Tag Archives: Family

3 Reminders for the Weary Mom

Being a mom can be hard. I’m only five months into this motherhood thing, but the longer I’m in the more I begin to understand what busy moms go through each day and what it really means when everyone tells you how sanctifying this new season of life will be.

Enter into our past weekend: I’m sick with some kind of stomach bug, my husband is away for work and ministry events, and my son becomes a feverish and clingy five month old who no longer cares that sleeping is actually a gracious gift from God. I would love to report that I handled everything with perfect poise and patience toward everyone around me. But it would probably be closer to the truth to say that, in fact, I was once again reminded that my sin runs far deeper than I usually care to admit.

The Anxieties of Getting Ready for a Newborn

We’re two months away from welcoming baby number two into our family, and all I can seem to think about is making sure we have the perfect floral crib sheets picked out for the nursery. How did I spend so much time online the other day searching for the picture-perfect one? As we get closer to the reality that this baby will be here in no time, I’ve found myself fixated on the color of the nursery, the wall décor, and making sure the clothes we have for this baby girl are all washed and separated. I could go on and on about the things that can keep me up at night – do I have my hospital bag packed? How far away are we from James being settled into his new room? What’s on our to-do list that we just really need to make sure gets crossed off?

But oh how I wished I spent as much time praying for this new life as I spend thinking about all of the anxieties of the material. These things aren’t bad things – of course I want to have a relaxing nursery and of course I need to know what the plan is for our toddler when we go to the hospital. But I am so easily tempted to spend my (limited) energies on embracing the comfort that I can build for myself here on earth – the American dream – rather than remembering eternity, and remembering my true role that God has given me as a mother. How do I refocus my heart on the eternal? Here are a few reminders that I need daily:

A Truth from Toddler Tantrums

James looked me squarely in the face, furrowed his brow, and picked up a piece of spaghetti. “James, please keep that spaghetti on your tray or in your hand.” Still looking at me, he threw it onto the floor because he was frustrated I wasn’t giving him his orange yet.

Later that day, I wouldn’t let him play with the glass teapot sitting on the counter (I know, worst mom ever right here), so he grabbed my face as hard as he could. Again, frustration ruled his emotions.

As my son turns into a toddler (I can’t believe I just wrote those words!), I’m seeing the way that sin is ingrained in his nature. Sure, some might say that it’s just the way a toddler acts, and while that is true, I think it gives us a picture of a deeper truth we’re shown throughout Scripture. Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about as we enter this new stage of parenting: 

The Power of Physical Presence

If someone were to ask me about it, I’d tell you that of course being physically present in someone’s life is important – especially my husband, my close friends, and my family. But if one were to scan my life looking for chunks of unstructured time that I just spend with people I cared about, that time would be few and far between, to my shame. It is way easier for me to schedule a meeting, an hour-long coffee date, or simply be “too busy” for a getaway.

But I read this article today and was a bit convicted by my propensity to hurry along and get to the next thing without stopping to just spend time with someone. I’m often ruled by efficiency and my to-do list and “leisure” frequently reminds me of the word “lazy.” 

A Most Terrifying Prayer for Your Kids

There’s a lot of things I pray for when I’m praying for my son, James: for God to protect him, to keep him healthy; that he would sleep well and fully; that one day he would marry a woman who loves the Lord; that he would grow up in a community of believers, etc. But ultimately, I pray that God would know him and that he would know God.

Of course, this last one is what James needs the most, yet I find that when I pray for this, it unexpectedly terrifies me. It’s easy to pray for the circumstantial things, because there is a part of me that so wants his life to be one of comfort and ease, protected from any pain or grief. I can’t bear to think of him being hurt or made fun of or coming face to face with an insurmountable obstacle. But it is hard for me to give his life to God, to truly want God to do anything in his life in order that James would know and trust him.

Because isn’t that what is true for most of us? In the desperate times of suffering, in the revelation of the depths of my own depravity, and in the trials and somber valleys I’ve walked through – it’s in those times that I have learned to rely on God the most. It’s in those times that I have known his presence more fully and deeply. It’s in those times that I’ve seen my true need for a Savior. I want these things for James, but as his mom, it is terrifying to think that it likely won’t be smooth sailing and comfortable living that will get him there. He just might have to stagger through the wilderness in parts of his own story.

Parry and Lunge: An Encounter with ‘Light-Saber Theology’

“How about we just watch the rest of the movie, OK? We can talk about that other stuff while you get ready for bed.”

It’s not often that my son makes a sincere inquiry and I decline to answer him, especially when 1) it’s actually a valid theological question (though he wouldn’t know that), and 2) it’s clearly “a teachable moment.” The truth is that I simply had a less-than-exemplary parenting moment. Selfish and tired, I just wanted to watch the rest of the movie; I very nearly missed the opportunity to instruct (Deuteronomy 6:7).

“Your pop-culture theology has made you weak, old man!”

In all fairness, though, Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith had reached the climactic light-saber duel between Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they jumped around on makeshift platforms in the middle of a sea of boiling-hot lava. Even as the segment at hand clearly demonstrated the limitations of digital effects, I was anxious to find out just how, exactly, the current feature would square with the previous Star Wars episodes that I had already seen.