Parenting can be challenging. And that’s coming from someone who is only 15 months in! I can only imagine what challenges await me once my little boy can talk, and give me attitude, and bring home girlfriends!
Oh, dear Lord!
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6
Being able to bring forth life is such a beautiful blessing.
Especially given there are a lot of women and men who are not able to have children. I am definitely aware of how blessed I am. And I’m honored that God chose me to parent my little boy.
God entrusts these tiny souls to us, to not only feed and clothe, but to raise well; to raise as children of God.
But let me tell you…since becoming a mother, I am T..I..R..E..D! I thought I knew what exhaustion was before parenthood. Boy was I wrong.
I powerlifted for about a year before I got pregnant. And there was one day I texted my coach that I couldn’t make it to training because the previous day’s work out left me so physically exhausted.
Well…some days, at the end of a very long day of taking care of my son, I feel like I just finished a two-hour powerlifting routine. Ha!
Yikes! (I’m almost not joking.)
And honestly, that’s partly due to my parenting style and the fact that I have what they call a Velcro baby. I’ve been a SAHM (stay at home mom) for the past year, and my son is just so attached to me.
And believe me, I love every moment of it. But I’m also very tired most days.
But anyway, I’m not writing this to complain about my lack of sleep.
My point is that with all the everyday duties of being a parent (feeding, clothing, changing, bathing, playing, repeat, etc.), it can be challenging to find a moment to yourself to take a shower, let alone open the Bible for a really good study session.
I have honestly found myself in tears some nights because all I want to do is sleep, but my son is fighting bedtime, and the house isn’t clean, and there are a million other things that I didn’t get a chance to do for the day.
How in the world can I do it all?!
And it happened just this week, I realized something. For the past year, through all my sleepless nights, or tough days where I felt unproductive, or even the beginning days where I struggled with breastfeeding, I don’t think I called on God once, or at least not often enough for me to remember.
Why didn’t I ever ask God for help?!
I prayed, of course, the standard prayers. I prayed for protection over my son and family. I’ve prayed that my son becomes a true man of God, and to know and love the Lord as he grows older.
But I do not recall asking God to help me with my breastfeeding journey, for example. I don’t think I’ve ever asked God to help teach me how to sleep train my son in a gentle way. I’ve never gone to God and asked for Him to help me find a way to get more sleep as a new parent.
I never went to my Father and asked for His help with any of these everyday parenting challenges.
And you know why? I didn’t think that I could, or rather I didn’t think that I should. I mean, it never crossed my mind to bow down and tell God I am struggling to breastfeed, can you please help me.
We tell ourselves that it’s important to go to God about everything. He cares, even about the little things. I told myself that all the time.
And yet, when it came down to taking care of my newborn son (and myself in the process), for some reason I did not think it a worthy enough cause to bring to my Father.
How sad is that?
I remember when I was in the hospital dealing with my labor pains, I thought about how I wanted to ask God to help alleviate some of the pain. But then I thought, why would God help me with that? This is all part of the curse passed down from Eve. It is His plan and will that I suffer in childbirth. I cannot ask Him to help me because He won’t.
But how could I possibly know that without going to Him personally? At the end of the day, I’m not Eve, I’m Christina.
Now, I’m not saying that all I had to do was ask God to rid me of my labor pains, and they would have magically disappeared.
But who knows how He could have helped me get through that difficult time? He could have had someone say an encouraging word that actually helped. Or help speed up delivery. Anything, you just never know.
We’ve got to stop placing God in this box and deciding for Him what is and what isn’t important. That’s for Him to decide.
Our job is to trust and have full faith in Him and lay down our burdens before Him.
When I look back on this past year and how many days I struggled, I wish I would have gone to God in prayer and asked Him for His help more. I wish I would have leaned on Him when breastfeeding was hard and prayed to Him when my son would wake up every hour throughout the night.
God cares about our lives. I think He cares more than we even know.
So, if you are a new parent, or even if you’re a veteran, and you are having some parenting challenges, go to God. I’m sure He would love to help.
These days, I talk to God about all my parenting ups and downs, and I’m learning to feel more comfortable asking Him for help when I need it. God gave my son to me; why wouldn’t He find pleasure in helping me be a successful parent to him.
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