It all happened July 18, 2017, when that 8 pound 5 ounce human being made her grand entrance into this world.
Suddenly, I was Mom to a living, breathing human being who was entirely dependent on me for her every need.
“Wait a minute. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. Can I hit pause for a few weeks and return when I’ve done a bit more research on how to be a Mom?”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Ready or not, I was a Mom. Trial and error would become the new routine.
The poop splatters all over me and the bed quickly taught me that diapers must always be changed with a changing pad, even if it seems safe to do so otherwise.
I discovered that, in my case, the weeks of adjustment after birth were much more difficult than the labor and delivery.
I realized that this was not an 8-to-5 day shift job, but rather a job that included the 8-to-5 shift, the swing shift, and the night shift. And I had intentionally signed up for all three shifts.
And it is these sometimes humorous, day to day situations that are teaching me that being a mom includes more than simply keeping a child clean, fed, and happy: It involves my heart.
I think it is safe to say that in many ways, parenting is more about the parent’s sanctification than the child’s physical well-being.
What do I mean?
Well, it is the simple, mundane, and routine activities that most often expose the attitudes of my heart. I’m talking about those moments when the fork gets tossed over the edge of the table for the fourth time in a row or when the food on my plate gets cold before I have a chance to even take one bite of it because I’ve been busy feeding a hungry toddler.
Insignificant and ordinary events, but my reactions are oh, so often, a telling indication of what is in my heart.
More than any other lesson in parenting, God has shown me repeatedly that my actions and attitudes during such mundane situations are merely an overflow of what is in my heart.
With each frustrating parenting moment, I have a choice: am I going to allow my members–my mouth, my hands, my heart–to become provoked to exasperation and to sin? Or am I going to use this as an opportunity to glorify God, even in the most mundane and routine of activities?
But don’t get me wrong: parenting hasn’t just been about the frustrations.
There are plenty of smiles and hugs and kisses to go around. There are plenty of moments where I feel my heart could just burst from the love I feel for Talitha, the little cutie pie who has brought so much joy into our lives.
And for this reason, I am thankful that God gives strength for both the joys and the frustrations in each new day. Lord willing, Talitha will grow up to learn to love and obey God and in turn, her parents will grow to be more Christ-like.