Wednesday, March 6, 2013

For The New, The Old, And The In Between

There is a lot I wish I had known when I first became a Mama.

But the truth is, even if someone had told me, I might not have been in a place to hear. It's strange how the Lord brings the wisdom we need in the moments we need them. It's strange, yet refreshing and freeing in a sense.

I have four little people that I interact with all day long and you would think that by now I would have things under control and I would be a wonderful problem solver, patient in all our daily endeavors, and knowledgeable of all my treasure's needs.

That's simply not the case.

I can't even count how many times a day I find myself looking up and muttering, "What the Hec am I supposed to do now??" {And on the really humbling days, I find myself using stronger words than "hec".}

Motherhood is hard. 

Let's just lay that one simple truth on the table. If we know that, we can breath a little easier and find comeradery where the enemy wants us to find loneliness.

There is a lot about motherhood that I know nothing about.

And today I just needed a little reminder. My heart needed a place to breath, a place to remember that motherhood is a lifelong venture that rarely ever comes in contact with instant gratification. 

Today, I needed to remember these things...

They're the things that others have taught me along the way...

They're the things that the new, the old, and the in between, could always take a refreshing dip in...

So here it is, a note to myself on a Wednesday morning in March...

1. Never forget the extent of your purpose... Mama, your job is irreplaceable. You are a magnificent woman, chosen by the King of Kings, to raise souls for the pleasure and glory of the most high God. Your calling is anything but small. When done well, the effects of your life spent pouring into souls, will last for ETERNITY. You have great purpose! On the hard days... remember your purpose.

2. There is tremendous blessing (on both sides) when you take the time to train them well... Each child's training will look different. Some will need a steady flow of consequences, while others will respond quickly to gentle reminders. Don't be afraid to give to each his own need. It might seem hard at first, the figuring out of individual needs, but God is faithful to show you and strengthen you. Don't grow weary of repeating, repeating, repeating. Give your children the gift of meaning what you say and saying only what you mean. Empty threats bring forth disobedient children but the following through of a mother against her willful child develops trust between the two of them, and eventually, a willing obedience in the child. If we quit after the first, of even the fiftieth try, we will miss out on the triumph that comes with perseverance and our children will miss out on the joy-filled life that comes with obedience. Take the time to train, even on the days that it feels like it's not working.

3. Pray... Prayer is your greatest tool. When in doubt, or at a total loss, PRAY.

4. Back up all your choices with scripture... Education, discipline, friendships, family rules, priorities...The Bible really does have something to say about pretty much everything. We may not always like what it says, but His Word is unfailing, trustworthy, and full of the best kind of wisdom. {The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom}. If we can't back our decisions up with the scriptures, then maybe we should be making different decisions?

5. Flood your home with grace... Grace for the treasures and grace for the Mama. If at first you fall on your face, get back up on your knees, and try try again. Forgive and ask forgiveness, as often as needed. Maybe that means several times a day during certain seasons? Pride tears a family apart. Humility knits a family tightly together. It begins with Mamas. What we exemplify is what our kids will grow up to live out in their own lives.

6. Never let your treasures doubt how in love you truly are with their Papa... Kiss that man of yours, hug him, tell him the things you like about him in front of your children! My two oldest giggle every time they come into the kitchen and see their Mama wrapped up in their Papa's arms. But as they grow, we want their memories to always hold their parents love and affection towards one another.

7. You WILL learn as you go... You don't need to know everything there is to know about parenting, today. He is faithful to reveal in His perfect timing, everything necessary for you to know. He'll give you wisdom for each child, each day... no need to run ahead. Stay in the moments, and soak them up. They truly are fleeting!

My oldest is turning 8 in a few weeks. He's in a wonderfully sweet, wonderfully overwhelming phase where he's beyond helpful, independent and responsible, and yet emotional, often sharp with his words, wanting to lead, but lacking the skills to lead selflessly. He's very specific and he never seems to stop asking questions... ALL DAY LONG. He challenges me from the moment he walks down the stairs in the morning until he closes his eyes at night. I love him with my whole heart and I'm thankful for the ways that the Lord is teaching me to love and care for a little guy that is so different from me and also so like me. We are always in the learning around here. 

And isn't that motherhood? 

A constant running into Jesus? 

A humble letting go of ourselves that we might see and know more of Him? 

I guess it doesn't really matter how old or how new we are to mothering, we all need Jesus. :)