Parenting is a Patchwork of Love

Parenting is a Patchwork of Love

Proverbs 1:1-9 “…and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

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Patchwork of Love and Grace

It’s such a great experiment, this giving birth and raising children. It’s all mixed up with blessing and curse, glory and grief, never-ending, all-consuming, crossing generations. And the responsibility!

My Grandma Ellen taught me to quilt by piecing the squares in the summer, then stitching in the winter. “That way the blanket will keep you warm while you work,” she said. I’m stitching, the part that’s not so exciting. She forgot to say how the pins poke, and get loose. She didn’t tell me how hard it is to get the stitches straight, especially in contrasting colors. I get to a wrinkle and have to make a decision—how much do I tear out and rework? Where the seams aren’t perfectly square I have to decide, again, how much it matters, who cares? It’s discipline, patience, and discretion—just like Solomon taught in his Proverbs: these words are “for attaining wisdom and discipline…doing what is right and just and fair.”

My kids didn’t always agree that I was right and just and fair when they were growing up; that’s okay. I got to the part of parenting when it wasn’t so day-to-day exciting. The kids were on their own. In the quilt of their lives that I pieced together, I got to see how straight my stitches look, whether I made the right decision to rework a seam or smooth a wrinkle. It’s daunting to see what they learned to care about, that they decided to continue the tradition of church, the kind of friends and mates they chose, the lifestyle they practice. I hope they’ll pass on the good parts of what I taught them, and not the mistakes I made; that they’ll continue to listen to you and add to their learning.

Prayer: Lord, may your wisdom be a garland to grace our children’s heads, and a chain to adorn their necks; a patchwork of love and grace to carry on to the next generation.

Lisa Lickel About Lisa Lickel

Lisa Lickel enjoys the Wisconsin good life, where she ponders and writes. The author of inspirational novels, she is also the editor of Creative Wisconsin Magazine for the Wisconsin Writers Association.

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