Table for Ten

Finding the Blessings in the Challenges of Parenthood

By Jamie A. Hughes
  • May 12, 2015

Atlanta is full to bursting with amazing restaurants. Whether it’s authentic Neapolitan pizza, burgers made with grass-fed beef and topped with locally harvested ingredients, or lip-smacking, smoked-to-perfection BBQ, you can find it in the illustrious capital of the Peach State.

The trouble is that Atlanta is also full of foodies who flock to these places, so getting in to eat a meal can sometimes prove to be a bit of a challenge.

This is normally not a problem for my husband and me. A party of two, we zip in like Seal Team Six and are more than comfortable sitting at a small table or in a corner booth. And should there be a wait, we use the time to talk and enjoy one another’s company.

A few weeks ago, however, my family was in town for a visit. And when my kinfolk get together, one thing is certain—food is going to be a priority. But “swift” and “nimble” weren’t the words I would use to describe our motley crew of ten. There was a toddler and a pregnant woman involved, so getting a table—something that was so easy for a duet—proved to be much more difficult when our party more closely resembled the Von Trapp clan (minus the singing of course).

Making sure everyone was happy and well fed made me realize how hard parenting will be. My husband and I are adopting a sibling group from the foster care system, and our kids are going to come from something Dr. Karen Purvis calls “hard places”—homes marred by abuse and neglect. They will be a challenge; they will make demands of us and push our patience—and our faith—to the brink.

In her article in the May/June issue of In Touch Magazine, Amy Julia Becker discusses the trials and joys of parenthood and comes to the conclusion that “God was at work, not in spite of [her] children, but through them. They weren’t an obstacle to faith but, rather, a vehicle of grace.”

I take comfort in that statement because, if I’m honest, I sometimes feel frantic and lie awake at night thinking, I’m not ready for this. I will never be enough for them.

But Jesus is. He is everything they need and so much more. He alone can heal what is broken and redeem what seems beyond hope. He will use us to teach one another about His beautiful, matchless grace and love.

God didn’t intend parenthood to make us feel strong. If anything, it helps us understand just how feeble and powerless we truly are. And that’s a wonderful thing.

Read the full article, “Message in the Mess,” by Amy Julia Becker in the May/June issue of In Touch Magazine.

Related Topics:  Family  |  Humility  |  Faith

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