I've been thinking a lot lately about the advice that people give before major life events that often happen in peoples' lives, such as getting married or having a baby. My mind has been stuck on the commonly given phrase of "it will change your life." Yes! A resounding yes to that. That is definitely the case, but I don't think that I fully realized (and wonder if it was possible to fully grasp) that concept until I'd actually experienced certain life events.
There are many things that I wish I would've known as a young mother that no one told me. SO many things. Sure, I heard the typical advice/sayings, such as:
* you'll be tired
*sleep when your baby sleeps
*the first months will seem like a blur
*cherish every moment because the moments go by so fast
*You will have "baby brain" (seriously, you lose brain cells. I'm convinced of it!)
But what about after the baby stage is over? I don't remember getting advice beyond the first few years. I believe the saying "the days are long, but the years are fast" to be profound wisdom in this case. But no one really told me that parenting is REALLY HARD! Especially after your babies aren't babies anymore. They start to make their own decisions. Go figure! They are actual people with their own personalities, opinions and characteristics. No one told me that you can't control them. Not really, control them. I mean, sure you can train them in the ways that they should go, and you should, but as they grow older, they have to make the difficult choices of choosing between right and wrong.
When they were babies, I could control their environment....I could baby proof, I could put them in a play pen to keep them safe, and push them in the stroller, that I was controlling....but now?! What about now?
I have to release them a bit more each day. Their "safety zones" are growing wider. They are becoming a little more independent of me each and everyday. And in all honesty, that scares me to death! I have to trust in the God that I've spent years telling them all about. I have to have faith that He really does love them more than I do and that he has a perfect plan for them. I can't keep them from all of life's disappointments and hardships, and down deep in my soul, I know that I shouldn't. Yet, that also means that I have to allow them to have their own testimony. I have to know that God has "got this." OH MY GOSH, that is so frightening just typing the words. (Gheesh! Can you tell that God is still working out trust and control issues in my life?) No one told me how absolutely nerve-wracking that would be. I know that I can trust in the God who created them, but HOLY MOLY, that is easier said than done. The mamma bear in me rears her head, wanting to do everything in my power to protect them.
Parenting is the most sanctifying experience that I've ever been through. No one could've prepared me for that. God has forever changed me.
In the past, I believe that I had a limited view of parenting. I focused on only half of the equation; my half of the equation...that I was chosen to be these little creatures' mom for a reason. But little did I know and fully understand why they were chosen to be mine. How was I to know that God would use them to deepen my love and need for Him, to show me the depth of His love for all of us and to sanctify some of the areas of my life that I THOUGHT I had overcome.
I'm forever grateful and humbled for the experience.
Thanks so much for visiting. I'm Heather. I'm a wife, mother and educator who loves trying to make beauty of the life around me.