How to trust ourselves and not quit

by Mary Ann on April 27, 2011

images of grandparents

Don and Mary Ann

I saw a video today that got me to thinking about my experience as a parent. When Don and I married we were full of hope for a happy life and a perfect family. We had been taught certain core values all of our lives and we had done our best to live them. We had put some consistent behaviors into our routines that we thought would really carry us far in our efforts to raise happy and healthy children.

Yet, everything didn’t go as we planned. We realized that in our life path were some significant bumps that could trip us up and they did. Some we didn’t even see until we were on the ground, taken totally by surprise. It was difficult to trust in ourselves and not quit.

grandparents grandkids images

The best part of parenting - grandchildren

We had a couple of major crashes in our family. Other families raced by us and it seemed as if we couldn’t possibly reach the finish line with an intact and healthy family. It was tempting to just stay down, lick our wounds and lament over the fact that the path hadn’t been cleared out for us better, that bumps and stones had been placed in our way, that those families running alongside of ours had it easier. Their lane was free of bumps and obstacles, or so it seemed.

However, we did the wiser thing. We got up and kept running. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy to

newly married couple photos

The second best part of parenting - adding new children to the fold

watch families whose children seemed to be doing everything right. It wasn’t easy to go to church and hear how another child was making all the right choices or how amazingly loving another marriage was. It wasn’t easy to sit in the school auditorium as other children earned awards and got great grades. It wasn’t easy.

It wasn’t easy to not quit. It wasn’t easy to not fall into the trap of reiterating all our failures as parents or to not compare ourselves to all the success of others, as if they had no failings. It wasn’t easy to continue to trust ourselves that we could and would prevail. It wasn’t easy.

Here is the fact. We won! Despite our falls and being behind in the race, we won. A couple of

fun pictures

It is pictures like this that are an indication of our AMAZING paenting skills : )

weeks ago I heard two of my daughters talking about our family. They raved about our solidarity and our goodness as people. There was no mention of how much Don and I struggled as parents, how individuals in our family had fallen down and had had to rebound; only happy words and glad memories and comments on how good it all was in the present.

Falling down, failure, weakness, foolishness, these are some facts of life. What saves us is the getting up and going again. It is courage and faith that make all the difference (faith makes things possible, not easy). So if you are discouraged in yourself or your spouse or your children or your family, then get up. Read some more. Practice a new skill. Change yourself. Pray, pray and pray some more. Keep running. I’ll bet, like us, you too will win!

johnson family picture


Possibly Related Posts:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody Jarvis May 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I have often hated Christmas letters because everyone else’s kids seemed to be doing much better than mine! OK, so in some ways I still hate those letters – just gave up competing basically and haven’t sent out a Christmas letter in probably 5 years.

I love the first family photo, by the way!


Mary Ann May 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm

This is why I love you!! You are so real. I myself do not send out those “we are all great” letters. In fact I have had some family and friends say “Gee why did you say that”? Because I am real too!!! : )


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: