For the last few months there has been this very exciting happening taking place in this wonderful place of Forbes – a new church building is well underway and is just weeks away from being completed and opening it’s doors to everyone who wants to come in. It’s been many many many months in the making and there has been a crew of wonderful people absolutely smashing away any will of theirs to sleep, rest, or stop until it’s done, and working so hard, it makes me tired thinking about it!
Anyway, today there was lots of painting to be done and I planned to go help – which I did and it was great. It was actually really nice to be able to help with something and not feel like a big bum not doing anything in the building. I actually feel so lame saying this, but I painted a wall. I was there for hours and apart from a little bit of cutting in, I painted one stingy wall….because…my children. And I left feeling awfully useless!
But then I got home and amongst me feeling silly and useless I heard God say “Stop it”. Because as much as I wasn’t the greatest of helps in the church building, my role as a parent is never ever useless. Sometimes (or in my case many times) the dishes are piled up on the sink, the floor is filth, the dining table is everyone’s wardrobe and you feel useless because nothing got done today…because children. Or maybe sometimes you just can’t think straight, your brain is taking a long hot bath in hormones, you can hardly answer anyone’s questions, let alone string a full sentence together that makes sense…because children. Heck, maybe you’re even just bored because you’ve done the same routine for days, you feel like a hermit crab stuck in a slodgy mud puddle and you’re never getting out!
You know what though, no matter what your parenting role looks like (and it’s not always like all of the above 😉 it’s probably one of the most useful roles there is. You are building people. People who need you constantly, who rely on you. You’re the one to teach them the do’s and dont’s, the yes’s and no’s, the why’s, the things that shape them into who they will be and help determine the imprint they will leave in this world. Infact, your role as a parent is so important, significant and valuable, that the next time you get to the end of the day feeling like you haven’t done anything that’s even remotely interesting or useful, think again.
Don’t belittle, the disciplining, the playing, the nurturing, the funny conversations, the games, the messes, the chaos. None of it goes to waste, none of it is less important than painting a wall, building a church, or being a Queen’s right hand man. Let me say this again, You are building people! And while, changing nappies, getting drinks, and keeping our kids contained doesn’t feel like it’s very useful, don’t forget that it’s all a small part of the bigger picture. A picture that needs you to help get the painting started. So don’t belittle yourself, or your role, and don’t forget that while you may not always be useful in building projects, your role as a parent will never stop being useful and very, very much needed.
Now say this after me, “I am useful…because children”. 😉