My quiet time today landed me in Proverbs 17. Verse 24 says
“Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” (NLT)
Lately, God has really been impressing on my heart about seeking Him and His wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. It is easy to fret about cleaning schedules, doing all that my day requires of me with 3 kids, and just life. Maybe if I read this book on housekeeping it will stick? …Oh maybe THIS lady has the right method for (x,y,z). I came very close to buying that huge wonderful “bundle” of a gazzilion ebooks for such a great price..and all of its bonus materials! Is the bundle bad? No. It had a lot of great information I am SURE! (I just LOVE LOVE LOVE everything I have read by Sarah Mae…and she had quite a few books in there! That alone would have been worth it).
But you see, sometimes I still struggle to get in my daily quiet time (gasp!). It’s easy to get busy. It’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s version of how we should do things. But when I am plugged into Jesus first thing in the morning, that long list of to do’s and little hearts to lead all just falls into place. There is no set order, but he allows me to get done what matters in the day. My husband will tell you he can see a difference… on the days my eyes are glued to God’s wisdom, he comes in from work to a clean kitchen, good supper, and happy family. Verses the other days..yeah..we just wont go there. I’m a mess without Jesus! Are you?
I ended up writing down the commentary on Proverbs 17:24, it says:
“Wisdom is not a natural ability- but must be pursued. Sensible people cultivate wisdom, but a fool’s eyes cannot stay focused”
Yep… I’ve been there. And “fool” is a good term for those days.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy pintrest and other great DIY information (we even made Kool Aid play dough today!). And it’s all well and good on its own. But just like food, it can easily become god in our lives. But when we seek God’s wisdom daily, He is so faithful to help us find a “balance” to life.
As a new mom, I followed babywise to a T. Being on a schedule seemed to work great for us. Chloe was an only child at that point, so it was so EASY to follow. And we had great results. She slept by 8 weeks all night long; I knew when she would do what each day. I was SET….so I thought. But after 2 and 3, a deployment, and just growing as a family, I have learned that I don’t want to “follow” a method (on either side of the spectrum). God will be faithful to reveal the heart of each child to us, and lead us, through HIS wisdom, the best way to train their hearts and raise them up in the Lord. I still enjoy a bit of a routine in our daily lives, but we are not scheduled… and I’m okay with that. I am thankful that God gave me Rob, and the amazing leader he is in our family.
My friend Kara and I do things a little bit differently parenting wise (although we had Molly in our room until she was 14 months old this last time). But her honesty and wisdom in what I am about to share with you is so deep and just real. She was our children’s pastor in our last town, and she along with a few others, were used by God to shape me into the mom I am.
“I am going to say this at great risk, but I feel it is good when in leadership at a church to be very clear. Are you scared yet? Hahahaha! Brandon and I have five kids, number six on the way. They are normal children, generally well-behaved, but definitely need grace and discipline, as you all have seen regularly. People assume because we have five children, that aren’t terrorists yet, that we used Babywise and Growing Kids God’s Way as our method of parenting. Oddly enough, we get this question or statement all the time. So, let me be completely honest and upfront. I breastfed our babies on demand and napped our babies on demand at ballfields, in church gyms, in car seats, etc. I held my babies hours on end and if I wasn’t holding them, Brandon or a sibling was. Our babies sleep in our room until the next baby comes and then they have each happily moved into a kid room. I know some of you are picking yourself up off the floor right now:) I sort of feel like I’m coming out of the closet. As they grew, I watched their cues and introduced them to the table with the family and happily encouraged our family meal behavior. As they grew, I expected immense amounts of age-appropriate self-control and discipline and self-sacrifice. And believe it or not, our kids all sleep really well; we have wonderful, happy family meals, even in restaurants, and Brandon and I have a normal, happy marriage. But the truth is, I have no idea how our kids will turn out in the end; I am trusting God for that. I am hopeful and scared. I follow no book or method. I talk to older moms, my mom, my aunts, my grandmothers. I talk to women who have adult children who love the Lord and great relationships with their parents. It’s no wonder older women don’t want to get involved in our lives…we always prefer the advice of a book or “expert” to women who have actually done it well. I talk to God and I trust Him to reveal the heart of my children to me. Though I love to hear from other young moms, I do not rely primarily on their advice. Let’s be honest; we are all in the experiment stage. I say all of this, NOT AS ADVICE, but because I want to end the judgmental mommy wars that go on in the Christian community. I want all of you to be free! I feel that some of you may be in hiding for fear that your method is unacceptable or for fear that you are failing. The truth is we are all failing and any method that accurately reflects the deep love of God for His children is exactly right. We will all do this differently because we are gloriously different. Just as God parents each of us differently, we will each parent differently and this does not mean it’s wrong. Find your strength and confidence in scripture and in Christ. Ignore the pressure to follow a method out of fear. Perfect love casts out all fear. And last but not least, one piece of advice I can give: relax and enjoy your babies; it goes so fast!”
So, to those of you I have recommended certain books to, yes, read baby whisperer – its got GREAT information. But seriously, just follow the mommy instincts God has given you. Follow what works best with your family as a whole. Seek God and His wisdom as you raise your babies. As a first time mom, I thought people were crazy who chose to not do it my way. (did I JUST admit that..yeah) But as I have grown I realize this: we all were fearfully and wonderfully made with different personalities, and some things work best for different people/families.
The point of it all: Put our focus on Jesus alone. Find our strength and confidence in Scripture and Christ. Be who HE made us to be, and no one else!
Next time we will be talking about Titus 2 and both finding women “a season ahead” and seeking to be a blessing to those who are “a season behind”. (and just so you know, its not our “finding” its God’s leading!)
Grace and Peace,