A little fun fact about me, I'm a bookworm. I may not always have time to read like I used to, but my love for reading has not changed. Earlier this year, I was blessed to be on the launch team for Love Centered Parenting by Crystal Paine and it did a number on how I was parenting vs. how I could be parenting.
I promise you that this is not just "one of those" parenting books. In this book, Crystal is real, honest, and raw. She opens her heart and her world to us, and through that explains how we can grow as parents and change our hearts, and parent through love.
I was lucky enough to be on the launch team for this book, and I can honestly tell you that the first page had my eyes watering. Crystal takes you through her journey as a mom, life lessons she learned along the way (she's a mom of 4 + currently one foster child), and these lessons are ones that I feel so many of us can benefit from. They range from realizing that God has equipped us to be the best parent we can be for our children, to remembering that just as God gives us grace, we should extend that grace to our children.
I also learned so much about myself as a mom with this book. She is excellent at reminding us that as daughters in Christ, even when we don't feel like it's true, we are God's masterpiece. Each and everyone of us. Even in our imperfections, we are enough. If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are enough. You have been chosen to be the parent your children need, you are loved by Christ and your children, and you are forgiven.
The greatest lesson I learned from this book, was that perfection is something that we should not seek from our children. If a mess is made, is it really worth getting insanely upset over? Or is it something we can use as a teaching moment, one to show grace and love, and maybe even explain what could have been done differently to prevent a mess in the future. Her specific quote reads, "Instead of parents who are pursuing perfection, our kids need parents who are humble enough to admit when they've made a mistake, missed the mark, and messed up." That quote hit me hard. How can I expect "perfection" from Riley, when I am not perfect?
The lesson that I found to be the most challenging is to be intentional and step into Riley's world, rather than constantly expecting her to join mine. She's 4.5 and has so much going on in her world, that I need to step away from the things that I think "have to be done right now," and join her in that wonderful world she sees. This is a struggle for me, and I have so much work to do, but it's such an important thing to do. She loves it so much, and I do, too.
If you are interesting in reading Love Centered Parenting, it can be found at the link below on Amazon, or at many other online bookstores!