are better than our ways!” 


On more than one occasion, I’ve sunk into my couch at night when all three are sleeping peacefully (in their own beds) and thought to myself that I’ve totally got this parenting thing down. They’re right. Truly, I am a rockstar mom. 


Thankfully, for my own soul and sanity, the measure of a parent is not based upon the Chinese-Grandmother-down-the-street’s idea of a good mom. James 1 talks to us about being not only hearers of the word, but doers. To not see our soul as if looking into a mirror and then going away and at once forgetting what we’re truly like. In 1:25 he says, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”


Measuring my own truths of what kind of parent I need to be should be examined against God’s word, not the NaiNai (grandmother) next door. Examining my soul in context of the word, the truth and then going away and receiving all the accolades from her and forgetting “what I saw in the mirror” is not being a doer of the word. 


In the end, it’s just as he says, “He will be blessed in his doing.” It’d be really easy for me to gloat in my infrequent successes as a parent in Chinese culture. Instead, it’s much more of a blessing to me, and ultimately God, to reply to the accolades by saying, “No really. It’s only by God’s grace that I haven’t fallen flat on my face in sheer exhaustion this afternoon.”


(plus…that gets far better reactions from NaiNai’s than just saying, “Thanks!”)


So, I’m still learning right alongside my 4-year-old to measure truth against His perfect law, to not forget what I’ve seen in the mirror, and to be a doer of the word.


Now, as for the little brother and his amazing skills of knowing exactly how to rub his sister the wrong way… that’s another story.