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OUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS BEST
You’ve probably heard the phrase “having a baby changes everything.” Until six months ago, I had no idea exactly how much! The saying is so very true, but what they leave out is the fact that it changes everything for the better.
Sure, there are dirty diapers and spit up stains to deal with. Yes, there is extra laundry, less money, and a whole lot less sleep! Yet despite those things, I’ve never experienced anything quite like being a mother to Audrey, and I can’t see what on this earth could possibly be a better or more rewarding experience.
Being a mom has taught this Type A woman so much. I’ve learned that it’s okay to let the house get messy at times, that I don’t have to always have everything in its place every second anymore. I’ve learned that beds don’t have to made every single day, dishes don’t have to be washed the minute they’re in the sink, and a slight level of dust isn’t going to hurt anyone. I come home from work and know that immediately putting away the clean laundry isn’t nearly as important as spending quality time snuggling my daughter. Playing peek-a-boo wins out over vacuuming every time, and letting her fall asleep in my arms definitely beats paying the bills.
Of course things still have to get done eventually, and I still do them (most of the time). But I’ve loosened up a lot. This is the first year I’ve been married that my Christmas tree has stayed up past New Year’s weekend! It might linger until February at this point! But that’s okay. To me, being there for my family is more important than a super-clean house or preparing cooking-show quality meals. I can’t do everything all the time, and when I get the choice, I choose my family.
Not only has motherhood loosened me up about my Type A tendencies, it’s also opened my eyes to an entirely new perspective of my relationship with God. The other day I was getting Audrey’s bottle ready, and the whole time I was mixing the formula, gathering the bib and burp cloth, shaking the bottle, and settling into the chair, she was in no uncertain terms letting me know exactly how slow I was moving! She cried and cried at the top of her lungs until I popped that bottle in her mouth. Then she looked at me with eyes that clearly said “Oh. There it is. Thanks.”
As I held her and fed her, I explained that she didn’t need to fuss, that Mommy will always make sure she has exactly what she needs, exactly when she needs it. And in that moment, I was struck with a thought so powerful I almost dropped her bottle. God does the same thing for us. Yet how many times do we fuss and complain and moan and cry that we aren’t getting what we want, exactly when we want it?
I wonder if God sees us that way sometimes. There we are, complaining loudly about something we don’t understand, while He sees the big picture. He knows what we need is on its way, yet our impatient human flesh demands it sooner. I bet He smiles that loving, parental smile of unconditional love, shakes His head a little and thinks “Oh, if you only knew!”— just like I did with Audrey.
Catching that glimpse makes me want to do better as a child of God, and trust Him completely. If my mother’s instincts for Audrey are right, how much more are our Heavenly Father’s instincts toward us? If I want to do what is best for Audrey as a human, flawed, sinful mother, how much more does God love us as a perfect, holy, flawless Father?
Even knowing that, still we often worry. We wonder if our priorities aren’t God’s priorities. We wonder if He has something different for us than what we want. We wonder if what He has planned is better than what we would plan.
God makes us an incredible promise in Jeremiah 29:11 regarding this very thing. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hmmm. Prosper, hope, a future—sounds pretty good to me!
Just like Audrey will eventually learn that her parents will take care of her, we as children of God need to learn that He will do the same with us. We need to trust His plan, His timing, and His heart. As I continue to care for Audrey, she will begin to see that her needs are met, and oftentimes even her wants. She will further trust me as she grows to depend on me more and more.
Let that be your prayer to God today. Ask Him to help you trust and depend on Him. Ask Him to give you faith like a child.
And remember—Father knows best!