spaghettipie

Parenting Spotlight #6

I met my friend Leslie at Mount Hermon four years ago. Her wicked sense of humor and exceptional thoughtfulness attracted me to her immediately. Since then, I have enjoyed our continued friendship and always learn something new from her. She’s a humor columnist, speaker to wives and moms, and my sweet friend.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I will have been married to Bret 20 years in August. Unbelievable! I feel younger than I did then in many ways. We have three children: Charlie, 16, began driving this summer, which has deepened my prayer life considerably; Molly, 13, keeps us laughing with her wit; and Reese, 12, who’s into every sport imaginable.

What do you love about being a mom?
What I love most about being a mom is talking with my kids, instead of at them. It’s been a joy as they’ve grown to move past hundreds of directives daily (brush your teeth, finish your dinner, find your cleats) to having conversations about their daily lives, their relationships with God, and their futures. At different times all three have done some acting and modeling which has given us alone time in the car, going to shoots, that we might not otherwise have had. We’re working at finding that balance between parent and friend as they mature and become teenagers.

I love seeing their relationships with the Lord grow and deepen. Last Christmas we all shared how we came to know Christ (yes, tears abounded). What a blessing for any mom to hear her children testify to their growing faith. I’m thankful they’re all three moving beyond being Christians because their parents are to being followers of Christ, searching for His will and leading in their lives.

I love watching them play anything and everything. They’ve played just about every sport and taken piano and been in a youth chorus, so we have lots of opportunities to go to games and concerts. Since their Dad has been their coach on many occasions, I can honestly say I’m their #1 fan!

What’s tough about being a mom?
Unlike many of my friends, who seem to be consumed with worry (driving, grades, boy/girl relationships), the Lord has graciously spared me from those kinds of all-consuming fears. However, what’s tough is letting go. I don’t hover–never have–but I do project. I imagine how quiet the house will be when they’re all gone. I wonder what Bret and I will do when we have no more ball games to go to.

Another thing that’s tough is seeing potential in them (for good grades, for serving God, for being leaders) that goes untapped. I don’t like it when I want something for them more than they want it for themselves. I struggle with letting this go.

How did you incorporate God and the Bible into your daily lives?
We read it often, almost every day, as a family when the kids were younger. Though we don’t generally still read it aloud together as much now that they’re all 12 and up, we discuss passages, stories and people and how they relate to our lives now. We also used different devotional books, especially Sticky Situations, which had stories that related to the here and now. In fact, I wrote my own set of stories related to situational ethics called Daily Dilemmas, based on whatever my kids were going through at the time. (For example, when my daughter went through a lying phase, I wrote dilemmas about it. She saw consequences of lies for the kids in the stories. In a month or so, she had abandoned the lies.)

We prayed together as a family–sharing needs (ranging from our personal situations to foreign missions). We still do this a lot: before road trips, before tests or milestones (important games, school presentations, dates).

What does it mean to you when I say, “Parenting is a high calling”?
That God has surely placed a call on our role as parents. And what He has purposed for us to do, He will equip us with every good thing to do that job. While I might feel confused or frustrated at times as a mom, I know without doubt that doing so not only pleases the Lord, but also brings Him glory. Finally, I believe our role as parent needs to come before other “jobs” that we have–our vocation, our hobbies, our friendships. The only relationships that deserve a higher rank are those with God Himself and with our husbands.

How would you suggest a parent live up to this high calling when they feel woefully inadequate?
First, don’t dwell on the inadequacies. Satan loves to render us ineffective by making us think we’re unworthy, incapable, unlovable. Second, see yourself how the Lord sees you. God reveres the job of wife and mother. Third, rest in the peace that where your efforts fall short, God is there to pick up the slack. Jesus stands in the gap of our inadequacies and makes our meager parenting offering complete.

Thanks for sharing with us, Leslie!

I hope you enjoyed spending some time with Leslie. Check out her website for some great tips and humorous articles.

To read the other interviews in this series, click here.

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For more inspiration regarding your high calling, no matter what your profession, visit High Calling Blogs.

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6 comments

  1. I love Leslie. She’s an awesome parent, a great listener, and knows how to make you feel like the most interesting person on the planet. No wonder her kids are so outgoing and confident.

  2. Love this. Good words from a great woman. Leslie, you blessed me tremendously the first week we met, you were a tremendous source of encouragement and a safe place for me. Blessings, friend! (Great interview, Spag!)

  3. spaghettipie

    MD, D, JD and TJ – Glad you guys stopped by, and I knew you would enjoy Leslie’s sage words.

    L – Thanks for stopping by and glad you found something you like!

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