Parenting Will Make You Cry
Parenting will make you cry — tears of sorrow and tears of laughter.
Edie Melson, author of While My Child is Away: Prayers for When We Are Apart, and her husband try to look at life through the lens of laughter.
This mindset made a big impact on one of their boys late, late one night.
As teenage boys will do, one of their sons got into trouble in the middle of the night. When he realized he’d been seen, he ran away in the snow. Much to his surprise, they caught him.
The boy ran away in the snow and couldn’t figure out how they tracked him down?
When Edie and Kirk picked their son up around 3:00 AM, they could’ve been irate. But the humor of his shock over having been caught so easily was just too funny. They burst out laughing.
Their son later told them that was the day they became “the best parents ever.”
“I’m not suggesting we become our kids’ best friends,” Edie said, “but enjoying life together is important. Our kids need to see us relax.”
Laughter Produced by Joy
During a time when depression had snuffed out my joy, I still laughed from time to time. It felt great. But it never lasted.
Eventually, God taught me the comfort and power of His sovereignty even in the midst of deep sorrow. And that gave birth to more than laughter. It gave birth to joy.
With joy squishing out my anxiety, laughter came much easier–even in the hardest times.
Joy is Titanium Tough
Joy is titanium tough and enables us to laugh even when we’re picking up our son at 3:00 AM in the morning.
Worry weighs down our spirits. It can’t fix our problems or improve anything, but it’s great at making us miserable. Worry draws our attention away from God’s voice and opens the way to depression.
Joy lightens our spirits and helps keep our minds clear to hear from God. It strengthens us to face the challenges ahead with laughter rather than anxiety.
Joy is a Choice
Joy and worry are a choice we make. Which will we choose?
Edie encourages us to pray for God to teach our children how to choose joy.
by Edie Melson
Your success and happiness lies in you.
Resolved to keep happy,
and your joy and you
shall form an invincible host
~ Helen Keller
Dear Lord, as my child grows he’s going to go through times of hopelessness. When those struggles come, don’t let him get so bogged down in circumstances it affects his attitude. Show him how to hold onto his joy in spite of difficulties.
Draw him even closer to You when these times come. Make him hungry for you and for reading the Bible. I know how spending time reading Your Word makes such a difference in my life. Give him the same experience. So often we look for complicated answers when the truth is as simple as opening a book.
Use these times to teach him that joy isn’t dependent on circumstances. Our joy comes from You, and there are no circumstances too big for You. Help him learn this lesson early.
Surround him with others who can share this truth. Give them insight about what he needs to hear from them, and how they can help him adjust his attitude. Remind him that nothing is too big or too small for You. Amen.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~ Romans 15:13 NASB
Edie Melson is the mother of three grown boys and the author of several books, including While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With Loved Ones in the Military. A sought-after writing instructor, Edie serves as the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Connect with her on her blog The Write Conversation at www.EdieMelson.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Edie and her husband live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.