shameless parenting…

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I woke up startled and looked over at my newborn baby sleeping in her rock n play. She wasn’t making a sound, but I said “she’s cold” to my husband. I took her temp and sure enough it was 96.1. Poor babe, she didn’t have enough fat on her itty bitty body to regulate her temperature yet. I knew because her sister was in the nicu trying to get out of the isolate which kept her warm. So for the first several months of their life the girls had their own personal space heater even though we live in San Antonio, TX where the weather rarely dips into sweater weather.

Being a new mom can be absolutely terrifying.

I’ve been babysitting since I was 11. So basically I’d been watching countless other children for 2 decades before I had my own children. But nothing can compare to the weight of responsibility of taking care of a helpless newborn. Although it was terribly sad to have Charlie in the nicu at least it gave me 11 days with just one 4 pound baby.

The first night we had Charlie home I freaked out, called the nicu who transferred me to the ER, and thankfully was able to get a hold of their doctor who calmed my fears and gave me some practical advice.

The thing that has calmed me and quieted my fears the most in these six months is believing that the Holy Spirit is leading us as parents. It’s believing that He wants us to be successful parents. And believing that He wants goodness for the girls even more than we do.

I think perhaps the most detrimental thing to parenting is comparison. It’s believing that one way is best in the thousand gray areas of parenting. In order to parent without shame we must believe that it’s okay to do things the way the Holy Spirit is leading us with our children. It will not and SHOULD not all look the same.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

Isaiah 40:11

There are so many decisions to make as parents, so many choices. It can be overwhelming, but I really do believe that the same One who has knitted them together wants to lead us as parents. And thankfully, He is even bigger than our decisions. His love for them is bigger than we can even imagine, so go easy on yourself, take a deep breath, and listen for that still small voice.

One last thought… I’ve been a little shocked at times at the judgement we can easily pass on other parents. I think often it can come from a place of fear in ourselves and wanting to feel like what we are doing for our kids is the BEST thing. But let’s be kind to the other parents out there and be okay with decisions that they make and feel are best. Let’s trust that God is big enough to lead us in individual ways as families. Let’s try to encourage each other, there is so much life on encouragement, and I’ve yet to meet a mom or dad who don’t need some!

I pray today that His leadership for you as parents comes with grace and ease. May you be led by His peace with those He’s entrusted to your care.

You are doing a better job than you think you are!

Love,

Anna

 

 

finding “the one”

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Are you looking for “the one?”

Have you found “the one?”

Do you feel like you got married and your spouse perhaps isn’t “the one?”

These are common questions and thoughts in our modern day culture. The thinking behind these thought processes can easily become a dead end road! It makes me eager to learn about biblical (judeo-christian) marriage.

I believe thinking in terms of finding “the one” is dangerous because it can lead to a victim mentality. What I mean is we can think life doesn’t begin until we find “the one.” Even more scary, we can begin to believe that the person we have covenanted ourselves to before our loved ones is not “the one” we were supposed to marry, and that somehow we missed it!

I believe that God made us to be powerful people with free will. Marriage isn’t something you happens to you! It’s something you choose to commit yourself to for better or for worse.

Here’s what I am discovering…

The Jewish wedding customs were more about the celebration of the marriage covenant than finding “the one.” It was more about giving than getting, and that is where our society has gone terribly wrong. Thus, we have often missed the true beauty and ecstasy that is possible within marriage. It’s not that there wasn’t celebration and bliss, it’s that these things were the fruit and reward rather than the goal of a true covenant.

The meaning of the Old Testament word for covenant is bond. It’s used more than 300x’s in the Bible.

When we get all wrapped up in whether we have found “the one,” we stop taking responsibility for our choices. God gives us wisdom, discernment, wise counsel, and His Holy Spirit to lead us into making great choices, but He doesn’t make choices for us. That would be a strange twisted version of control and not love.

The moment you say “I do” is the moment that your spouse becomes your “one.” From that moment forth, you begin the journey of being bonded to one another. Did you know that couples actually exchange DNA when they consummate their marriage? We are literally becoming one with our spouse when we make love. That’s why sex is designed to be enjoyed within the marriage covenant. Science actually backs up Jesus’ teaching on becoming one flesh!

6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’a 7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh.’c So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

-Jesus

Mark 10:6-9

Intimacy within the covenant of marriage is what makes us “one” with our spouse, not marrying the one person created to marry you.

So whether you are wearing a ring or waiting on a ring, I bless you today. If you are single, I bless you with wisdom, grace, and honor in your journey towards choosing your one. If you are married, I bless you with wisdom, grace, and honor to love your one with passion and steadfastness.