I became a mother at the age of 21, before I had completed college and certainly with very little knowledge of children at all. I knew the kind of mom I wanted to be, but I had no idea exactly what that would look like or cost.
I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and I was grateful that David agreed and has since spent every day of his life providing for this growing gang.
[bctt tweet=”I knew the kind of mom I wanted to be, but I had no idea what that would cost.”]
I knew I wanted to COMMIT. I wanted to commit to raise the kind of kid that would make my God smile. I think He smiled at that sentiment and hasn’t stopped since. Not because I’ve done it all RIGHT, but because He delights in showing me His strength when I am weak.
I knew I wanted to be a happy mama, a pretty one, a mama who would grew her own best friends. I wanted to be an understanding parent, a loving one, but one not afraid to push hard and love like mad. I had what I wanted to be in my head, but putting that to action daily over the last 20 years has been more than challenging. But God is faithful.
Many times, my decisions as a mother ran contrary to what friends and family agreed with.
I remember my decision to breastfeed was met with those friends and family of a different generation who disagreed. Despite horrific challenges, Daly Kay and I persevered and it was a memorable experience. Now that I have chosen NOT to breastfeed, that too has made plenty of waves.
I remember how Daly Kay would hold her breath in temper tantrums and people would criticize my parenting. Must be my fault. Whatever– that kid’s been a tough nut since day one and I still haven’t cracked the shell.
I remember announcing to a group of friends that we were going to homeschool and NOT ONE person agreed with or encouraged us.
I remember many of our parenting decisions being controversial…and even though every one of them may not have been perfect, they were what was right for us at the time. And that’s what I wanted to comfort you with today.
Your decisions as a parent are hard enough to make. Should you look for and listen to wise counsel? Yes. But the Bible says you have an unction of the Holy Spirit within you and you have no need of a teacher (1John 2:20)– in other words, while teachers, mentors, preachers and role models have their place in our lives, they can never REplace the Holy Spirit.
You’re going to have to be bold and make some different decisions than some of your friends or family, and instead of letting that become a wedge between you, just realize we are not all called to parent exactly the same way! We are called to raise up our child, and God has a specific plan for our children as individuals that require us to listen closely to the Word and His Spirit as He leads us quietly and gently through the challenge of raising up a Godly generation.
[bctt tweet=”We are not all called to parent exactly the same way! “]
Each of us, as parents, have a powerful and persuasive role to play in influencing our children and our families and those around us watching…waiting to see…is this God real? Is He able? And over time, “Wisdom is proven right by her actions…”(Proverbs 8) In other words, as the world watches, may they be persuaded by the outcome and the wisdom that our God has given us as He faithfully brings to fruition the promises He makes us regarding our children.
And I want to reassure you, that even if EVERY ONE of your parenting decisions is completely contrary to mine– You’re a career driven mom who sends her kiddos to public school and two kids was way more than enough for you and you do life COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY than I have, then please DON’T feel unwelcome or disregarded in your parenting decisions here…we are all called to parent our individual children sometimes very differently from one another. That doesn’t make one person right and another wrong. It makes you and your family who you are.