We live on a farm in the midwest, raising beef cows, corn, and kids. The farm has some land that we till into crops, and some land that we leave as pasture for the cows. There is also some land dense with natural trees of all sorts. The prior owner had spent time clearing paths through these woods so you could walk or drive through and catch a glimpse of wildlife.
In order to make the trails, and keep the weeds and starter trees from taking over, you have to continue to mow them. If you don’t keep on top of it, the weeds and trees get so dense, it is really hard to see where the trail actually is.
Sometimes I feel like parenting is a lot like that. You have to stay on top of the weeds or it is hard to know which path to take, and restoring the trail can seem overwhelming. The diligence in the continual mowing and shaping of the path can be exhausting at times, but one of the secrets of parenting lies primarily in persistence. You continue mowing the trail, with faith that there will be a day when the path is easier. You show up to mow the path over and over again, clearing a trail for that child that has trouble finding their way.
I have one child that for years was my challenge during school hours – never wanting to just buckle down and do the work. He would push against training, even when he knew whatever was being asked was going to have to get done anyway. It made me weary and consumed more of my prayer life than other things. But now that boy is 13 and has shown so much maturity in the last year. The next boy has taken his place in my hard prayer talks, and I am confident that persistence in training and prayer will bring him through this as well.
Seasons change and trials and joys get traded for new ones. We keep pursuing the Light and His path, forging the way for those in our care.
So momma, if it feels like you keep trying to carve a path that requires continual mowing to keep the weeds down, take heart – at some point, you will reach a clearing, and the path will be easier.