It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and my eyes pop open. Micaila and Ryann had made their “beds” on our floor because we were leaving for Florida at 3 am. I wake up to Micaila stirring. She proceeds to stand up and walk straight to her bedroom. I called to her and then quickly jump out of bed knowing she means to walk to the bathroom. I can not tell you how frequently this happens. It’s like I wake up just in time to stop her from using her bedroom as a toilet. A few times I have caught her getting ready to sit and pee in her closet, totally asleep, with the best of intentions to not wet her bed. What amazes me is that, to my knowledge, I have intervened every time. We’ve had a couple close calls resulting in tee tee on the tile floor but I have yet to find any puddles around the house.
On this particular evening, after we successfully made it to the potty and got snuggled back in our beds, I was laying awake in wonder at this God given intuition we mothers have. I mean, Jason barely awakes to Caleb crying at night, let alone a kid, honestly, trying to make a trip to the bathroom. God really has given us moms some unique gifts.
As I was laying awake I also began to think about how much I have learned after 6 years of mothering and 3 children. Like, I actually, finally, have moments here and there where I think “Man, I have come a long way!” When I had Micaila there was so much to be learned that can only come through time and experience. There is no book out there (though there are a lot of great books!) that can really tell you how to parent and be a good mommy. It’s different for every one and unique to every child. I have been blessed by numerous Christian parenting books and lots of personal stories from women I trust, like my mom, (I’d be a mess with out you!) but even still in those first 3 years I struggled with confidence in myself. As a new mom there is a lot thrown at you. Between the emotional aspects of now being a wife AND a mother, all the opinions that everyone wants to share with you, beginning this new season where your baby is dependent on you and now dictating much of your choices and all you want is what’s best for your family…… This is just the tip of the berg people! I have always wanted my babies to have a healthy understanding from the beginning that they are not the center of the universe, but in the beginning they are completely relying on you for everything. It always presented a challenge to negotiate time with Jason, family, and friends when I’ve been in the throws of infancy. And I questioned myself a lot in my earlier years of parenting. This is not a fun place to be as there is a lot of fear and guilt that comes with it. But there is hope! By the time I had Caleb I was finally experiencing confidence as a mother. (I know, 3 kids and its finally clicking!)
As time has passed and experience has increased so has my awareness of my great need for Jesus. Pursuing Him, exposing myself to Truth, and praying, (all the time) has developed my confidence in mothering. I used to have a hard time making decisions without fearing that someone may dislike my choice. Now, I can trust that as long as I’m pursuing Truth, I can be confident in our decisions for our family with out worrying about what other people may think. I still have a ways to go but I am definitely not where I was, praise Jesus. I continually ask God to make my heart and motives pure. And with confidence in HIM, I fully trust that he will give me discernment in our decisions as parents. I know that if I submit to his Spirit he will guide me to do what is right and best for these little lives he’s entrusted me and Jason with.
Making time for Jesus can prove to be one of the most difficult things when you are a mommy of young kids. I don’t have a formula for “how to get in your quiet time”, I just recommend doing everything you can to spend time in prayer and the Word through out the day. These days I can pretty consistently wake up in the morning and do it but there were times when the physical and emotional exhaustion was so draining I just couldn’t manage waking unless I was being drug out of bed. I often turn on teachings while I clean and fold laundry (instead of old 90210 re runs! yup, been there, not a whole lot of fruit came from it 😉 ) and I pray a lot when I’m driving. The girls pretty much know at this point what I’m doing and who I’m talking to. Now they just ask for specifics on my prayers like “what’s wrong?” And the “why’s?” But I’m finding this to be a very fulfilling part of parenting because they are SEEING the importance of prayer and staying in the Word.
If you want your children to desire relationship with Christ show them how the relationship works. I remember watching my parents meet with Jesus just about every morning and I remember observing them pray A LOT. I know their example instilled my own desire to pursue Christ and experience the joy relationship with him brings.
I am can promise you that you will never regret making time for Jesus. The time may not look how you’d like. You may not get those serene moments with your bible and coffee and endless hours of prayer but the more you reach out to him, the more you make the effort to put him first, I promise you’ll experience his faithfulness. I most definitely have and I am in a state of endless praising right now because he has proven so faithful over and over again. We need him! The emotional ups and downs can be intense. We need him to be our foundation in our family. We need him and his Word to remind us not to neglect what’s important, like our spouse, and our time with our Lord. It’s really crazy how the people that cherish us the most (our Lord and our hubby) tend to be the most neglected when mommies are tending to their babies. (Been there a time or two) This may sound too simple, which it is, but that doesn’t make it easy. Just keep your eyes fixed on him. Earnestly, genuinely, seek his will, for your marriage, your babies, and your outside relationships. It DOES fall into place. I’ve seen it 🙂
Some verses that I have found to be foundational for me in regards to being a momma. I can’t express enough how powerful it is to memorize scripture. But I could write a whole posting on that as well!
Praying blessings, peace, and confidence on all you mommies out there and also on those I know who are about to embark on this wonderful FULFILLING journey. Nothing can give you a glimpse of His love like being a parent. It’s awesome!
Guilt is banished through truth and love; fear-of-God deflects evil. (Proverbs 16:6 The Message)
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22, 23 NLT)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. (Psalms 16:5 NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15 NLT)