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PARENTING

GOOD LISTENERS

From the June 1, 2009 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Many People will say that parenting is one of the most difficult and yet most rewarding jobs there can be.

It's difficult because when sticky challenges come up, it's tempting to think, "I must solve this." Sometimes I forget, as Christian Science has taught me, that the best way to parent and be parented is to remember God, our Father-Mother. I love what I've learned about God and His direct and constant care for each of us, when I've taken those challenges to Him.

I remember a time when God did so much more than solve the situation at hand. One day a friend and I were chatting about the idea that God speaks directly to His children. She'd been to a lecture on Christian Science, where the speaker emphasized that because God is communicating with His children, each and every child can hear exactly what he or she needs right from divine Love itself.

Wow, I thought. As a parent and a Christian Scientist I spend a lot of time praying for my daughter, Taylor—but somehow this idea of God, as Father-Mother, communicating directions to each child moment by moment, including Taylor, felt new and very valuable. And just what I needed to hear that day.

Taylor was in second grade at the time and had been struggling academically. And even though her school had very caring teachers, some mornings she just didn't want to go. Also she'd complain about having an upset tummy—which seemed to me might be connected with her feelings about school. I'd studied Christian Science all my life, and Taylor and I had had quick physical healings through prayer, and seen other proofs of God's protecting and directing. My first inclination therefore is always to pray, turn to God and hold on to the truth of His spiritual goodness, when I run into any kind of trouble. So I'd always pray right away when Taylor complained of a tummyache, and each time she would quickly feel well again.

Though we had other healings along the way from prayer alone, the academic struggles continued. For a few months Taylor's teachers gave her extra help with schoolwork, but there wasn't much progress. So I kept praying. It all seemed very frustrating at times, but I knew we could expect a good resolution to this; I wanted so much for Taylor to be happy at school and to always feel well.

As a parent, I really appreciate Mary Baker Eddy's reminder in her writings that we're all spiritual—the direct children of a good Parent, God. Retrospection and Introspection, her autobiography, includes this statement: "The real man [meaning children, men, and women] is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the eternal good" (p. 22).

And a particular hymn Taylor and I prayed with together, in the Christian Science Hymnal, was helpful to me at that time, especially this verse about God supplying us with angels—with helpful thoughts:

O longing hearts that wait on God
Through all the world so wide;
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort, guard and guide. (Violet Hay, No. 9)

I WOULD NEVER HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED A CHANGE OF SCHOOL FOR HER, BUT I WAS NOW PREPARED TO LISTEN OPENLY AND TRUSTINGLY.

While praying about my daughter's school situation, I realized that the conversation with my friend was one of those angels—a spiritual intuition that God had sent right to me. I realized that I could, and should, trust God Himself to guide Taylor, just as He would guide me.

Since Taylor was God's child, I could expect her to know what she needed, too.

That very day, completely out of the blue, Taylor said she wanted to go to a different school which one of her friends attended. I would never have even considered a change of school for her, but I was now prepared to listen openly and trustingly. I saw the idea as another angel message just for her, so we visited the school.

The timing was perfect. There was room for her at the school, Taylor loved it, the staff loved her, and within a few days she was enrolled. She clearly felt comfortable, fit in well, and did better academically. The tummyaches stopped completely. She happily attended that school for three years.

What a beautiful thing to see the angels that we need, speaking directly to our children as well as to us as parents! | ♦


Kate Dearborn lives in Lakeway, Texas.

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