By the grace of God today, I am officially a mother of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old; living children
If you know even a tad bit about my story . . . this is nothing short of a miracle!
I am grateful for the gift of these children that God gave me, O ŭgŭo tŭhŭ (freely given)
That being said, the reality is parenting is haaaaard. I have cried, I have silently auctioned these gifts to the highest bidder (never got any though), I have felt like a total failure! I have questioned my capacity to raise up a child let alone three. I have been exhausted, had sleepless nights, had everlasting days and nights. But God has been faithful through it all. He has carried us through.
I look at these children and remind myself, by God’s grace, I am a good mother. I am doing well.
One of the realities that hit me as we turned into this new decade is that whereas in the past years my children have mostly needed me physically, in this new decade their need for an emotionally and mentally healthy mother will spike. This means I have to be very conscious to care, safeguard and grow my emotional and mental health and capacity. What I continue to realise and that is what I teach girls and women at Integrated Living is that our Spiritual health under-girds every other sphere of our lives. So if I am to be emotionally, mentally, socially and physically healthy for myself and as a mother I better be investing heavily in my spiritual health.
There are many ways to invest in one’s spiritual health, but none beats the ways of the monastics in my humble opinion. As I continue to read and learn about Spiritual Direction, I have seen the wisdom of taking time away to be with the Lord. And Jesus really showed us practically how crucial this is. The Son of God many times, stole Himself away from the public to spend time with God. If the Son of God needed time away, time with God, sembuse (how much more) me a mere mortal woman! The spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, meditation, prayer, Bible reading and study are paramount for me as an individual follower of Jesus and as a Christian parent.
As I celebrate these gifts of children, I am not lost to the reality that the road ahead will only get tougher, their demands and needs will only grow. I need to invest in myself and in them for eternity. So that when I present them to the Father on that last day He can say, “Well done good and faithful servant You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:23)
In the meantime, today and always, I join with Hannah wa Elikanah to raise a banner of thanksgiving to my God!
1 Samuel 2:1-10 (ESV)
2 And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
2 “There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
and on them he has set the world.
9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”