Friday, February 28, 2014

your ticket out of the trenches

It started with war...
this idiom we now use to describe hard 'get your hands dirty' kind of work .


in the trenches

trench warfare during world war I
We sometimes forget that it's original meaning involved actual battle with weapons and enemies and the threat of death...that's a little more than just hard work...it's survival.

Parenting can take you down into the trenches.  
It’s dirty down there…and sometimes stinky.  
You get messy and you slip on the mud and muck.  
You feel like you're fighting for your survival.

This week I've had some moments in the trenches and I have watched as many friends around me have gotten their hands dirty too.  It seems to have been a week filled with more action on the battlefield than usual.  It happens.

It’s necessary, as a parent, to go into the trenches but...
   it’s not necessary to stay there.  

In my own experience the most difficult seasons of parenting have been the ones in which I refused to step out of battle and regroup.  I resolved that being a mother meant being messy 
all. the. time.  
But that's just not true.  

Being in the trenches means living moment to moment, 
living on the defense, 
living in a state of emergency.  
We are not intended to live our lives that way.  
Do we spend moments, hours, maybe even days in the trenches?  Absolutely.  
But our time in the trenches should always be temporary and we should always be looking for ways to climb back out and be a healthy, whole, clean parent again.

Living in the trenches feels frantic.
Living outside of the trenches feels free.

Ultimately I want to model for my kids what it looks like to live in freedom...
not what it looks like to live frantically.

This franticness is completely contradictory to the abundant life we have been offered.

He did not say 'in this world you will live in a state of emergency'.

If you feel like you've been battling it out in the trenches too long maybe you're asking the wrong questions.  Maybe you could stop digging around all day in the mud trying to answer - 
Why is my child acting this way?  What's wrong with her?  What's his issue?  How am I failing her?

And step out of the mud long enough to refocus on the bigger picture and ask yourself – 
What do I envision for my child 10 or 20 years from now and what do I need to do today to get there?

Stepping up with confidence into your role of 'mother' or 'father' requires a clear view of the big picture that can not be seen when you are face down in the dirt.  So would you dust yourselves off and join us in viewing parenthood outside of the trenches?

Congratulations Felecia!  You are the winner of this week's giveaway and will receive 2 tickets out of the trenches!  You will have the chance to brush yourself off and gain fresh new perspective about living the abundant life with kids at Parenting on Purpose.

If you need a break from battle I do hope you'll come join us too!

4 comments:

chksngr said...

NO WAY!!! How exciting!! Thank you so much E!!!!!

chksngr said...

NO WAY!!! How exciting!! Thank you so much E!!!!!

elizabeth said...

you are so very welcome and I am excited to see you there!!

Sabra Penley said...

Beautiful insight, Elizabeth. Ah, if I could only go back and re-do some of those parenting days--living according to this wisdom...