Parenting is such a rewarding experience, but at the same time (and most of the time) it can be very testing and full of emotions. Raising littles is no easy feat and I only have one! But the memories made along the way and the lessons learned are unforgettable! I love this new role as a mom. When most people think of having kids, or at least what I mainly thought about was starting my own family, how wonderful it would be to raise the next generation, teaching them life values, and teaching them about the Lord. I knew there would be the little battles, but you don’t really know what it’ll be like until you’re in the “battlefield.” What I’ve come to learn is that as I’m raising my child, I am also learning things about myself and how I as a person can and need to grow as well.
Before becoming a parent a lot of people may think to themselves, “I’m a pretty patient person,” or “I’m a nice person”. But boy, oh boy after having kids I definitely realized that I am very impatient and can be a really mean person. When you have someone following you around all day sometimes crying non-stop your patience can run very thin. Some people will blame-shift and say, “I’m not really like that, it’s just stress,” or “I’m just really tired.” And although those things can definitely play a role in how you react, ultimately that’s what you’re really like. I know… it’s sad and a little disappointing to find out you’re not as amazing as you thought you were.
One of my teachers in bible college said it so well. He posed a question along the lines of, “What do you get when you squeeze an orange? Yup, orange juice.” When you look at an unopened orange all you see is the peel; you don’t how much juice it has stored in there (or how much is doesn’t). When we’re put under pressure it’s harder to keep hidden and control how we really are. And the only solution to this problem is found in the gospel. You can try and try to “fix” yourself, but you’ll always come to find that you’re never as good as you should be. It starts with realizing that you are fallen and in need of something beyond self-help. You need to repent of your impatience, your lack of kindness, frankly, your sinfulness (yeah, I said it!). You need to cling to Christ, remembering that He has payed for those sins. And, even better, it doesn’t stop there! Not only have your sins been paid for, but Jesus has also lived a perfect and righteous life and gives His righteousness to us! He gives us what He has earned! We are clothed in His righteousness, we can now walk in His patience, in His kindness.
That doesn’t mean that all this will happen at once, but it’s a daily remembrance and discipline to rely on the Lord for those things, constantly going back to the gospel and relying on the Lord for the strength to get through each day. Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When we are burdened we should come to the Lord to renew our strength, to be able to get through a few more hours until bedtime. Sounds like a joke, but I’m serious! Lately I’ve been trying to practice patience with Ellie and be more gracious. Does she climb on top of the table and bang my salt and pepper shakers multiple times a day everyday? Yes. Does she ruin our phone chargers by constantly chewing on them. Yes. But I’m not much different, I sin all day everyday, but the Lord is so gracious to me. When you realize what the Lord has done and is doing for you, it’s easier to remember to show the same grace and patience with your children. So next time you’re just about ready to pull your hair out, or maybe even way before then, take a second to slow down, and say “Lord, I am weak. I need You. I need your patience. I need Your help,” and then walk in the freedom of knowing He already accepts you because of what Jesus has done. As I learn to be a more godly woman who relies on the Lord, I can teach my daughter to be one too.
I hope you can take something away from this and implement it into your life, or just know that you are not alone in this crazy journey of motherhood!