Expectations in Motherhood: Day Four
“Expectation - I Would Instinctively Know Each of My Children”
By Nicole Lawrence
READ: Psalm 139:13-18, Romans 12:4-8
My oldest was afraid of slides for the longest time. Every time we went to the park I would push her to try again, to be courageous and slide. The more I pushed, the more she retreated. My youngest would walk blindly down the tallest slide if I let her. When Aria is sick she wants extra cuddles, when Hadley is sick she wants her space, don’t even try to touch her unless you enjoy getting hit! My expectation that I could parent each of my children the same not only leads to more frustration but keeps me from embracing who God has designed them to be.
I assumed that because I am their mother, I would know them so deeply that I could anticipate each tantrum, approach each cry with the perfect attention, love them through each difficulty exactly as it fits them. But that was a lie. For each right thing I do with them, there are 10 wrong things I’ve tried. Motherhood is full of trial and error. I have to remind myself that as long as I am a mother and they are my children we will always be learning together. Each moment an opportunity to know them more.
As much as I love and know them, their Heavenly Father knows them in a way that is so intimate and special. Just as Psalm 139 teaches us, it is God who sees their thoughts and transforms their hearts. He loves them with a passion deeper than I could ever imagine. So in my moments of discouragement over not understanding them, I can cry out to God who deeply knows them. When they have sinned and I don't know how to help them out of it, God knows. When they are heartbroken and I can’t fix it, God can. When they are facing a difficult situation and I don’t know what wisdom to give them, God does.
My oldest daughter and I had a rocky relationship when she was 2. No matter how much I tried to connect with her, she pushed back. My expectation was because she's a piece of me, she would learn like I learn, love as I love, enjoy the things I enjoy, but that could be further from the truth. God has taught me that it is her uniqueness that makes her perfectly designed for Him and His purpose for her. Just as all parts of our body have a purpose, even at the youngest ages our children are growing into their purpose in His kingdom. Their hearts being molded by the maker of the universe. It is our job to partner with God to help them use their uniqueness to become all they are designed, called and gifted to be. These sweet children are a wonderful gift that we get the privilege to open over and over and over again.
MEDITATE: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
What unique difficulties do each of your children present for you?
What special qualities do they possess? How can you encourage these gifts?
Write out a prayer for each of your children thanking God for their uniqueness .
PRAY: God, thank you for the most precious gifts, the gifts of each of my children. I recognize the struggle of understanding them on a unique, individual level, but I know that You intimately know them. Help me to love them and disciple them in the special way they need. Our perfect Creator, my desire is to show my children You and Your design for their lives, lead me in the Spirit as I do that every day. In Your name, Amen.