Can I be 100% real with everyone right now? While so so rewarding, parenting is HARD! A daily struggle and balancing act. With four children, the household can be somewhat chaotic at times and there are many moments that I question what I’m even doing. I’m certainly learning as I go because there isn’t a step by step manual for being a parent. Every child has different needs, different personality characteristics, and trying to conform to each can be challenging. Every child wants to feel valued, loved, and important, as they should. Daily I juggle:
1.) Cooking (meal planning, grocery shopping…)
2.) Cleaning (organizing, straightening, or just making things look somewhat presentable…)
3.) Paying bills
4.) Organizing homework and school projects
5.) Driving the kiddos to countless after school activities
6.) Finding time to workout (Ha!)
7.) Oh, and running a business!!!
And the list goes on and on and on…
I’ve had some pretty broken moments as a parent. There have been countless moments when I let my emotions get the best of me. I’ve raised my voice when I shouldn’t have. Snapped when I should have been patient. Rushed a conversation when I should have been listening. And I beat myself up about these not so perfect motherhood moments a lot. Because “Mom Guilt” is a REAL thing. We feel guilty about everything!
Fast forward to Easter of this year. That was the day that I realized that through this unpredictable maze called parenting, maybe I was actually doing something right. That morning we made our way to church as a family, paused for a quick photo with the Easter Bunny and went about our typical Sunday ritual.
At the end of the service, our pastor mentioned that there was, literally, a hot tub out back if anyone wanted to get baptized. While this made me chuckle for a second, I immediately thought of my daughter, Adalyn. She had mentioned in passing a few times that she wanted to get baptized. She’s pretty young at 9 years old to be baptized, in my opinion, so I brushed it off for a few weeks. However, when our pastor mentioned this, I had a feeling that today might be the day.
After Adalyn came out of her Sunday School class, I asked her if she would like to be baptized. Her eyes lit up and with a huge smile from ear to ear she said, “YES!” I told her that I wasn’t really sure if I though she was ready and that maybe we should talk about this more. I could see the disappointment fill her little body as soon as I said those words. I then asked her, “Adalyn, why do you want to get baptized?” I was very surprised when she replied with tears streaming down her face, “Because I love Jesus! I want my sins washed away. I know there are things that I do that I shouldn’t and I’m ready to change. I’m ready to give my heart to Jesus!” Wow! Those were pretty profound words for a 9 year old. I knew in that moment that she WAS ready. So, she changed out of her beautiful, coral dress, and into her Park Valley Church t-shirt and swim shorts. She pranced outside clutching her little towl and without hesitation, hopped into that hot tub! Within moments, she gave her heart to Jesus and was baptized.
It was in that moment that I realized that perhaps I was doing something right as a mother. You see, Adalyn and I struggle a lot. She is exactly like me, therefore, we clash daily. But we also love deeply at the same time. To see her make such a big step as a Christian gave me reassurance that she is on the right path. It helped me to realize that I need to stop focusing on every mistake that I make as a mother, but to focus on the wonderful people that my children are becoming. To stop trying to control everything on my own and to rely on God more! After all, that’s what He wants from his children anyway.
“[Life] is a faith walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. this is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me. Enjoy the blessedness of a victorious life, through deepening your dependence on Me.” ~ Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in sprirt.~Psalm 34:17-18