My daughter has been sick for several days, and she just wanted to lay in her bed all day and sleep. As you know, for a two year old, that is very uncommon. It has been a rough few days. I was worried about her. A headache and fever just make for a concerned mama.
When I went into her room to check on her one evening, she looked up at me from her crib with her sad eyes and said, “Mama, I just need you.” Of course, I picked her up and rocked her. As I held her close, she started to doze off, her eyes fluttering. She would close them and after a short while, she’d look up at me with those sweet eyes that seemed to say, “Mama? Are you still there?” I’d smile at her and then she’d doze back off again. She just kept checking to see if I was there.
And again, the other night when I was laying beside her crib on the floor in the middle of the night when she didn’t feel well, she just kept peeking over the edge to make sure I was there.
And I thought to myself…she just needs me. That’s it. She just needs me here beside her.
So often we think our kids “need” so much. So much stuff. But, our kids don’t need extravagant things. They need extravagant love. And they need us…
1. To just be there 2. To help them 3. To smile at them 4. To encourage and lead them 5. To reach out and touch them 6. To pray with them 7. To believe in them 8. To teach them about God and His word 9. To introduce them to beauty in the world around them 10.To love them…unconditionally
Our kids really just need US.
I can remember after we had adopted Annabella and Gavin; Gavin was 14 months and Abba was 2 months at the time. Someone said to me, “Just love them.” Really? Certainly they need so much more than that. I made the beginning of my parenting much more difficult than I needed to. Being a mommy is hard enough without the extra stress you place on yourself to be super mama!
I tried SO VERY HARD.
I was exhausted.
From lack of sleep of course, but also emotionally from putting too much pressure on myself.
I certainly don’t have motherhood figured out. Nor will I ever! But after almost 3 years and 3 babies later, I’m learning to lighten up on myself. To relax a little bit. To not try to do it all. Be it all. Or give them everything. I don’t need to make them into perfect children. I don’t need to impress anyone. I don’t need to make myself look like a good mom.
I need to enjoy them. To embrace them. To embrace mommy-hood. To just nurture the relationships I am developing with these three precious children God has given me. They just need ME. I will fail in many areas of motherhood according to the world’s standards.
But God’s word tells me in Romans 12:2 ” Do not be conformed to this world, Alissa, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I have an audience of one. I am to mother according to the will of God for our family- that which is good and acceptable and perfect-not according to the world. I am learning that as I trust God and focus my attention and intention on serving Him, my perspective on being a mom is changing. For the better. Praise God for His transforming power! Praise God for His Holy Spirit!
And the fruit of the Spirit is just that…fruit. As I rest in God, and allow His Holy Spirit to work in and through me, He alone will produce the fruit of His spirit in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Praise God that I don’t have to produce these on my own. As I walk more closely with the Spirit, He will naturally develop these characteristics in me as a mom. Thankfully as I continue to grow, my children will continue to grow, my marriage will continue to grow and we will become a family that bears good fruit. And isn’t that what it’s about?
Becoming all God intends for us to become. “So that we may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)”
We need to start with the end in sight. What is your vision for your family? When we see it from God’s perspective, it changes how we look at our days. If I am to give extravagant love to my children, then I must first experience extravagant love from a God who adores me. We can only give what we have been given. As you are singing your babies to sleep tonight, take to heart what you may be singing…Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Jesus loves YOU. Oh, the beautiful simplicity of this song. Oh, the beautiful simplicity of our children!
So moms, rest easy tonight. Keep it simple! Your children don’t need much.
They need YOU.
They need God.
They need you to lead them and to love them. It seems too easy, doesn’t it?
Well, being a mom isn’t easy, but when we get our priorities in alignment, simplify and renew our minds and let God have control, we will spend less time stressed out and more time enjoying the journey.