Gretchen is a mom to 6 hilarious kids from toddler to teenager. She works as a homeschool mom, writer, and tutor to middle school kids in classical studies. She has published an e-course for mentors in intergenerational ministry called Gospel Mentoring and works to equip women’s ministries in churches from falling into legalistic patterns that compromise the message of the gospel. She enjoys knitting, reading many books at the same time, and embarrassing her teenagers in public. She and her husband, Knut, live in Minnesota on the family farm.
Every part of bringing kids to church feels hard, despite my kids loving it. My mother used to say that Satan works extra hard on Sunday mornings. The wrestling matches into car seats, and bickering between them make the morning into one long battle.
Our church doesn’t talk a lot about giving up things for Lent. Lent seasons means we have Sunday night services as well, where we bring in speakers who talk about a different theme each year—usually surrounding the idea of the suffering of Christ. It fits because Lent is the season in the liturgical church calendar when we reflect on the suffering of Christ.
I have always felt I have a knack for disappointing people. It sometimes feels like everyone in my life thinks I'm more capable than I am. Five years into my chronic pain, I think my family is starting to catch onto my limitations. I still disappoint my kids all the time. That's probably true of many parents.
Awhile back, I was at a 3-day practicum in the summer so that I could be trained in to tutor a group of middle schoolers for the coming school year. This was a great event for families, as they had 3 day “camps” for all of my kids to attend while I was at my training during the day.
I love studying books on productivity and efficiency. I have a big family, and I have little people who depend on me and actually expect to eat every day. There is a lot on my plate, and all of it is important. I’ve learned many tricks in this whole parenting gig.
If our job is to magnify the Lord to the world, God must have decided to use our children to magnify our own sins so we can see them. My children hate correction. They take it as a personal insult. No matter how gently, or grace filled I correct, padding it on either side with nice things, they receive it like a punch from a bully.
BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK
Never has the law fallen so hard on me as in motherhood. Never before was I more aware that my best wasn’t good enough. If parenting doesn’t drive you to your knees, you’re doing it wrong. I remember a conversation with a mom-friend years ago.