Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's not my job to be your friend

Had a great phone conversation with my daughter today.  She's pretty amazing, even if she is my daughter!  One of the things I enjoy the most in talking with her is that she has the ability to analyze complicated situations and get to the heart of the matter.  She doesn't always get there immediately, but she's as tenacious as a terrier so you can be sure that eventually she will!  She's also pretty determined to find a solution if a solution exists and her mind is flexible enough that it could qualify for the high beam. or a gymnastic mat routine  This allows her to turn and twist a situation inside out as we talk.  She's also willing to consider every permutation I bring up, no matter how far out it may be.  So, it's great fun to talk with her about her students and just life in general.  

I learn a lot in those conversations, sometimes more than she does as we go back and forth, holding the problem out and examining it from every angle.  I think the best part though, is that we are friends in this endeavor.  I'm just as likely to call her to discuss an issue as she is to call me about something she's facing.  This is a pretty great outcome for a parent who always said, "my job is not to be your friend; my job is to be your parent.  You don't have to like me for me to succeed at what I'm called to do".  Somehow, in the course of her growing up, I ended up with a daughter that I'm more than proud of and a friend as well.  

So, it doesn't surprise me that the following title caught my eye when I saw it on a friend's facebook page.  I have to say, I agree with this mom 100%!  Enjoy reading!  I don't want you to be happy...


Every Square Inch said...

Susan - I don't have to tell you (because you probably know) what a rich blessing you have in this special relationship with your daughter. To have an adult child be willing and eager to welcome a parent as a friend and trusted advisor is better than gold.

No doubt the result of great parenting and wonderful grace.

Halfmom said...

Thanks, ESI - lots of grace for sure! She's pretty special!

Maalie said...

What exactly is grace? Can it be measured? Can somebody acquire more grace than somebody else? Can you earn it, ot do you pick it up as you go along? Can it be stored for use at a later time?

Halfmom said...


the simple definition I use is Grace = unmerited favor. therefore nothing I can do can earn it because it is not dependent in any way on me or on attributes I have.

No one can acquire more grace than another but one can be the beneficiary of greater grace than another. It all depends on the choice of the person exhibiting the grace. So, say for example, I wish to extend my favor to 3rd grade teachers in Richmond, VA. I can extend grace to all I wish to, or to select as few or many as I desire, by my own choice. So, if I choose to extend grace only on my daughter who happens to be such a one, then that's my choice.

I suppose truly you never know when grace may be extended to you - a stranger stops to help you when you have a flat on the side of the road. You surely needed it but you did nothing to earn it. I think it's something you only recognize, at best, as it's happening.

Maybe favor can be stored up but I don't think grace can - i think that it is situational and if you don't accept it, you loose whatever benefit was being extended to you.

Certainly deep questions to a man whose furiously cleaning his home for Viennese visitors.

lorenzothellama said...

You can ask for grace Maalie if you really want it, and you never know, it may be given. I also don't always think you have to believe when you ask for grace. Sometimes it is just given willynilly.

Susan, I think it is 'visitor' not 'visitors'.

Maalie said...

Thank you again for your time Halfmom.
So would I be correct in thinking that grace is a kind of state of mind? Like a sort of mental "feel good factor"?

I think you are too modest in assuming the relationship you have with your daughter is due to this thing that is dispersed apparently arbitrarily from an invisible man in the sky. I would put it down to fabulous parenting.

Halfmom said...

Oh no, not at all, Maalie.

Grace is a gift, not a state of mind at all, especially God's grace. And, in fact, the true recipient of grace will be most humble I believe for he/she realizes that they have been given something of eternal worth they never could possibly have earned, not one single bit of it.

God's grace to me and to my daughter, both of the gift of His Son, Christ Jesus, was not arbitrarily given even if only He knows why. He does nothing in arbitrary fashion - He has His reasons. I spoke though of the grace to raise a child when I was not well-raised and also was raising her as a single parent. I was given wisdom in some ways that was way beyond my ability to see or know when it came to decisions made in raising her. And, to give credit where it is due, she made wise decisions, rebelled little, and appreciated much.

That kind of humility is not what I would ever put in the "feel good" category of earthly pleasures - something quite transcendent.

Halfmom said...

sorry - I just reread that - it's late and I have only been home for a bit from work and am exhausted - my grammar stinks tonight!

Has your company come yet? Hopefully you will have pleasant weather - it is below zero Fahrenheit here and so bitter! Not the kind of weather I am happy to travel in!

Maalie said...

Thank you Halfmom, that is more or less all I need to know for now.
I suppose the countless other diverse human cultures that have existed since humanity evolved in Africa some three million years ago have had their own versions of this curious phenomenon. I can relate to it but account for it in different terms.

Halfmom said...

Yes, I know full well that's what you think, Maalie. And it makes me quite sad.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good link. God is our Father, but also Friend. Parents have a role that is so unique and important, so that they're not only friends. That and more. Though children have a hard time processing that at times, if at all until they get older (hopefully).

Same is true for Christ's Body. We are more than just friends, but we are friends in Jesus. There is no escape of that, and we should live it out in the here and now. All in God's grace in Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Shucks, I am just stating a thought on it, but it comes across preachy I'm afraid. I'm sure you did a great job with your daughter, by the way, of course by God's grace.