Day 22: The Refining Process of Parenting

I have been so amazed at the things Micah is learning lately. For example, when I change his diaper I usually say, "Did you go pee pee (or poo poo)?" depending on what smell is permeating the room. He usually responds by mimicking me.

We were at one of Josh's tennis matches the other day when I hear Micah's little voice say, "pee pee." I look down to see him sitting in his stroller, eyes staring straight up at me. So I pick him up and take him to the bathroom, and low and behold he had a wet one!

Seriously. Potty training crossed my mind.

It hasn't happened since, but the whole idea of him developing these skills without much guidance on my part, is just mind blowing.

I am beginning to see just how much of an impact our words and actions have on him. He remembers things exceptionally well right now. I pull up at church and he instantly begins to say, "daddy!" Because he knows he works there (or at least knows he's always there when we go!)

He says, "hi" and waves at people in the waiting room at the doctor's office, out to eat at a restaurant, and in the aisle at the grocery store. I have strangers (mostly ladies) coming up to me all the time telling me that Micah has been waving at them. I think it's adorable that he wants to socialize. And it makes sense, because he watches us do it a lot.

I could go on about the things he's learning (and I am writing it all down in his baby book!) but the reality is that Micah is aware.

He's aware when we argue. He's aware of what we watch on TV. He's aware of when we pray. And how often.

We have a dog, Heidi, who is a smart girl. But even she is not aware in the same ways Micah is. She can't repeat our words and actions.

Carrying this responsibility as a parent has made me more conscience and responsible for my behavior. Josh jokingly pointed out at lunch just yesterday that's it's been a long time since I stormed out of the car mad at him. Since before Micah was born, I pointed out after realizing.

That's not to say I haven't been in the wrong or had moments where I lost my temper, I have. But I've been so much more aware that a little person is watching me.

One of the things I have been most discontent about myself in the past, is my anger. I do not like getting angry. I hold it in for as long as possible, but usually that just makes it worse and it all comes out in a huge ugly fashion.

This is not something I want Micah to emulate. I don't want him to grow up with us yelling at each other or even worse, him.

There is only one way I am learning to avoid this kind of conflict - and that's by focusing my heart and mind on Jesus. Anger comes from pride, and pride is all about selfishness. Turning away from self and looking to Jesus when we are hurt or upset or disappointed, will always focus our hearts on what really matters. Not the silly bowl of cereal that Josh didn't put in the sink.

I know that I will continue to make mistakes and fail as a person and a parent, but that shouldn't stop the refining process that is at work here. Every day I have a choice to get up and focus my heart on Jesus. If not for myself than, at least, for my son.

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This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!