I like to follow directions. I don’t know if it’s the way I was raised or just a part of my personality, but I don’t like winging it. (Ok, that’s not entirely true, but if there is a right way to do something and a proper procedure, as long as it makes sense, I prefer to use it). But many of the best things in life come without a user manual, marriage and family come to mind.
Not that I haven’t tried. My husband and I read all kinds of books while we were dating and engaged as well as in the early days of our marriage. In fact, I still regularly have a few marriage books on my to-read list. Those books have definitely been helpful but they are only tools. I still have to figure out how to apply them. Because no one has as yet written a book called “How to Be the Best Wife to Rob” or “How Rob and Bethany Can Fall More in Love Each Year.”
Then there is parenting. My shelves are loaded with books of how to be a better mom. Most of my reading is devoted on how to keep a better house, be a better teacher and how to improve my parenting skills. After eight years as a parent, I’m lost count of the number of books I’ve read on the subject. Some of these books have been useful, others discouraging but in the end they aren’t a how-to guide. They can’t be, because no one has written “How to Be the Best Mother to the Vitaro Kids” or “Raising My DNA Without Losing My Mind.”
The truth is, I wish it was that easy. Instead I am forced, one argument and tantrum at a time to figure out what they need most from me. With a tongue held and words bit back, I silently pray that I’ll some how get it right. Yet, I have to remember that am not in this alone. Help is available, if I only ask. I’m not going to get the whole map, but I may get the next step.
“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.”