I know you are tired. Maybe you only got an hour of sleep last night, or maybe your feet and legs are sore from dancing around a colicky infant. Maybe you want to cry every time you think of how much you miss feeling rested. And maybe you don’t even recognize yourself under those eye bags (I mean, seriously, where did the rest of your face go?). I know how you feel. The other night, my fussy 3 month old baby kept me up straight through the night. Between feeding him, changing him, burping him, rocking him back to sleep, pumping, and so on, there was really no time to rest – especially given his fusses which came like clockwork, ten minutes after each feed. Suffice to say, I got about an hour and a half of actual sleep. By 7 am yesterday, feeling fragile and fatigued, I cried a little out of (admitted) self-pity. But as I was rocking the little one to sleep for his morning nap by the window, I watched the rain cast an ethereal haze over the city, and Forever by Bethel came on. Suddenly, the following thoughts filled my head and flooded my heart with hope and faith:
Parenthood is a blessing.
- Many who want children can’t have them. Above all else, being the Mother of a bundle of joy (and drool…and uncontrollable screaming…and all that…) is a blessing.
- Psalms 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Parenthood brings us closer to God.
- As parents we look to fellow parents for advice, inspiration, and knowing commiseration. But while we benefit greatly from people like us – friends in the same boat, let us not forget the ultimate example, inspiration, and advisor: Our own Father: God. God is the perfect example of parenthood done right – He who does not spare the rod, but never withholds his love either. He who offered the ultimate sacrifice (the death of His son) that it may save all us sons and daughters. What an honor it is then, to have received from this perfect God the gift of giving life to another. In granting us children He is simultaneously saying: I am giving you the opportunity to create with me, and I am entrusting you with the priceless life of one of my own children. We must trust then, that every small sacrifice we make for our children and every moment spent loving them fully, not only builds us up, but uniquely glorifies God as well in a way no other human task does.
Colossians 1: 11-12 Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Parenthood makes us more Christ-centered, and Christ-like.
- The pains in my shoulders and back from carrying the weight of the gift of life are nothing compared to those felt by Jesus as he carried the weight of our sins. The judgment endured from other parents is nothing next to the scorn Jesus experienced from His people. Perhaps, as we struggle through the growing pains associated with parenting, we find ourselves thinking “I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. I thought I was qualified, but I’m not. God, you must have known this! So why have you chosen me??” But we must remember, God does not choose the qualified. He qualifies the chosen. God knows what He’s doing. He knows why He chose you for this baby and vice versa. Just as He knit your baby in your womb, He knit you too (Psalms 139:13-16). Trusting in Him, and His plan, you have nothing to fear. And when times are tough, just remember, He is making you more Christ-like too.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Being a mama is hard work, but it’s so much more than that. Hopefully these thoughts help remind you what that “more” is the way I hope they do for me when the going gets rough too.
Here’s to all of us! Now, let me close this off with the live Bethel Worship performance of Forever. (See embed below.)
Love and Immanuel, Always!