The Little Years 

Children are such a blessing. I cannot even begin to understand those who think of them as a burden. I mean do those people even have children?

Don’t get me wrong, parenting is hard. Like real hard. But in between whining and tantrums comes those precious smiles, little voices, love for their mommy and daddy, and silly personalities.

I stare at her tiny features and his rounded cheeks and ask God to never let me forget. Her beautiful, unmarked skin. His chunky cheeks and head full of curls. Their innocence of believing this world is only filled with playgrounds, puppies, bubbles, and hugs.

No other humans are as precious as children.

Raising a human is a huge task. The responsibility that comes with teaching tiny, precious humans to become large, kind adults. It can be overwhelming.

Teaching your kids how to love and care for others, be responsible citizens who contribute positively to the world? Sure, maybe they will lose their path along the way, but we will be there to continually point them back to that path.

And our prayer life. Nothing can change your prayer life or turn you into a prayer warrior like having kids.

And if you believe in Jesus, our hope is that our children believe in the freedom of grace and the truth of the Gospel. Because the Gospel ensures love, grace, kindness, hope, peace, and God. If they get God, they have all they need.

My prayer in raising a daughter and a son is that consistent love, discipline, grace, and truth will stir up a love for Jesus. My parenting will not be perfect. By any means.
But I hope to admit my imperfections to my children, ask for forgiveness, and let them know that Jesus is my only hope.

I hope to never tell my children that they make God sad when they disappoint, but instead tell them that through Jesus, God sees us as righteous and He still loves them, even when their actions aren’t correct.

I hope my children see me as a joyful mother. One filled with kind and encouraging words, words that minister grace to the hearer. Not one who complains about housework or being too tired or too old. Not one filled with bitter words that seek to manipulate or drive guilt.

I hope my children see a mother who values her beauty from within. A mother who is strong and  kind to other women and is not jealous. So my son will treasure a strong, courageous, kind woman- one day, as his wife. And my daughter will grow up to one day be a strong and kind woman.

I hope my children see a mother who consistently disciplines yet holds no record of wrong and always loves them.

I hope to fill our home with laughter and fun. That our home can be a lighthearted and safe refuge from the harsh outside world.

I hope my children see a mother who loves, encourages, and respects their father, speaking words that bring life and not venom. That they will one day pursue healthy relationships that are uplifting and faithful.

This list could go on. I love being a mom. No one ever said this would be easy, so really I shouldn’t be surprised when it’s not, right?

But what’s so freeing and encouraging, is that even though this list is daunting and overwhelming, I have Jesus. I will not be a perfect mother, I will fail many times in all of these areas. But I get to tell my children that even though I fail, Jesus loves me and it will never change.

The beauty of the Gospel is that through my failure, they will see Jesus and learn the Gospel of grace. Every time I fail, I get to point them to Jesus. How freeing and life giving.

Right now, I’m in the Little Years. And they are hard. The Little Years are exhausting. Sometimes annoying. Lots of correcting, tantrums, and whining. And I’m not just talking about the children.

But they are fleeting and so I ask God to help me treasure those tiny feet, little arms that wrap tightly around my legs while I’m cooking, those sweet kisses, and even diapers galore.

Because I’m needed.

And one day this will end.

But overall parenting pushes me daily to remember the Gospel.
Parenting brings me to the feet of Jesus.

And I am thankful.

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