Parenting: Story in Poem

Parenting

My eyes lock with

His, the scowl on his

Small face takes my heartbeat,

My blood pressure,

So high I can feel it

Throbbing in my ears. I want

To scream and shout, and

As I open my mouth,

I feel the same scowl

Plastered on his face,

Stretched taut across

Mine. Him reflecting me.

I see his eyes hard,

Like mine. His lips pursed,

Like mine. His hands clenched,

Like mine. Like mine. Like me.

All that makes me angry in

Him, I see first in me.

It’s everywhere in me

I want to scream,

Claw at my chest and tear,

Rip my own self out

Of my parenting, I wonder

If I could be a perfect

Parent, would he be

A perfect child?

I want to cry, scream,

Wail again, but not in

Frustration. This time

I want to scream from

Sadness, despair, hopelessness.

I can never be who

I am asking my child

To be. What can I do?

What. Can. I. Do?

My breathing tears, burns

Sharp and painful inside.

But truth rises in me

Like a trumpet,

Like a song sung to

Summon hope.

I cannot make him perfect, partly

Because I cannot be perfect.

But I can teach him

Humility. Asking forgiveness.

Self awareness. Admitting

Failure and getting up to

Try again. I can teach him

Dependence

On God. And hope

For change and growth beyond

His own capacity. I can

Teach him all this because

I can live all this.

I can live humility and

Forgiveness and dependence.

Grace and honesty and

Self-awareness and hope in

Someone greater than myself.

I can teach him, what I can

Live myself. And I am not

Able to live perfection, but

I can live grace and hope and

Humility and surrender. So

My eyes lock his

Softening to meet his iron

Gaze, and I relax.

Apologize. No but.

It’s just there, the offer,

The apology for

Him to accept or not.

A going first.

He can make his

Choice. I have made mine, and

I pray he will follow.

  • Alesha Sinks

Lead Us to Worship

Worship at Sunrise

How can I
Morning after morning
Wrap myself in
All this glory
And not open my
Mouth to praise?

by Alesha Sinks

So often I find myself overwhelmed by the beauty of nature. And yet, so often I fail to step forward into the intended result of awe and wonder…worship.

Isn’t that the purpose of creation?

”The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Romans 1:20 (NIV)

In the Psalms, there are examples upon examples of the writer praising God, inspired by and in awe of the glory of God’s creation.

“How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”
Psalm 104:24

“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;”
Psalm 95:3-6

Yet so many mornings I hurry, feet pounding across weather pavement, stechting out to reach the sunrise. And when I get there, when I reach the oceans edge with the early light rippling across the waves, when I stand still and breathless at the beauty in front of me, I forget to do the very thing for which my soul was made.

I forget to do the very thing for which my soul was made.

I forget to take my awe of creation and let it lead me into awe of the Creator.

And that’s true of a little million moments throughout my days.
watching pure joy radiate from my son’s face
when that one shaft of light slips through the living room blinds
the first glorious sip of coffee
a peaceful moment, book in hand
a friend reaching out in love and encouragement
that one song playing right, exactly when I needed to hear it
a cool breeze stirring through the hot evening air, summoning us to rest

How often do these moements slip through my grasp, our grasp, awakening joy and peace and hope and beauty, but failing to turn our hearts in gratitude toward their Giver.

I’m practicing.
Practicing awareness in the moment. Practicing giving a practical, out-loud or a quiet, whispered-in-my-heart “thank you God” when I am surprised by joy. Praciticing reflection on blessings at the end of the day or the week or the month and practicing offering my thanks to God then. Practicing to make a seamless turn from “Wow, how beautiful” into “God, You are so beautiful”.

I’m practicing to make a seamless turn from “Wow, how beautiful” into “God, You are so beautiful”.

Will you practice with me? Will you join me in allowing the beauty around us to not just catch our eyes or our hearts, but to turn our hearts toward God?

My prayer for us today is…

Let the beauty we encounter daily lead us to worship.

