“MY SOUL, WAIT YOU ONLY UPON GOD; FOR MY EXPECTATION IS FROM HIM.”
It’s so easy to have unrealistic expectations in our relationships. Yet, I think it’s almost impossible to live without any expectations. As we learn how to put our expectancy in God, He will always fulfill our deep need for love AND will empower us to navigate our relationships without placing heavy expectations on people who will never be able to fulfill them! Especially when it comes to our children. We love them so much and we want the best for them but things don’t always go as planned.
I like most first time moms, had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I went from being a full-time doctor and working with Rob to get our church started, to the next day giving birth and becoming a full-time mommy. Boy was I in for a surprise when this little human couldn’t talk back to me, or tell me what he wanted. I had never even baby sat in my life! I really had to read books, learn skills, pray like crazy, cry a ton and rely on the wisdom of my own mom! For goodness sake, couldn’t God have sent a manual with each child?!
I had a lovely picture in my mind of feeding my baby and putting him down for a nap or to bed at night, that would allow Rob and I to enjoy much needed “alone” time; or I pictured having a majestic moment to get some task accomplished on my to do list.
But it wasn’t like that at all! Our first-born, Luke, didn’t sleep through the night until he was over a year old. Needless to say, I was constantly exhausted. In fact, I remember one night when Luke woke up, Rob looked at me and said, “I’ll pay you $1000 if you get up with him tonight!” And potty training was a whole other issue… it took forever! Why didn’t God just make potty training something that came by instinct?
My expectations of what being a mom looked like were constantly challenged.
When you have children, they are yours forever and you are attached heart and soul, which means you can easily get disappointed. Regardless of what expectations you start with going into parenthood, or have today, you will always have to stay in a place of laying down and surrendering those expectations to God and trusting him to help you navigate each stage and season so you can enjoy the parenting journey.
During my motherhood journey, there have been two main things that kept me sane, faith-filled, and enjoying my children and family in each season of life:
Scripture and friends.
I had, and still have, scriptures for every single season and circumstance my kids are going through. Each day I take time to quote these scriptures and meditate on God’s faithful promises for my family.
Pregnancy: “Even from the womb he has called me by my name.” Isaiah 49:1
Babies/Toddlers: “And all my children shall be disciples, taught of the Lord, and great shall be their peace and undisturbed composure.” Isaiah 54:13
Teenagers: “Train up a child in the way he should go (in keeping with his individual gift or bent) and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Adult Children: “To him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20-21
God’s Word reminds us that He has a wonderful plan for our kids. His unfailing promises will keep us strong when we are facing challenging times.
My dear friend, Katie Luce and I prayed weekly for our families. We saw one miracle after the other that we still pray together even today! There is nothing like the tenacious, love filled prayers of a mom.
So, my best motherly advice is to surround yourself with some faithful prayer warriors and PRAY, as you stand on God’s faithful promises.
Embrace each season with joyful expectancy, because before you know it, they will be graduating high school, graduating college or starting jobs, getting married, having children of their own... and thus the circle of life goes round and round. Savor the moments as you partner with God in training and loving your children along the way.