Twenty three years ago this month I became a mother. It was something I had wanted and dreamed about since I was a little girl and what my husband and I had talked about since we got married three years before. We were so excited to finally be starting this new chapter in our lives. The pregnancy was great, our daughter was born healthy and beautiful…what more could we ask for?
In the first week there was euphoria that trumped the exhaustion. The second week was spent staring at the child God created and being in awe of the gift we were given. Week three through six were ROUGH as accumulated exhaustion, painful nursing and a screaming infant were constant. I doubted my ability to be a mom. I felt like a failure that I couldn’t get and keep a routine, that my child wasn’t a snuggly baby, that I couldn’t comfort her when she cried. What was a nice girl like me doing in a situation like this?!
Fast forward to four months…baby sleeps through the night, baby naps often, baby smiles and doesn’t have screaming fits between 5-7 pm, baby is gaining weight and we actually have a routine. At this time I was introduced to Mom to Mom at our church in MA. It was (and still is) a ministry based on Titus 2:3-4 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=titus+2%3A3-4&version=NLT. What a pivotal moment in my life! I had loving, caring women mentoring me in this parenting journey. I learned so much from these Godly women and I truly believe that without them I would not be confident in my relationship with God, with my husband or with my children. At the right time, God intervened, saved my husband from a chronically frustrated wife and my daughter from a super type A+ mother. Lessons learned on Thursday mornings that year and the next were ones I took into parenting little Emily and her brothers. In fact I still lean on the teachings of Linda Anderson and the wisdom of the mentor moms God brought into my life then and in other churches along the way.
God was rooting me deeper in Him, in His love and He was drawing me closer to my calling to minister to other parents. We can’t parent without God’s help and thankfully He gives us help in the men and women who have gone before us. We can learn from what they did right and from what they feel they did wrong. We can learn that we don’t have to parent perfectly but that we have to strive to parent well. This is a journey of faith and trust. We have to have faith that God will lead us down the right path and we must trust Him that He will keep us on that path and that through our obedience He will pour out His blessings on us.
I now pray this prayer of Paul for the Ephesians with and for you.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)