The first time my first baby had snot coming out of his nose I thought, "Dang, my baby's not perfect!" Isn't that a ridiculous thought? I confess I thought it. My baby was producing junk from the nose and other unmentionable places. His teeny tiny body had already succumbed to the ill effects of the environment and the sin nature he was born with. My children would not be perfect because I was far from it.
As I am sharing tidbits of parenting advice with all of you out there I thought I should put out a disclaimer. I was not a perfect parent. My children were not perfect. Nor did they turn into perfect adults. I was a sinner raising sinners and turning them into sinners.
It is important that I tell you this. I don't want to uphold my kids as super examples of the results of great parenting. That's too much pressure. My kids are PKs - pastor's kids and that was enough pressure as they were growing up. People have illusions that PKs are proper examples of good behavior.
The truth is I didn't raise them perfectly. I can look back (I'm in my 3rd year of the empty nest) and see where my flaws have shown up in their adult weaknesses, where I didn't say something that I should have said, where I said something that I should not have said, where my behavior negatively influences them, and where I blew opportunities. They have also made sinful choices in their adulthood that had nothing to do with my parenting at all. They are sinners in their own right.
This is why I need Jesus. I need him so much! "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3: 22-23). God wants us to trust Him to fill in the gaps of our bad parenting and to enjoy the fruits of our good parenting, and to praise Him for His work in our children that have nothing to do with our parenting at all! God is at work. Alleluia!
So as I "regail" you with my "wisdom", it's out of experience both positive and negative. And that "wisdom" might not be the wisest course for you! So please accept it as an offering of suggestions born out of trial and error and tested on four unsuspecting guinea pigs. But let me just tell you that in spite of our flaws, I think my kids are pretty awesome.
And now for a refashion...
This is a hand-me-down from my sister. I have no idea how old it was before she gave it to me about 10 years ago, but the boxy bodice, shoulder pads, and shin-length tells me it probably goes back to the 80s or early 90s. I wore it many times but finally realized it was out of style.
I cut off the sleeves and shortened it by about 8 inches. Easy peasy. A new dress that cost me nothing but an hour or two of time.
The total reason I've kept this dress for so long is the back! I just love the criss-cross back.