Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Releasing my children into God's hands did not come as easy for me, as I thought it might. I became a mother 18.5 years ago, and I will NEVER forget the beautiful little girl that looked into my eyes that Easter morning. Theresa came into this world full of the joy and hope of Heaven!! She brought a sense of independence; for me, as well as a desire for her own. As a young mother, I knew we would learn a lot together. The miracle of life - what a blessing!! Then, just 8 months later when we learned we would have another bundle of joy to add to our family, my heart leaped with anticipation for life and all that lay ahead. So it was that when Madeline joined our family nine months later, Jeff & I rejoiced with the honor of caring for and loving such beautiful daughters!! How precious it is to love and nurture life. Even though I was just beginning to understand what it meant to love and nurture, I embraced this opportunity with gratitude and confidence! Madeline & Theresa filled our home with giggles, singing, and beauty - what more could I want? Knowing that I was not a "perfect" mother, I found comfort and hope in the fact that I was a "praying" mother!! It wasn't until the last couple of years, however, that I began relying on the power of being a praying mother more that trying to be a perfect mother.
Our road has not been an easy one, but it has been worth it; just as Jesus promised. There were many lessons for me yet to learn! Regardless of the lives dependent on me, I was still learning how to depend on a Heavenly Father that not only loves me intimately, but also enables me to love the children he entrusted to me. Knowing that you can't give what you don't have, I had some work to do. At just 20 years of age, I realized that having a family was not the same as playing house. At this point, rather than moving forward in humility allowing God to mold me into the mother, wife, nurturer, and daughter He intended; I proudly stepped forward with the delusion of "having it all under control". Needless to say, I spent many years going through the motions as I thought they should be, blind to the fact that had I only asked, the Holy Spirit sat anxiously waiting to show me how to be all that I desired. I loved being a mother, however, looking back I can see just how pride, ignorance, and distractions cost me the intimate relationship I so longed for with my children. In my self-righteousness, I believed that I had built a relationship with these precious daughters that was safe and secure. I've spent time with the Lord studying this idea of security, and have come to believe that the Lord did not come so that we would feel secure; He came that we would have life more abundant! I have learned that it was only when I chose to truly walk by faith, seeking hard after God that I actually found peace!! Perhaps then, security is a delusion the adversary would have us seek after rather that learning to lean on and trust our Father.
My heart is full as I walk the road of accountability, forever grateful for the Atonement of our Savior!! I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned along the way and continue to learn about the joy of life! It is my heart to share these lessons as a testament of God's faithfulness and love for His children. I intend to do so over the next few posts. Just as life is a journey, so will be my account of it. I wish to end this post by sharing a prayer from Stormie Omartian's book, "The Power of a Praying Parent" inviting you to join me in the journey of being a praying mother:
Lord, I submit myself to You. I realize that parenting a child in the way You would have me to is beyond my human abilities. I know I need You to help me. I want to partner with You and partake of Your gifts of wisdom, discernment, revelation, and guidance. I also need Your strength and patience, along with a generous portion of Your love flowing through me! Teach me how to love the way You love. Where I need to be healed, delivered, changed, matured, or made whole, I invite You to do that in me. Help me to walk in righteousness and integrity before You. Teach me Your ways, enable me to obey Your commandments and do only what is pleasing in Your sight. May the beauty of Your Spirit be so evident in me that I will be a godly role model. Give me the communication, teaching, and nurturing skills that I must have. Make me the mother You want me to be and teach me how to pray and truly intercede for the life of the children you entrust to me. Lord, You said in Your Word, "Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive" (Matthew 21:22). In Jesus' name I ask that You will increase my faith to believe for all the things You've put on my heart to pray for concerning these children.