On Their Side

I just finished a book called Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan. The book is a memoir about Kelly learning to appreciate her mom, who always had to be the glue of her family while her dad got to be the “fun guy,” aka, the glitter.
Kelly grew up not appreciating her mom’s no-nonsense ways. She did not love how her mom was never one of the “fun moms,” who would spend a week sewing her kids’ Halloween costumes. She had the mom who had lots of rules, and always said things like, “no one will buy the cow if it gives them free milk.” She was much more attracted to her dad’s easy laugh and carefree ways.
But as she grew up and had kids of her own, and found out she was much more glue than glitter herself, she has grown to love and appreciate her mom in countless ways. And at the end of the book, she said that with kids and parents, “it is our job to be on their side.”
I really like that line. It is our job to be on their side. And I have been thinking about what that means, especially when you are a follower of Jesus.
It has been a big week, with school shootings and threats of shootings. As I dropped my son off at middle school in North Kitsap today, and the sidewalks across the street from the school were full of news trucks, I found myself weeping for those kids who are growing up believing that there are shooters lurking around every corner. What an awful thing to worry about.
In Glennon Doyle Melton’s book, Carry On Warrior, she has chapter where she talks about how she talks to her kids when they are worried. She writes that she tries to remind them, again and again, that the worst thing about worry is when you keep it to yourself. That isn’t good, because when we “keep our worries secret, they become problems.”
So she explains to her son that every night we are “going to lie in bed together and try to remember any sadness or worries he had during the day.” Then they talked about the worries and talked to God about the worries, asking for help from God. “Then,” she writes, “he’d be able to relax and sleep soundly, knowing that God and Mommy and Daddy were ON it.”
I love that story—it is so important to teach our kids that we are on their side. That is so much what Jesus wanted to teach us, too. One of my favorite verses is Matthew 11: 28-30 where Jesus says, “come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
One of the biggest reasons I enjoy reading both of these authors so much is because neither pretends she is perfect. And through their struggles and imperfections, they reveal greater truths.
Kelly’s mom isn’t perfect—none of our parents are, our kids aren’t perfect, this is a broken world we live in where there are shootings and we are scared and we don’t know what to do.
But God is on our side. He is the glue that holds us together. We can cast our cares on his shoulders, because he loves that. He loves to hear our worries. And he is ON it. We might not see it all the time, but there are glimpses. When we can appreciate each other even in the midst of our brokenness, when we can come together as a community in hard times, when we can comfort each other. These are holy things.
I will not fear. I will rest in the knowledge that this world belongs to God and that is what I will teach my kids. And I will be on the side of the people in my life, even when it is hard and I don’t want to be. Will you join me?

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2 responses to “On Their Side

  1. I fear more and more. “Fear Not, for the Lord your God is with you” was my mantra. Now I am just trying to keep us together. I try to listen and not tell her what to do. She is sad and thinks no one likes her, she is the worst in her class, I tell her all the time, “we are on your side” , don’t worry about what they think, Jesus loves you. Live in light, your a child of God. I hate not know how this will turn out. We will work it out, I will pray, conferences are coming and I will ask my Mom if it was the same with me.
    It is so hard to do a daily devotion, prayer and exercise. You either don’t do it and pretend like your running the show or you do it and Satan or a minion notices and starts pounding. I will take the pounding, this just getting by is a travesty.
    Daily Devotion or Die

  2. It is so hard to figure out how much to intervene with our kids. So hard!!!! Do we let them figure it out, or do we step in and make some changes on their behalf? I wish I could say I knew. The only thing I do know is to pray and trust my gut and find some friends who have been there and pester them for as much advice as I can.

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