Three things. That’s all. I asked God what he wanted me to focus on this new year, and this week I distinctly felt impressed with three things.
1. Focus on my Family.
2. Make healthy choices for myself and make healthy food for my family.
3. Get pregnant in 2015 with my second, and final, child (God willing).
The first seems easy, the second harder, and the third, terrifying.
Part of the Journey
As you can read in my archives, I’ve been on a journey to embracing motherhood, and the life of self-sacrifice it requires. But this is not an easy journey. I go back and forth in my resolve. I still ask God every day to give me his love and spirit of sacrifice to serve my husband and son in the ways they need me.
It’s discouraging to me that I could want kids and family so much, yet still wish for days of single childlessness. Part of the problem is my selfish nature. But the other part is an attack.
The enemy buffets me with fear about possible ways my family could disintegrate. Investing time in people doesn’t feel as safe as investing time in self-advancement, or career-advancement. I’ve blogged about this before.
But God is helping me to face these fears and combat my selfishness; this year, through three resolutions:
- Make my family my mission field.
God is teaching me it is honorable to devote my life (for a season) to raising children, and raising them in the fear of God. He tells me he knows my selfish heart, and teaches me that what the world honors is not what he honors (Luke 16:15). And he assures me that even if something happened to my family, this time of self-sacrifice would not be wasted. Through marriage and parenthood, God is refining my character, teaching me to serve his children (that includes my own, and humanity in general), and helping me develop vital life skills. Like cooking.
- Cook healthier food for my family.
I don’t have much patience for cooking. I’m a simple girl who likes a simple life–some blank pages, a pen, and a good book–so I’m glad God has shown me what’s vital and what’s not. Being a Pinterest mom is not vital (though the world might say so). My family can do without scrapbooking. They can do without elaborate home decorating. But they can’t do without good food, because food begets life and health. So, this year, although I don’t feel the need or want for any new hobbies (you should see my stack of unread books), cooking is my new “hobby.” No matter whether I always have family around me or not, I’ll always need to eat, right? But as for having family around me, I really would prefer it, and that’s where resolution 3 comes in.
- Get pregnant in 2015.
When we finally decided to have kids eight years into our marriage, we decided on the number two. We didn’t want an only child, and two seemed like plenty: one for each parent to corral. As it turns out, I’d prefer to have the kid/teen/young adult periods without the baby stages. What can I say? I just don’t resonate with the woman who wrote: “I’m afraid to stop having babies.” With that the case, I figure it’s best to get on with the baby-making show, get past these tough years, and then enjoy my children who, as a side benefit, will be close enough in age to play together. This is all God willing, of course. In my limited understanding, this two-kid plan seems best for my family and our situation, but I realize it’s totally up to God whether or not we will conceive again. All we can do is try, wait, and see! (Hold on! We are not trying quite yet. There is a lot of 2015 left to go.)
So there we are. Three things in 2015. The first seems easy, the second harder, and the third, terrifying. Good thing God has recently reminded me of this promise:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
I claimed this promise yesterday, while clutching an”impossible” to-do list. But as the day wore on, I checked off thing after thing–phone calls to pediatricians and pharmacies, phone calls to friends, a batch of healthy cookies, minestrone soup, some writing time, a trip to the grocery store, and clean dishes. God delivered on his promise! And I know he will again.
Motherhood or fatherhood can be daunting. It is on-the-job training, and while there are resources out there to help such as books, mothers, fathers, friends and siblings, every child is different and therefore has different developmental needs. My parents believed there was a standard way to raise kids and that’s how they approached it. I believe they were wrong. I suspect they felt the fear that every parent most likely feels regarding their competency, how to measure success or failure. I know my mother was reigned by her fears and she never tried to overcome them, instead passing them on to her kids.
Sometimes, the thing we fear most is the one thing we need to do. I believe that our souls want to experience and learn, and will push us in directions to experience and learn. We just need to really listen and take seriously those impulses that often seem to come out of nowhere.
You’ll be fine. Even on days when it seems like everything is going wrong, you’ll be fine. And no, I don’t see your desire to fulfill yourself in other ways besides motherhood as selfish. I see that as one of those prods to experience and learn….
Thanks for the empathy and understanding, Cinda. Wow, what a thought: “the one thing we fear most is the one thing we need to do.” Strangely, this thought comforts me. If that’s true, my soul is really pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I do believe that stepping outside of that zone is the only real way to grow…and I don’t want to stagnate! This morning was one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong, but I gained strength as the day wore on. It’s true; I’ll be fine. Hope all is well with you! Thanks as always for your thoughts!