Be blessed,
Alesha

Parenting When There Seem to be No Right Answers

Parenting When There Seem to be No Right Answers

I stretched myself into my bed, weighted blanket pulled up, wrapping my heart, heavy and tired. I felt exhausted. Angry. Bombarded…by all the opinions in my head.

Parenting is hard.
And there are so many good ways to parent…how do I know I am choosing the right one?

How do I know that the instant decisions I’m forced to make over and over and over every single day are the right ones? The best ones?

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1561474235503-KV4QFZM6Q3H7OKFC30O8/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kCa4Syz4Uh5awnNE1AG4WhlZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpx19tq3uWnmkjlWjpKNiSOunXm_g7gdTul1r0wnpy-qWWTMyUcLTUx9Vd7H17qo9e0/Crayons1.jpg?format=original" alt=""/>

So often I know, I know they aren’t. I apologize over and over. I snap and yell and rant again and again, and then must circle back to asking forgiveness.

I try this.
Then that.
I say one thing
Then I change my mind and try a different vein of logic or type of consequence or chose a rewards system or give simply let it slide because I
don’t
know
what
I’m
doing.

Maybe you hear them too? The dozens of voices. Opinions. Loud and demanding and, unfortunately, contradictory.

How do I know I’m listening to the right one?

And I can feel the them rising…the voices. Slowly louder and louder in my head. Crushing me with their volume and their weight.

Do this…not that.
If you do this, you will hurt them…
If you don’t do this, you teach them bad habits…
This is kinder…
This is wiser…
This is effective…
This is better for the long haul…
This is practical…
This is for their heart…
..and I am drowning in the voices.

But suddenly, in my head but not from within it, His voice speaks above the din. Softly. As if nearest to me out of them all.

“Don’t listen to them, listen to me.”

And I realize that somehow I thought His voice was there, in the chorus and chaos of voices in my head. I somehow thought His voice was among them, shouting at me with judgement, with fear, with shame.

I forget that His voice is different.
His voice is outside of the crowd. Separate. And only in turning the crowd of opinions down, will I be able to hear His voice, firm and safe. A steady place to rest my heart and mind. A safe bottom to plant my anchor.

The steady thrum of options and opinions isn’t necessary to my parenting.

Being guided by the Holy Spirit is necessary to my parenting.

So I’ll lay my anxious heart down tonight, a little easier. My head will be a little quieter. And my mind and heart will repeat this simple prayer.

God, let me see my children with Your eyes and Your heart. Let me hear Your voice and let my heart be sensitive to Your touch. Give me Your wisdom and strength and grace as I parent, and the humility to allow myself to be parented by You in the process.

And this simple mediation.

His voice is not in the crowd.

Be blessed

All The Little Blessings

He said it so clearly. Whispered it into my heart in that moment…

“Don’t get so hung up on waiting for the answers to the big things you are praying for, that you forget to stop and worship Me for all the little blessings I’m sending in the meantime.”

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1558380803031-BFOPQV6TZSFQ80QYR6KR/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kDCPJx5CXgnCxGyfZrDVw8J7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0pmy3nA_zcH46jcY3zQ1h8g_FNYzQB9C1g4oEzntxIUvwy5WtNg-YWltkTaCEnH3xg/IMG_4427.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

We were simply trying to get two new keys made for our van.

THE van.

The one from a short list of things my husband had been faithfully praying for every day for nearly two years.

God had answered.

He’d answered that big prayer and two weeks later, we were still overjoyed and in awe. Still thanking God for it every single day.

But deep down, a part of my heart was also starting to look ahead at the next big thing we’d been praying for.
Longing.
Anxious.
Wondering.

Almost as if that one answered prayer sparked more discontent in me, rather than ushering me into the eternal gratitude and trust I thought it would.

{To read the rest of this post go visit my friend Kerry’s blog. She graciously asked me to write this post to share with her readers, but I wanted to make sure I shared it here with you all as well.}

Be blessed

Becoming Alike: {Mother’s Day Thoughts}

It shows up in the eyes of my little ones, again and again.
This searching.
This watching.
This learning.
And this becoming.

