Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Parenting to Potential

May 19, 1997. 3:14 a.m. In the months, hours, and minutes leading up to that life-changing moment, I knew I was going to have a blessed addition to my life. What I didn’t know was that my life was about to change at the most fundamental level.

All my preconceptions about God, my life plans, parenting, relationships, and who I was as a person went out the window that day. Like my figure, there was the pre-baby me and the new me.

Having a baby caused me to trust God more; examine my relationships with self, God, and others more; and live in the present. As I rocked my baby to sleep in the early morning hours, the past and the future melted away. During the daytime, lack of sleep made me feel like my neurons were shriveling away; instead, new connections were building, making me smarter in the ways that matter. I felt weak but in that humble state asked for grace...and that grace made me stronger.

In a few hours my baby girl will be 14. When I look at her, I see myself in many ways, but I see other things that just amaze me. I don’t know what God’s plans are for her, but I know she is using the gifts He gave her to become what she is meant to be. At every stage of development, it is like watching a miracle happen.

As we approach each stage for the first time, nothing in the books can fully prepare us to handle them. It is only with the support of family, prayer, and quiet listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can get through it with grace. And, like with every child’s stage of psychosocial development, when we get through that stage with him or her, we become stronger too.

Not only does God have a plan for every child; He also uses them to help their parents fulfill their own potential. Love them at every stage!

It is you who were the author of those events and of what preceded and followed them. The present, also, and the future you have planned. Whatever you devise comes into being;
the things you decide on come forward and say, 'Here we are!' All your ways are in readiness, and your judgment is made with foreknowledge.
- Judith 9:5b-6

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