When I was a girl of 12 all I dreamed about being when I grew up was Mama. I was the kid who was always willing, and probably more demanding than I should have been, to take a baby off its mama’s hands. I loved how they smelled, how they felt all snuggled up next to me, and even when they cried I enjoyed being the one who could calm them down by rocking or walking them round and round.
When I got married I was ready to start our family. Though we did not dive immediately into parenthood, we did still begin our family at the age of just 23, only about 2 1/2 years after our wedding day. To this day I still marvel at the miracle of how a woman can “grow a baby” as my two youngest girls say. What joy it was to watch my belly grow, to feel my babies’ movements, and to finally hear that first squall as each one entered the world.
Fast forward a few years to when we had been married a decade and we were frantically parenting a toddler and two elementary-aged children. You would have found me sometimes forgetting what a joy my family was, how blessed I had been to receive those children, and that my husband was for me and not against me. That God is for me and not against me.
Romans 8:31 NLT What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Let’s fast forward a few more years when we had added 2 more children to our family. Life was busy. Parenting tweens, a teen and two little ones takes a lot of juggling. Honestly, parenting in and of itself requires time management skills, fortitude, physical strength, patience, love, and a complete reliance on God. Otherwise, we will not be successful. And truly, there are times, maybe many, when we still do not feel as if we are successful.
Recently my husband and I were talking with some friends about how we parent our children, and some of the struggles we have been having. Our friend said something that has stuck with me. It was along the lines of “You really won’t know how you have done until years from now.”
Isn’t that so true? We can read a ton of books, pray, ask friends and family for advice, and whatever else it might be that we do to make sure that our kids turn out “right.” Yet, we are not guaranteed any certain outcome.
It comes down to trust. Putting our trust in the Lord that we have raised our children for Him the best way we have known how. Always seeking His will and searching His word for His ways, listening to His instruction, and beseeching Him on their behalf in prayer. We must learn to let go and give them fully to Him. God is the heart-changer. He has given us our children for a short time. We are to instruct them in His ways in our everyday.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLT And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This is the very best “formula” we can follow. The rest is in the Lord’s hands. He has a plan for each of our children. He formed them in our wombs and He knew them before they were ever formed.
So, when you become fearful for their future, or if you aren’t quite enjoying your blessings the way you did at the very beginning, don’t fall into the guilt trap of the enemy. He would like you to believe that you are a failure. Simply recognize the devil’s trap for what it is, and turn your eyes back to Jesus.
Focus on Him, His plan for your life and your children’s, and trust Him for the outcome!
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Remember, if God cares for the birds of the air, He certainly cares for you and your precious children!
About the Author: Wendy Ilean is a preschool teacher turned homeschool mama when her eldest daughter began to struggle with reading. Taking this homeschool journey was not a part of ‘the plan’ but has been rife with unexpected twists and turns, difficult days, blessings, and celebration. Wendy desires to encourage women in their roles as wives, mothers, and home educators. She says, “If I can homeschool then anyone can!” Wendy is not blogging at the moment, but you can support her by signing up to Young Living Oils under her link!