I spent all day today at the EMPOWERED TO CONNECT CONFERENCE that is put on by SHOW HOPE, and my brain is fried.  Literally friend, it's fried and done working.   We got to hear from Dr. Karen Purvis a lot today and I swear to you I want to kidnap this woman and hold her hostage in my home for a month, or a year actually.  I want her to dissect all my awful parenting skills and present me with new ones in a nice package all wrapped with a great bow! I devour every word out of this woman's mouth.  Doesn't that sound reasonable.  Surely she would understand my desire to kidnap her and make her tell me all the secrets to parenting well.


On a serious note, because kidnapping Karen Purvis to make her help me parent is clearly not serious, nor a good idea, I have gained so much insight today.  As I said my brain hurts, but y'all my heart hurts too.  I feel sad and defeated.  I feel lonely and afraid.  I feel inadequate and unworthy.  I feel as though this is too hard, and I'm not cut out for this.


While Brad, Noelle and I rode back to our house we're staying in we all talked about all the ways we suck at parenting.  Everything we're doing wrong.  All the times we've screwed up.  So many ways we've failed our kids.


I then said that we can't live in this world of beating ourselves up.  It's not healthy.  We need to live in the grace God gives us.  Accept his rebuke and forgiveness and move on.  Try to be better and do the right thing, and when you do praise yourself and when you don't be gracious with yourself.


I'm preaching this to myself, because instead of listening today and nodding my head in agreement with the things we are doing right and the things we have done that are benefiting my child (because thankfully there was some stuff I'm doing right), I only remember the tears that came as I realized things we're doing are not good, and could be harming our child's growth in trust and security with us.  It's easy to forget the way we do provide a secure environment and loving words and touch to our child and only think about the times we've selfishly chosen our own will over being a parent that's emotionally connected to their child.


You see, I'm preaching to myself.


I have so much to unpack from today.  Right now, I'm alone in my room and missing my kids like crazy.  Normally I would love to be away from them and have peace and quiet, but after today I only wanted to touch their faces, hold their hands, snuggle with them and look in their eyes and connect emotionally with them.  I desired my kids so much when the last speaker was done and we were through. I physically ached to hold them.


But tonight I can't.


Although … thanks to Apple I did get to see their faces and give them telephone kisses.


Tomorrow is another day at the conference and I honestly don't know how much more my brain and heart can take.  I'm ready to learn and be reminded of what things work best with parenting children who come to us hurt and from hard places.  I desire so badly to be the best mom possible I can to all four of my precious babies.  I'm begging God to mold me and change me into a mom that is there for my kids not just with physical presence, but also and probably more importantly with emotional connection.


I have so much to share from this conference.  I'll leave you with this.  I will find a way to say “YES” more than I say “no”.  I will find more ways to give my kids a voice, even if it means compromise.  I will not view compromise as a win for the kid and a loss for parent.  I will view it as a voice.  Every kid deserves a voice.  I will take my own sinful patterns and ask Jesus to stomp them out and help me walk through my past and see how I can change patterns and behaviors in my life to help me be a better parent.


Oh there's so much more to talk about …. until then I need a glass of wine and a mindless tv show.  My brain is fried.