I tried to come up with something witty or profound or both to title this blog while I was running this morning but I came up with nothing.
As I was running, I was reflecting on the tensions of life. If we are honest, life and spirituality are truly a series of tensions, paradoxes, and both/ands.
Love and risk, joy and pain, order and chaos, vulnerability and inauthenticity, saint and sinner to name a few.
Parenting a infant is full of these tensions as well. How can can a baby that is so sweet one moment create so much anxiety as she screams two seconds later? How can a little bundle of cuddly goodness turn around and do so much destruction to a diaper and a onesie?
Over the past week or two, I’ve been blogging about my (and really our) experience as a parent. It is has been a beautiful tension and paradox. We’ve experience unimaginable joy and wonder and utter exhaustion and helplessness.
These are some of my reflections, shared from a place of vulnerability and gratitude. I hope you’ll share them with someone who might need some encouragement or just to hear the words “me too.”
8.29.15 Fake it ’till you make it? Nah, let’s just be vulnerable: http://tinyurl.com/p7ckrj3
8.26.15 Barf, poop, and pee: http://tinyurl.com/pvk8mlz
**8.23.15 Parenting and Loneliness: http://tinyurl.com/qj3agu9 (This is my most read blog ever!) **
8.21.15 Introducing a daughter into the world and into the church: http://tinyurl.com/nbskmtc
8.15.15 The pictures we share: a moment of vulnerability: http://tinyurl.com/qzmg8bc
8.8.15 That’s an interesting name: http://tinyurl.com/ounh72a
So, there you have it. These six blogs posts are probably the most vulnerable I have ever been in about 10 years of blogging. This vulnerability is the culmination of a lot of things but the tipping point was reading the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene’ Brown. I highly recommend it! At the conclusion of the book, she shares “The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.” You can download a neat graphic of it from her website. We printed it out and have it framed over our glider in the living room. We are trying to allow these words shape how we parent. I close with Brown’s beautiful words. Have a blessed Sunday!
The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto
“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions–the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.
We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.
I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.
When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.
Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.
We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.
As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.
I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.” –Brene’ Brown, Daring Greatly, 244-5