We are living in the age of not only constant, but immediate information attainment and I believe that, despite the benefits, it often serves to simply lead us astray and cause unnecessary stress. It is information overkill!
Moms are bombarded with an onslaught of theories, studies, and opinions on parenting.
Often it is just too much.
Often it overwhelms and confuses.
Often it blocks out the still small Voice that has the answers.
Before time, God designed women with the unique gifting of Motherhood. Into the essence of our soul, He weaved into us many of the answers we need. Sadly, they often go untapped because we are too busy desperately searching elsewhere for our answers. Our overloaded brains drown out the still small Voice.
I recognize the slumped shoulders and lines of worry running across beautiful faces. I hear the insecurity in sweet Mama Friends and know that often behind the anger, hostility, or even sadness is truly a Mama who is struggling with this most important and treasured job.
We listen, read, and absorb all the ideas and when we are faced with a challenge, little or big, through our minds we run a list of learned options. We remember this theory, that process, or this option. Even at rest, we run through the open tabs in our brain trying to decide which way to solve the problem. The tabs are many. More than my actual computer could probably even handle! Then when the first one doesn’t work, we go to the next and the next. We lie awake wondering if we made the right choice. If tab number 36 was possibly the one with the correct answer. It is exhausting. It is overwhelming.
And it stops us from being the best Mama we can be.
I remember being a new Mama and having read all the latest and greatest resources. I was prepared … until my first was actually born! I remember exhaustion pervading my whole being. This mothering thing was so difficult!! One critical story for me was surrounding the issue of sleep. At that point in my life, sleep was REALLY important to me! (I quickly got over that silly concept!) Well, my sweet new baby boy could not fall asleep. He could not calm himself. It took near acrobatics to get the child to fall asleep and then once he was, he would wake almost every hour throughout the night. I read everything! I got input from everyone!
I wanted to do this mothering thing right! Nothing worked!
Not one single theory. Nothing.
He was closing in on 18-months old.
I was exhausted and I felt like a failure.
Until one day I stopped the madness. Finally, God opened my eyes to the beautiful little boy before me. He showed me a unique child. Unlike any other. The one who is not going to fit perfectly into a textbook.
The very one He had given me, and only me, to mama.
God has purpose in what He does. That most definitely includes purpose in who He allows us to parent. In which specific little lives He puts into our hands. In the children He calls ours.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
So, what did I do that one nearly delirious night?
I declared the battle as over.
I wasn’t going to instill the Ferber, Sears, or any other methodologies. I listened to that place deep behind my belly (where I always say God speaks to me). I believed myself when I sensed that my little guy rested best in his own crib, in the calm soothing quietness of his own room, but needed a touch to comfort whatever insecurity was living in his soul. He needed to hold my hand through the thin but awkward slats of the crib.
All. Night. Long.
I’d fought it for so long. I fought giving him what he needed because it didn’t line up with ANY theory. That night I dragged a large cushion from a window seat in our home into his room right next to his crib. And there I slept. On a too-thin and way-too-short cushion with my arm lodged between the crib slats and the most beautiful tiny hand gently wrapped within mine.
That first night, he only woke twice to make sure I really was there. Not once did I have to rock him. The next night was only once. Within two weeks, my sweet little guy was sleeping peacefully. I began to slowly wean my presence away and within a month, my very sore body was sleeping in my own glorious bed all night long for the first time in 18 months! If only I’d stopped to utilize what God had given me the ability to see as a need in my child right away instead of trying to make it happen the “right” way.
That experience changed me. I still know education is valuable, however I know that how God wired me is even more valuable to my child. Not that I don’t find myself slipping while trying to solve my parenting challenges, but it changed how I enter life and how I generally navigate through it. As life progresses I learn the lesson on deeper and deeper levels, however there are three things I focus on:
- Being in relationship with God through prayer so that I can feel His guidance and hear that still small Voice.
- Knowing God’s Word so that I can be in tune with what He is trying to impress upon me.
- Letting go of the “should” and focusing on what I really have before me. Asking myself “What does this very precious and unique child need in this situation?”
Dear Father, I thank You for being the ultimate Designer with the ultimate purpose. I thank You for the sweet treasures that You gave me with a purpose to Mama here on earth. This is a big and important job You have given me and I want desperately to not only be the best I can for my child, but to honor You. Lord, help me to tune out the noise. Tune out the extra … and hear You. I ask You to open my mind to learning the facts You deem necessary, while keeping my soul tuned into You first and foremost. I know in You, there is rest and there is peace even in the midst of chaos. You tell us to come to You when we are weary or burdened and You will give us rest. (Matthew 11:28) I come to You with all that I am and I pray for every weary or burdened Mama to do the same. In Your most holy and precious Name I pray. Amen
Blessings and smiles,
P.S. I have added all my social media scrolls in the side-bar to make it easy to find me! I’d love to see you out there! Also, don’t forget to sign up to receive email updates! I only send out one post alert each week. That way you don’t have to keep checking back to see if I’ve posted again. It saves you time and helps me know how I’m doing! Thanks so much, friends!
P.P.S If you’ve ever struggled with feeling like you need to be perfect, my friend Holley Gerth’s new book will encourage you. You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect.
P.P.P.S. 🙂 I sometimes link up with the following fabulous pages! They are great places to search for moments with me 🙂 Monday Musings, Literacy Musing Mondays, Best of the Blogosphere Link -Up, Finding Faith Link-up, Playdates with God, Soul Survival, #WordswithWinter, Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Different Dream, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, Find Joy Everyday, Whole Hearted Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesdays, Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, Thriving Thursday, Hope in Every Season, Suzie Eller’s Live Free Thursday, Thankful Thursdays, Hearts for Home, Faith Filled Friday, Follow Me Friday, Fellowship Fridays, #DanceWithJesus, The Weekly Brew, Saturday Sharefest, Still Saturday, Sharing His Beauty Link-up, and Reflect His Love and Glory