Guest Post by Deanne Welsh
One of the greatest lessons God has taught me over the past several months is the power of community. None of us have all of the solutions to the issues we face in our lives, nor do we possess all of the knowledge about topics that have the ability to change and enrich our lives, but when we work together in community, we can make great strides towards growing into the people God would have us to be. I am blessed to say that Deanne Welsh is an integral part of both my writing and parenting communities. She is a tremendous source of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration. I want to personally thank her for sharing this powerful post. Enjoy!
I call it his dictator power.
He knows what he wants and declares it loudly and boldly. If he is met with opposition, he digs in and demands, cries and forces his way forward. He is an unstoppable force.
I do my best to stand strong, reminding myself that I am the mother and thus in charge. Reminding myself to be gentle, he is little even though his willpower is not.
At night I fall into bed, exhausted by the constant battery of demands having repeated the mantra in my mind, “stay strong, stay consistent” hundreds of times along with, “it’s not personal, take a deep breath.”
I hope my attempts at consistency are enough to raise my child.
This should be included in birthing classes, deep breathing will not only get us through the birthing process, but through the raising kids process and then when they are grown and leave our care.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
After reveling in the sight of him safe and quietly breathing in his sleep, I curl up on the couch for a quiet moment. God nudges my soul,
“I am building you through your son. Just as you teach him, he is teaching you. Allow me to speak to you through your son.”
“Okay,” I whisper and listen.
My son is not afraid to reveal his desires, needs and wants. Although he cannot distinguish between them, he is quick to let me know.
“Mom! I’m thirsty.”
“Mom! I want a cookie.”
“Mom, let’s go to the beach.”
As loud as the sound of his voice is, I am thankful that he comes to me and expresses his heart. We are in communication and although I often say no to the cookie or later to the beach, he is not afraid to ask for them again. Two minutes later.
When it comes to my communication with God, I forget to tell him my desires, needs and wants. It’s easy to minimize them, brush them aside or think that they will not matter to him.
My son is bold. If it matters to him, it MUST matter to me.
I want to be this authentic and bold in my communication with God: honest, confident and hopeful.
When my son is playing, he loses track of time. Sand becomes a mountain or a monster truck jump. He digs his fingers into the mud, relishing the way it gives way beneath pressure and once his hands are covered, he runs full force into the water, laughing at the waves as his hands are washed clean. He repeats the process twenty times.
My son rarely remembers what we are doing next or what we just did: he is 100 % focused on the moment.
I am a thinker. I love to reflect on the past and strategize for the future. It’s easy to lose myself in my thoughts and forget my current reality. My son brings me back to the present, “Mama! Look!”
He reminds me to look for God’s provision and wonder in the present. To receive the gift God has for me today, whether it is mud, a ladybug or a cookie.
My son has hope, even when I deny him a desire. He does not take no for an answer, believing that the cookie or toy is within reach and certainly within reason.
When I am struggling in my faith, my son reminds me to trust in God’s good intentions and continue moving forward despite challenges. My son throws tantrums and gets angry. He pushes me away because the cookie is his only focus.
But he never stays mad. Once he is calm, he seeks me out for snuggles.
As I wipe away his tears and boogers, I am reminded to continue returning to God regardless of His current answers to my prayers. My son reminds me to stay connected as I move forward.
I carried my son for 9 months, birthed him, wiped his poop and pee for over three years, and yet I would give a limb or even my life for him. God’s connection to us is even more intimate: he had the idea of you, designed you, and created you. The love of a mother pales in comparison to the depth and intimacy of God’s love.
My son is raising me. His dictator power can either destroy or multiply my patience and character. To withstand the wind force of his power, my faith roots need to deepen.
I don’t have the answers. I often don’t know how to parent. This is my first time. The task can overwhelm me or I can look for help. Instead of fixating on my problems, I can draw close to God and ask Him for help.
As I pray and then pause to listen, God often shows me a way forward. I am not alone. God has provided people, books and resources for me to grow as a parent. I can trust Him for my growth as a person and parent, and with the life of my son.
My son belongs to God. He is the inventor and creator of my son. He hand-picked my son to be my child.
The best investment I can make in my parenting is to pray and listen to God.
What has your child been teaching you about God lately? We would love to hear from you.
If you are looking for an intentional community of moms to help you grow in God’s love so that it spills over into your family and all you do, we invite you to join the Intentional Motherhood Community.
Deanne Welsh is the founder of Unstoppable Writers, a thriving Facebook Community for writers seeking to make a lasting impact with their words. She grew up on missionary ships sailing around the world and writes at www.DeanneWelsh.com.