some thoughts on parenting- part two

if you are just now following along, here is part one. 

i literally think that the time i spent listening to jan quick, talk about her experience with parenting was one of the most influential advice i have ever heard about parenting. because it was not about how to be a good mama, or how to have good kids, it was about how to show them Jesus and how to love him yourself so that you can in turn love, parent, and teach your sinful children who need grace and the cross. because that really is what it is all about. and that is the only thing that matters. if we never teach our children anything else, but who Jesus is, i believe that we have succeeded. and i have to remind myself of this daily. who am i kidding? i have to remind myself of this hourly

new mamas, or mama's with little babies - my heart goes out to you. truly it does. because being a mama to a sweet little baby can be one of the most beautiful gifts and also one of the darkest or hardest times. i am no stranger to the later. you know that saying, "having a baby changes everything." well it does. and having a baby does not always look like a johnson & johsnon commercial. at least not for me. 

our job as mama to a tiny new baby is not to always have that happy 'new mama glow' {who has that all the time anyways, i always looked terrible from being so cussing tired.} but rather to image God. the Lord uses the season of babyhood to show you that you need a heart change. 
i know he did that for me. i needed a big, huge, fat heart change. still do. i wish so much that as a new mama i would have heard jan speak, i would have known that it is okay to be overwhelmed and tired. it is okay to put that baby in her crib to cry while i lay flat on my face in tears to Jesus. unlike what she said i would keep my crying baby next to me and my little overwhelmed self would just scream and cry. but not to Jesus. to my little baby. "why wont you stop crying? what is your problem? when will you just be quiet?" shouldnt my child have been saying those things to me instead? 
i mean, i am the adult. the parent. i needed to learn compassion. i needed to have compassion for my sweet little baby who knows how to do nothing but sleep, eat, cry, and poop. 
and i needed to give myself a mama break. 

when your sweet little baby will not stop crying and you can not think of anything else to do, it is 100% okay to put that baby down and take a time out. a time to just come to Jesus, and ask him to help you, to give you compassion and grace for your little screamer. to ask Jesus to be your rest, your hiding place. to ask Jesus for help. then, when you have prayed to him, go get that little baby, snuggle and rejoice that the Lord has given you the blessing of a baby, but take that time to go to Jesus. 

i can promise you that if i would have done that, i would have enjoyed being a mama to a little baby so much more. if i would have asked Jesus for help, he would have shown me how disgustingly selfish i was being, and give me the grace and wisdom to change. He would have given me the strength to ask for help and to tell people what i really needed, because mamas of babies need stuff. seriously, if you know a new mama, do something, anything to bless her. i promise you, she will be more thankful than you will ever know. 

if you are a mama of a toddler {like me} than it is no surprise that toddlerhood is a time where your sin is constantly being revealed. i see my sin so clearly these days as i try desperately to train my toddler. 

just last week, i had to sit down and apologize to my 18month old because i was acting like the baby. i was whining about how i was not getting my own way. i was snapping at her because she was just being a toddler and i wanted her to stop. which is no different than when she tells me "no. dont mama." except no one is disciplining me for that. 

jan said something along the lines of, "toddlers do not hear what you say, they see what you do." which is like a major "ah ha" moment for me. my toddler sees everything that i do, and wants to be just like her mama. its like looking in a really embarrassing mirror when i watch maggie get upset. she throws her hands in the air, points and yells. she is mimicking what she sees, and when i get frustrated that is what i do. it is very eye opening to say the least. and convicting. 

its so hard to keep in mind,that i am training her, even when i think that i am not. the trouble with that, is that i always need to be on my toes about what i am saying and doing, as well as be consistent. consistency is key with all areas of parenting {or so i am learning} but with a toddler, i am learning that it is more important than ever. i am learning that you cant say one thing and do another.it just doesnt work.
 when we use God as our example of a parent {which we should because he is the perfect one...} we see that he is a parent who always tells the truth. which means that we also need to always tell the truth
that seems easy in theory but if we as mama's say to our toddler, "if you do that one more time, i am going to give you a spank." and your toddler does it again, we must follow though with what we said, and deliver. same thing with, " if you eat all your snack we can go to the park". this is where i am struggling the most. the follow through is hard for me. especially when it comes to discipline. {but that is a whole other topic for a different time.} 

the biggest takeaway that i have from hearing jan speak, was that we must always, always, always, be in prayer. prayer for our child, prayer to be humble enough to allow Jesus to work out our sin, prayer for how to show grace and love to our children, and prayer to ask for help when we need to. 

this is something i am working on. i have only recently begun to wake up earlier, spend time in the Word and in prayer before maggie wakes up. and for the first time in a long time, i feel a desire to do that. i feel stressed and frantic when i dont get that time. i am seeing my desire for time with Jesus grow and eliminate my desire to escape into the world of blogs, pinterest and social media. it feels silly to be writing all this truth about parenting because i feel like i am in no place at all to give any advice, but by the grace of God, He is opening my eyes to see all that i have learned, all that i am learning and that it is indeed okay to share with others. i know that i will be reading these posts over and over, remembering all that he has taught me, and i look forward to having many other thoughts on parenting as we continue to grow our family. 



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  2. love this & prayer is SO something we should be doing constantly! or as i've been told recently in every transition throughout the day, asking the Holy Spirit for direction. love you.

  3. Thank you SO much for sharing these posts - there is so much truth is what you wrote about. And recognizing that there is grace even when we fail is so comforting, especially to a new mom like me. One of my favorite verses about mothering in the Bible is Isaiah 40:11 - "He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and **gently lead those that are with young**." So often I think that God has as little patience with me as I do with my son (or myself), but I am so thankful that isn't true! and by His grace he's increasing my patience and helping me point Finn to Jesus. thanks for sharing friend.

  4. The mirror thing is so true... I have four of them and it is hilarious and humbling! I'm so thankful for God's grace :)

  5. The mirror thing is so true... I have four of them and it is hilarious and humbling! I'm so thankful for God's grace :)


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