Grit


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No matter the age of our children, all parents understand the importance of having grit. In the world of education we define grit as having courage, resolve, and strength of character. Students with the ability to stick with something when it becomes difficult display grit. When the baby continues to cry, when the teenager rolls their eyes, when the toddler says no to everything…in those moments, parents display grit. We stick with it. We don’t give up on the child or on our relationship – we hold tight to what we KNOW instead of what we feel.

This past week our family spent time in San Francisco, Mammoth Lake, and Yosemite. It was a very full trip with a ton of time spent in a van. When hiking through Yosemite, our youngest started to really struggle. To be honest, I was struggling too! The steep climb, the slick surfaces, the water and heat – it was all just too much at times.

I found myself talking to him, but saying the words because I needed to hear them. Things like, “Just a little further to go.” “Take it one step at a time honey.” “You can do this, look how far you’ve already come!” “Deep, slow breaths buddy – give your body fuel with oxygen.”

As I marched along the 6+ miles with my men, I started reflecting on the moments in my short parenting life and how many times grit was not natural or innate. Instead, I had to dig deep, beyond my physical strength or mental capacity.

As a parent you might think you’ve reached your limit, the end of your patience and energy – but don’t give in! You have a never-ending, overflowing resource – your Heavenly Father.

Some might brush this off as a crutch or something that isn’t “real” or tangible. To those people I would have to say this: On my own, relying on my own strength – I am not enough. I can’t take care of myself, my family, my job, my marriage, my friends on my own. Maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m not accessing my full potential. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m being realistic!

We have three children. Three very different children. One is really putting us through the paces when it comes to letting go and still having to implement consequences for his behavior. The other is finding his identity and is sometimes reactive and we’re not exactly sure why. The other is simply trying to survive – he’s finding his own way and living into his talents – he’s good and therefore is sometimes overlooked. For me to think for one moment that I’m wise enough, strong enough, or quick enough to manage life on my own would be a true sign of my pride and ego.

When a child comes into your life, your pride quickly begins to leave. You seek help and advice, support and relief – the days are long and your patience becomes short. So no matter where you are on this journey of parenting, keep your grit! Dig in and don’t give up. When your grit starts to waiver, call out to your Creator. He knows your heart and He knows what you need. Reach out your hand and allow Him to lift you up and guide you through whatever you’re facing.

A scripture for you to hold tightly to:

Isaiah 40:28-31 (MSG)

“Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”

So if you have a day when you feel like you dropped out or you fell or stumbled – it’s okay. God has you – He’s always had you. He carries me through my days in a fresh and new way when I think I can’t go on. He gets all the glory and I get all the gifts from His presence.

Hang in there. Your grit is better when God is behind it. No matter how steep the hill or battle you’re facing, you will make it – just take it one step at a time.

Kasey

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