I remember waking up under my bed with my eldest child. I don’t know how we got there, but we did. I also remember being so tired that I slept in the closet to try and find some “me time,” only to wake up in the morning with my three youngest sleeping next to me.
Motherhood can be very tiring, yet very rewarding.
I remember when my children were toddlers; “Mommy” was their favorite word. Each child had their own personality. I remember them running around at the Amarillo Zoo. As a young single mom, I had to put my faith to work. I had to ask God to teach me to love my children like he did. I was pro-active. I took parenting classes and stood on faith that God would continually give me wisdom to know how to raise my children. It’s sad to me now, thinking back to all the time I spent worrying. Worrying that I would mess up as a mother. Worrying that if my child messed up, it would make me look bad.
I learned that when I became a mom, it wasn’t about what people thought of me, but about raising my children in the way they should go. My job was to love them, train them, nurture them, encourage them and discipline them. It took faith to accomplish this. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). I realized that the world had a different view on parenting. I wanted to be the mother God called me to be, so I began my life journey as a mom.
Time passed, and I was able to see all my children grow from children to teens. I had to remember what faith was. I had to stand my ground even when I felt like throwing in the towel. Hormones were raging, and the world encouraged me to give up. But I believed that no matter what kind of influence the world might try to have, that I—their mom—had the greatest influence of all. I realized that it didn’t matter what I said as much as what I did; children are great imitators. Even though my children were growing, I continued to go to parenting classes/conferences.
I have 4 children, so I learned that each one responded differently to growing pains.
I had to remind myself that my teens were not perfect, just as I was not perfect. When they struggled, I loved them through it. I prayed, encouraged, and continued to discipline as needed. Just because they were getting older didn’t mean they didn’t need parenting. Life was crazy busy. I had two band nerds and two choir nerds. Three of my children were 17 months apart (yes, a set of twins). They were busy with school activities and were gone from home more and more. The more they were gone, the more my faith grew. I had two options: 1) to worry, or 2) to have faith that the teaching/training they received would not depart from them. When I felt like worrying was gaining ground, I would talk to a friend for words of encouragement, or ask a friend to pray for me. I have had a great resource of friends through the past 19 years, and they are a treasure. When one of my children would struggle, it was like testing grounds for me as a mom. Did I really believe that God had this? That he had good plans for each one of my children, to give them a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)?
As of May 2011, all my babies are grown and have graduated high school. My youngest two are 20 year old. Wow! Where does the time go? I know now how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity because they grow fast. Faith is dear to me. I lean on her a lot. I am now entering the Empty Nester season, and my children are each following their dreams through Christ. I have parented the best way I could. Now it is time to once again put faith to work. I pray for each of my children, in-laws, and grandchildren, and then I step aside and allow the Holy Spirit to help them.
I am here for them and always will be. I don’t always have to give advice or fix the situation. I can listen and encourage. I can give a hug, laugh and cry with them—and at the same time, have faith that what God began in each of their lives, he will bring to completion. My journey as a mother has been life-changing. It has taught me the fruit of the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Just in case you’re wondering, I haven’t arrived, but I am enjoying the journey of motherhood.
Proverbs 31: 26-28
“She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…”
P.S. My most favorite thing to do is have all my children jump in bed with me and just talk about life.
This post was written by Becca Cruz.