Motherhood isn’t for the faint-of-heart and if we aren’t careful, it can wear us out more than it builds us up. These five verses have helped me grow as a mother with every stage of childhood I’ve been through thus far, which to this date, has been an 8 yr old, 6 yr old, 4 yr old, and a 2 yr old. I've crawled my way to bed at night wondering what in the wide world I was thinking when I let my husband impregnate me not once, not twice, not thrice, but FOUR times. Then there were other nights I went to bed deliriously happy and with a full heart, but it usually occurred after multiple glasses of wine OR a night without my kids.
I wanted to live somewhere in between those two norms and possibly with a little less wine, mommy had a lot of headaches. It started with my mindset. It needed to shift, desperately. These four verses and truths help me be a better mom, a better wife, friend, and individual. I hope they help you. Actually, I hope they make you cry, with relief, a couple of belly-laughs, and the feeling of not being alone. Cause you're not momma- I hear you and I'm walking this road of parenthood with you. From one momma to another, if you don't read any further than this, know you're one of many taking it one day at a time (or even a minute, depending on if you have a toddler or infant that requires a boob in their mouth so often you wonder why you even put on a shirt, or constant guarding from the possibility of death with every second of the day.)
So lets get started, cause I know you don't have much time:
1. Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I don’t know if you realized this yet, but you were hand-picked by God to raise the child growing inside of you. There is no other person on this earth that could do it better than you. Fear-based isn’t holy-spirit based. Trust that God will deliver you and your child out of any trial.
When my daughter was only 18 months old, she was bitten by a dog while sitting on our front porch. The attack left her with 22 stitches on her little face and an emotional wound larger than the physical one. For the longest time, I parented her out of fear, keeping her from anything that could potentially hurt her. There wasn’t a safe enough slide, calm enough animal to pet, or babysitter qualified enough to watch her. It took time and prayer to realize I was robbing her of enjoying the simple things inher life and mine. I had to let go of the “what ifs” and trust enough to start saying, “why not”?
2. Psalm 127: 3-4, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth."
Your children will be the greatest joy of your life. You will love them like no other person on the planet, even in the most trying moments. This isn’t easy when your toddler is throwing a tantrum in the store because you won’t let her buy that block of blue cheese she doesn’t even like (how dare you).
Side note, there will always be an older woman that will see your children throwing the most epic tantrums and choose to remind you that these will be the days that you miss, right smack dab when you’re about to threaten all the spankings and timeouts. Don’t hit her, just nod and walk away, because we all know, that even though kids are loved, these moments are not the times we’d like to be reminded of what we’ll miss. The only thing we miss in those moments are silence and days when we didn’t wear yoga pants as our “work attire”.
Remind yourself of the good moments at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s a tiny giggle, a quick snuggle, or an unexpected hug that make all the rest of the stress float away. Give yourself a break, a glass of wine, and a bubble bath. You deserve it!
3. Psalm 112:7, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
It’s inevitable that our kids will disappoint us. No matter how many times we tell them not to do something, they won’t always listen. This isn’t a reflection of your faults, but a normal part of development, for both of you. When we approach our children with a steadfast love, like our heavenly father, they learn to trust instead of fear us and that’s what will win their little hearts.
4. Philippians 4:6-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
I don’t care if you’ve heard this a million times, from your grandma to your momma to your pastor, I’m gonna say it again, PRAY. Parenthood will make you say and do things you never thought possible. You’ll be left more confused at what you say than what they do, but when it all comes down to it, praying through it all is what will get you through it. It will deepen your relationship with Jesus and your children.
Let’s face it mommas, there’s a lot of truth in, “if momma ain’t happy, no one is”. We are the glue that binds our homes. When we stay strong, so does our family. Lean heavy on your maker. Guard yourselves with His word and ground yourself in its truth.