Am I Getting This Parenting Thing Right, Lord?

As a mom of two children under the age of 2, I often wonder,

“Am I getting this right?”

I am constantly seeking the Lord for guidance on raising my girls. He leads me to scriptures, He leads me to other couples with children, to books, and best of all, He uses the Holy Spirit to speak to me. 

A few days ago, the Lord showed me that YES…yes, I am doing it right. To not be anxious and to seek His righteousness and all would fall in order. 

I had a livestream feed of our revival services playing through the computer beside the recliner. The worship leader was singing while I was giving Anna, my youngest, her bottle. Abby walked up to the screen and without being prompted, started worshipping.

My 20 month old. Praying (in her own babble, but in my heart I knew it was fire!) and worshipping God with her hands raised!

What does this mean for me as a parent?

Everything.

She has been paying attention to her daddy and I. She sees us engaged in worship both at church and at home. She hears us praying. She is following our example. 

Thank you Lord for this confirmation! It is my desire to raise her and Anna to have hearts that burn for the Lord. I long to see them take the vow of a Nazarite, crying out for His glory with nothing else satisfying their hunger for God.

I know that I get some things wrong and am constantly growing and learning this whole parenting thing. BUT I also know that I am doing a lot of things right!

Start off children the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

What “aha” or confirmations have you received as a parent?

Nearness

Last week, I wrote this post and put it on Facebook. It was birthed from a place of urgency from the Lord. It was also a timely word and for me, one of the greatest revelation moments I have ever had. I’d like to share it here.

I have never written such a long post but I felt the Lord pressing me to share this.

This morning has been exhausting and frustrating. I had 5 hours of interrupted sleep last night, Abby has been throwing tantrums and Anna has been extremely fussy. After being up for an hour, I already felt like a failure. 

We went about our morning and loaded the girls up for a youth event. As soon as we arrived, things kept going downhill. Abby started throwing the fit of her life and I became overwhelmed with not knowing what to do. It is so out of the norm for her. Meanwhile, Anna was becoming increasingly agitated in my absence as I was dealing with Abby. I finally looked at Kaleb and told him he would just have to drop us back off at the house and I would just have to miss out. As we walked out to the van with two crying children, I felt so low. Kaleb was awesome, as always. He affirmed me to the point where I was actually believing him – haha. I agreed to drive the van around the parking lot to get our tired, cranky girls to sleep while he finished a meeting. 

And there God met with me.

He whispered one word to me: “Nearness”. Then I lost it.

He showed me a picture of Anna – how she is not content with just being in the same room with me. If she knows that I am there, she does whatever it takes to get my attention. She cries out, reaches for me and stays persistent. The moment I pick her up, she grips me with all of her strength and brings her body and face in as close as possible. She showers me with affection. It is a violent love.

And that is how our Father is with us. He is always present, but it’s not enough for Him. He is violently pursuing us and persistently getting our attention. He longs to be near us and intimate with us. Many times, I feel like Jesus is in the room with us when we feel “alone”, yet we sabotage ourselves and feel distant because we won’t accept His love. We’re not answering. So let Him love on you! Let Him grip you tight and saturate you with affection and grace. He is a Father and that’s what a father does.

So as I’m circling the parking lot in a big red van, just feeling overwhelmed with my Father’s love, I look back and make eye contact with Abby. She smiles at me, sighs and drifts off to sleep in contentment. She is near me and her world is back in order.

The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways. I allowed Him to use a temper tantrum for the history books as an opportunity for Him to teach me more about His character. He certainly is a good Father. I’ll bring this long post to a close with this scripture:

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Shots, Snuggles, and Sing-A-Longs

Today was my “official” first day as a stay at home mama. And let me tell you…

It was perfect.

If things were still the same and I were still in the classroom, today would have been the first day of school. I would’ve met my new students, spent the day “laying down the law” and setting the tone for the year, only to come home exhausted and already thinking about tomorrow. Working full time really drained me, especially last year. I’d come  home to two babies and would go through the same routine night after night. We’d play for an hour, eat dinner, do baths and then it was bedtime. Yet, I still couldn’t shut my teacher-brain off and was always stressing about my job. I just felt like I was never giving them 100% of me at any given time and it took a toll on me. And because of that, I felt like I had little patience with my children. I was so exhausted and stressed that it truly was difficult for me to stop, slow down and understand them. 

But today was different.

Our day started off with check-ups at the doctor that included those dreaded shots for both ladies. It’s almost as if Abby knew what was coming. Haha. She hid behind my legs while we were in the room. Anna though, she has no idea what was coming! She was laughing and babbling so much that it broke my heart to know that her joyful demeanor was about to be rudely interrupted. They both took it like champs though! And they both cried when the other was getting shots. They just love each other.

Abby with her “brave girl” lollipop!

Both girls fell asleep on the way home and stayed asleep when we got there. I started preparing for a lethargic day…again, those darn shots are a doozy. The low fevers started setting in and I guessed right – today was going to be a sing-a-long day. Neither girl was interested in playing. At any given point during the day, I was rocking one or both girls. 

I’ll never turn down snuggle time.

By 7:00, both girls were asleep. They were so relaxed from both the side effects of their shots and Tylenol. 

So how was today different?

For the first time, I felt 100% there for them. I was completely invested in them with nothing else on my mind. When they got fussy, my first reaction wasn’t annoyance. It was understanding. When Abby got pushy with me at one point, I was able to prevent a tantrum. 

And here’s the best part:

My girls needed their mommy for snuggles and love today and I was there to give it. It’s such a big deal to me. I know that I am nowhere near being a perfect mom, but for me, making this transition has made me a better one. 

I’m so thankful that the Lord has called me back into my home for this season. He doesn’t forget or ignore the desires of our heart, especially when those desires are aligned with His.

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

How has the Lord fulfilled the desires of your heart?