First comes love then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage! Sweet little playground jingle in fact one of which I would often sing with my friends as a young girl. Well now that I have love, marriage and two little babies out of the baby carriage, let's get real. I believe parenting to be such an awesome fulfilling reward however the day in and outs of parenting is sometimes a struggle. Not only do I deal with my own shortcomings but my husbands and now two little humans. Parenting has a way of maturing you, challenging you, frustrating you, humbling you, exhausting you and getting you closer to being completely self-less. There is a nice little balance that I find great pleasure in and that's the balance of mommy & daddy time, family time, mommy and kid time, and me time.
For most, when you first find out your pregnant there is high level of excitement that takes place and during the pregnancy itself your body goes through some major changes! Even the afterbirth creates change; mood swing changes, physical changes, emotional changes and mental changes. No one mentioned to me the "aftermath". I am talking about all the little things that parenting requires on a daily basis. It is very true when they say as a mom you are a nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, driver, shopper, referee, chef, caregiver, banker, advocate, maid, playmate, seamstress, hairdresser, party planner, life coach, feeling validator, police officer and I am sure if I sat here long enough I could come up with many more of my job duties as a mother. There are moments when I doubt myself however, there is not a moment a day goes by where I doubt I can do it only because I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me but I often do have to take a deep breath and encourage myself because the struggle is real.
As a mother of two, I am learning more now than before that these two little people do not belong to me. God has given me an assignment (many) but this one of parenting is a temporary assignment. While my children are little and in my hands I am instructed through his word to train up my children in the right way (God's way) so they will not depart from it when they get older (Proverbs 22:6). I am to discipline my children correcting them when they are wrong with love and not to provoke them (Ephesians 6:4). The word of God calls me to teach God's laws to my children when they wake up, when we sit around, when we are out in the world, when we rise and when we lay down (Deuteronomy 11:19). I have a mighty job on my hands. Once this assignment is over, I must trust that I did the best I could while I had the chance; one of the reasons I am so thankful I am getting this wisdom now! Even if they stray, I have to believe and have faith that they too just like I will find their way back. The more I focus on God's work he focuses on mine.
I was speaking with one of my family members who is a mother of a teenager and an adult child and she confirmed this within my spirit. She told me a story of how a woman came up to her and saw a worried spirit within her and went on to tell her that it was regarding her child. She told me that woman reminded her to release her children to God and in giving them to him, they would be okay. It was within that moment that I knew what God wanted me to share. I could literally go crazy worrying about my children in a way that is unhealthy. I have to treat each day each encounter with them like it could be my last. I am reminded that my children are their own unique person (although I see some of my husband and I in them) and I am here to guide them and support them. I have found support with friends and believe it or not social media but moreover I found comfort and strength in God knowing that his word teaches me everything I need to know. I also know that this life is temporary and with all I have to juggle as a parent my assignment is bigger than me. If you are like me and wonder, "how can I be a good parent?" I want to share a Proverb with you. God's word says "my children will learn values, morals and priorities by watching how you act and react everyday". If I put God first and dominate my dependence on him, my children will catch on to these attitudes. I want my children to see my reverence towards God. Actions speak louder than words (Proverbs 1 1-8). Those negative thoughts of "it's too late" is a lie! When we know better we do better and practice will not make perfect (there's no such thing) practice will only make you/it better!
Today parents, let's focus on making each interaction count. Let's slow down and appreciate our little unique gifts. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us as we guide our little/big children and let's pray God's angels of protection always. There is no such thing as a perfect parent so let's not beat ourselves up when we do get frustrated.
Trust me, as I write to encourage and inspire you, I write to encourage, inspire and sustain myself.