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1557709317851-DL7HC1COHZ4B3AKWPHR7/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kIUnZ7F61d6kUErKMFUG9yx7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0oGwQPSn8VqSSM4mc7rOnoiSVtBZdsXS7gJn3q8MEfLVmmn_5Sp7NN1Sx1GsGIEG9A/Image+50.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>




  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1557709385161-U167G9JI1H2H31ITN284/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kK60W-ob1oA2Fm-j4E_9NQB7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0kD6Ec8Uq9YczfrzwR7e2Mh5VMMOxnTbph8FXiclivDQnof69TlCeE0rAhj6HUpXkw/Image+51.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

I see in his eyes. This desire to become alike to those he loves.

In the eyes of a three year old, it easy to see and to interpret that look. That desire.

But in the eyes of a twenty year old, a twenty-eight year old, a thirty-eight year old, a fifty-right year old, it’s harder to spot.
It’s still there though.

This desire to be alike to those we love or to those we admire doesn’t go away with age.

Because perhaps, if we look closely, we can find beautiful ways that those we love have already shaped us. And that they have shaped us so deeply, it’s hard to distinguish their influence from who are most deeply are.

That can be a painful truth.
But it can also be a beautiful truth.

It has struck me again and again this year, and particularly this Mother’s Day, how there are so many pieces of me put in place by others. Unintentionally maybe. Subtly. Beautifully.

And as I become aware of them, it’s up to me to keep them, or change them.

Today, I want to focus on all the wonderful, beautiful things about me that were taught by and learned from my mother. I’m still learning from her, becoming like her, seeing the fruit of my childhood admiration come out of the deepest parts of me.

And today, I’m thankful for so many beautiful pieces of me that are credited to her. To her teaching, her loving, her serving, her planning and organization, her openness and honesty, and most of all her willingness to admit weakness and failure and her need for Jesus.

I have so many memories of her leading and guiding us toward Jesus, or simply watching her pursue Him herself.

I pray that this can be my legacy as well. That those memories and habits I watched in her all these years become so deeply a part of me that they become who I am too.

“Mama”

So many pieces of me
I take for granted,
Mistake as innate.
Till I stop and watch
You live and love.
Then with sudden clarity
I see myself,
All the pieces of me
That aren’t accidental at all.
Instead they are hours
And days and years
Of you sacrificing,
Pouring yourself into me.
Yourself out for me.
And most of all
Pouring yourself out
Before Jesus.
Letting Him fill you
So that you could pour
Into me something better
Than just yourself.
I hope that I
Can pour myself
Out that way too.

Alesha Sinks

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1557709278407-W4VMAQG3Z1CLFL0W8XBP/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kBli73Htgs-NafDnOYQBlvN7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z5QHyNOqBUUEtDDsRWrJLTm8gdG5xRTtrVVyLXkddLwcg0lFwGgNRFzrle14-MGomKmTAiGKVyCZ3FL6eVFJJ3F/MamaPoem.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

“Thank You”

I should have said
thank you
For the lessons you taught
All the ways you pushed me
Out and out and out of comfort
Till I could step on my own.

I should have said
thank you
For the footprints to follow
The path cleared and waiting
The shaping of heart and mind
The formation of me.

I should have said
thank you
For the things I learned
To not be as well as to be
There are both together
And I am thankful.

I should have said
thank you
For the things you taught
They are part of me so deeply
I can’t separate them out.
And I don’t want to.
Thank you.

Alesha Sinks

Be blessed

  <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/55c38a57e4b00989028332c9/1557709265815-EVO6WMXW5Q9HSG5J0HF3/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kBli73Htgs-NafDnOYQBlvN7gQa3H78H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLfrh8O1z5QHyNOqBUUEtDDsRWrJLTm8gdG5xRTtrVVyLXkddLwcg0lFwGgNRFzrle14-MGomKmTAiGKVyCZ3FL6eVFJJ3F/ThankYouPoem.JPG?format=original" alt=""/>

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