You've found yourself in a hard place. You are looking for a way out, a purpose, hope through this experience. You are not alone. Others are in hard places too. Others have been in your shoes and have come out the other side. Here are their stories of how they found The Rock in their hard place.
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Can Parenting be my Hard Place?
By Whitney Bausman
A sweet moment—what I thought parenting would look like.
parenting be my hard place? When wombs are barren and cribs are empty and hearts
are riddled with child-shaped holes. When disease and death steal innocence and
the frivolity of youth. When others long for and beg for even a taste of the
feast that has been set before me. When what I have been given is so clearly a
gift…even if it often comes in tattered, snot-covered, Play-Doh-crusted
wrapping paper. The answer? Well, the answer is a big-old, shout-it-from-the-rooftops
made me a mom about five years ago when He blessed me with the most inquisitive
and perceptive little boy, and then saw fit to double the love when He gifted
me with a nurturing, animal-loving daughter not even two years later. Hands
down, Clark and Annie are two of my three most favorite people on Planet Earth.
They are cuter-than-cute, sometimes really tender-hearted, and downright hilarious (ask anyone…), but they are
also some of the strongest of strong-willed children I have ever laid eyes on.
I’m talking super-human strength. They challenge everything that is asked of
them, they voice their opinions loudly, and they make it known that if an idea
isn’t their own, it’s simply not one worth entertaining. If you happen to find
yourself in my neighborhood on a warm, spring day—a windows open kind of
day—and are suddenly enveloped by the sounds of screaming as you walk past my
home, don’t fret. It’s just bath time!
Most of the time,
being my kids’ mom is awesome. Most of the time, I find myself wondering
what I’ve done to deserve them and their always-giving, hunky Daddy. Most
days, I send my husband texts thanking him for working so hard away from home
so that I don’t have to…and most days, I find joy in silly, trivial
things like making turkey-shaped muffins or all-green meals. Some days,
though? Well, some days I send texts to Jonathan reading something more like:
SOS. Send ice
cream. Send coffee. Send children who actually listen to their mother
occasionally. Send all of the good juju you can muster, and be forewarned that
as soon as you get home tonight I’m locking myself in our bedroom. Maybe
parenting my always-talking, always-moving, always-tyrannizing duo has
certainly gifted me with a love that is stronger and more palpable than any
other I’ve ever known, it has also shed light on lots of glaring flaws in my
character. Being a mom has shown me what I am and what I certainly am not. Far less often than I am patient or
tuned in to my children’s needs or truly gracious, I am impatient and
distracted by my own to-do list and brought to a place of sheer anger.
what do I do in the face of struggle as a parent? What do I do when this hard
place of mine is REALLY-REALLY hard some days? I remember that while these
children are certainly mine to nourish and mine to love and mine to guide…they are not mine to control. Even
God—who breathed life into their little lungs and who knit their every cells
together—has given them free will. Clark and Annie are not puppets on a string,
nor would I want them to be. They are entities that are separate from my own,
and as much as I would love it if learning and growing and maturation came
easily around here, these things are hard-earned and S L O W L Y gained.
This picture is closer to my parenting reality.
Parenting is giving grace when it isn’t deserved. It’s loving without
condition. It’s recognizing the big-picture worth in something that often feels
fruitless in the short-term perspective. It’s God empowering me to respond with
words of encouragement when what I’d really like to do is scream. It’s a
Heavenly Father subtly and not-so-subtly reminding me that parenting ME doesn’t
look all that different from parenting my own children. I’m flawed. I’m
stubborn. I’m a fan of comfort. And…I’m sometimes super-difficult to get
is the hardest place I have ever found myself in. It’s a revealing place, and a
challenging place, and sometimes even an “I don’t know if we’ll all be alive
when Daddy gets home” place. But you know what else it is? It’s a beautiful
place. It’s a precious place. It’s a place that gives me joy and meaning and
purpose…and even on the worst days (like the days spent cleaning fermented
urine from toy boxes and breaking up 600 rounds of Sibling Smackdown), it’s my favorite
place. It’s a place full of belly laughs and poorly-constructed bunk bed forts
and playing ‘chicken’ with the honeybees while running barefoot through the
backyard. It’s a place I thank God for each and every day.
all of the parents out there who aren’t afraid to admit that even this most
sacred of places can be holy-crap hard, I say this: What a gift we have been
BAUSMAN is a local mom and author. She is a full-time herder of two beautiful, funny,
and infuriating children. She and her husband reside in York where they savor
the beauty among the chaos. If you like what you’ve read today, hop on over to
Amazon and grab a copy of Whitney’s latest work: “Herding Cats: The Chaotic,
Exhausting, & Hilarious Task of Parenting Toddlers”.
This site is a collection of real stories by real people about The Rock in their hard places.
It is curated and edited by Kara Ranck, who is a wife and mother of two children living in Pennsylvania. Kara herself has traveled some hard places in life and knows there is hope and power when we tell our personal stories about The Rock, which brings us through. Thank you for joining us here!
By Tiffany Miller I wish I could say I remember the exact song that was playing, what I was wearing, or even the date. Sadly I don’t remember any of those details about the day I heard God speak. I couldn’t hear audible words in my ears, but there was no denying what God was saying to my heart on that Sunday while worship music played around me. “I have adopted you as my own, and you are to do likewise for your next child.” My husband and I were blessed early in our marriage with two beautiful sons. I loved my pregnancies and adored seeing them grow from tiny newborns into personality-filled toddlers. Our boys were ages 4 and 2 at the time, and we had been discussing “when” we’d like to have a third baby, but that was the extent of the conversation. So when I told my husband what God firmly pressed on my heart later that night, he was clearly surprised. None of our families or close friends had adopted before, and we were (wrongly!) under the impression that adopting a c
By Clint Watkins My wife’s words stifled me. “ I’m pregnant .” The weight of Jillian’s news brought me to the floor with a deep reverence for what was before me: I was now a dad. It filled me with both duty and delight as I began to dream about the future with our baby. But three months later, these dreams were destroyed. The day we found out we were having a boy was the same day we learned he had a fatal condition, anencephaly. If he survived delivery, he would not live long enough to come home with us. Our first child’s birth and death would occur in the same room. We had just started falling in love with our son and he was already being ripped away. I didn’t know it was possible to feel such agony. My son’s death sentence suffocated my soul and plunged me into a darkness I thought I would never come out from. My misery was multiplied by the fact that I had been rendered useless as a husband and father. I could do nothing to save my son’s life or protect my wife
By Wendy Van Wingerden Unsplash “I surrender all … I surrender all.” Do I? Do I really surrender ALL? I wondered this as I stood singing a favorite hymn in church one Sunday. It was easy for me to consider the things in life that I could do without. My home, my possessions, my status, my talents, BUT…Oh! not my children or my husband. Those things, I could not, would not surrender. I could not imagine surviving without them. Fear of losing them strangled my inmost being, it consumed my deepest thoughts. If I surrendered them, He might take. My relationship with the Lord was growing deeper, yet something held me back. Something kept me from knowing Him fully. With each word of each song I sang, he beckoned me to him. “Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful, where the streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name.” God, you have bountifully provided for me, I know how to praise you in abundance. “Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering, though