Helen Keller once said, "The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding j.oy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse."
Being a parent can be tough! It is not the midnight feedings, or the many times they crawl in my bed, or the whining, crying, fighting, biting, pinching, or screaming that have brought me to that decision. It is the teenage years! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, I just wish they went from cute to grown-up without that extra step thrown in.
I have found that one of the hardest things to do as a parent is to let your children struggle. They need experience in making decisions when they are young so that they know how to make them when they are older. I try and give them lots of decisions, and pray that they make some bad ones so that they get a little experience behind them. I really love to watch them when they make good decisions. They are so proud of themselves! They can't wait to tell you about it. They just blossom under the praise and appreciation for their accomplishments.
Sometimes, I struggle with letting them learn to do things. I can vaccuum twice as fast as they can. I can do the dishes without grumbling, fighting and complaining. It takes so much less time to be a bad parent! Now, if I could just get them to do the laundry and clean their room! I suspect that it is time to bring out the trash-bag and "help".
I hope today, that you help your children learn one important thing. I hope that you remember that after the struggle comes the blessing. Help them to learn to hang on until the blessing comes. Help them to learn what it means to be a butterfly.
A man found a cocoon for a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared stuck.
The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he cut open the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man watched the butterfly expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.
The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realise that the butterfly's struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight.
Like the sapling which grows strong from being buffeted by the wind, in life we all need to struggle sometimes to make us strong.
It is the struggle that turns us into the butterflies of life. Sometimes we just need to have a little faith and courage to get through the moment and into the blessing.