So I just spent about an hour weeding our yard by hand. This was an hour of bending over in the hot sun, doing really meticulous work. It was slow and tedious.
And it is just like parenting.
As I was out there, I realized that I kept having to step back and look at the big picture of the yard to really see where the weeds were. If I stayed stooped over with my head down for too long, I lost vision for what was being accomplished and for where I needed to focus.
I had a rough afternoon with the boys. I was overly-zealous, and decided to take them grocery shopping at 11:30 (lunchtime), right after playgroup at the park. I forgot the coupons, so ran home first to get them. Holden had an accident in the car while I ran in for the coupons, so that added on lots of time of changing him and cleaning the car seat. Once at the store, Turner screamed and Holden continually disobeyed until I eventually ripped open a box of chocolate chunk cookies and started shoving them in mouths (3 mouths, to be exact). We check out, get to the car, dropping shoes in the street along the way, and finally head home. When I reached the stoplight to leave the shopping center, I realized I forgot to use my coupon. Awesome. I felt like giving up, so defeated.
But when I put the boys down for naps and began to weed the yard, parenting surprisingly bounced into perspective for me. It is in these moments that seem tedious and back-breaking and like such hard work that the work is actually being done to prune and "de-weed" these precious little lives. I just need to remember to step back every so often to not only look for problem areas, but also to admire the strides that have been made. And thank you, God, that I have Jesus raising these boys for me--doing the really hard work and speaking into them in a way I will never be able to!