Sometimes, we think of God as a distant father but we forget that he is also a parent dealing with similar situations that we do. When we can identify with God, it makes it easier to have a relationship with Him and it brings us closer to Him.
Below, I have begun a list of ways we relate to God as a parent. Check back for new posts that will go into further detail. (If any of the below headings are links, they will bring you to a post that goes more in-depth about that subject.)
How many times do we have to repeat ourselves to our children?
We try to use different ways like using a nickname, yelling it, using multiple tones of voice, etc. You might even try some type of bribery by saying, “I have ice cream!”
Most of the time, children are so interested in their play, they choose to not hear us because they don’t want to stop. We try anything, yet we repeat and repeat and they don’t listen until they are in trouble.
“Jacob… Jacob… JACOB!!! ANYONE THERE?!?”
Is this how God has to speak to us sometimes?
“HELLO? I’ve been trying to talk to you!”
How many different ways has he tried to talk to you lately?
…through a friend or family member?
…through the beautiful sunset or being given another sunrise?
When do you hear him best?
…when you get what you want
…or when he has to yell at you?
How many times do we not want to interrupt our busy lives to listen to Him?
Don’t worry. We are all guilty of this, especially as mothers. We are always busy changing diapers, making dinner, cleaning up the house, taking the kids to the park. I could go on and on.
The main challenge is to just listen to Him through the chaos of every day.
Choosing a Baby Name
We have the privilege of naming our children whatever name we choose. I’ve always liked Saint and Biblical Names and I feel they are coming back to popularity.
With each of my children, I felt there was a name that went along with God’s will. Somehow, I just had this weird gut feeling that certain names were not right. Now that they are older, I realize how their names fit everything about their personality.
God has a name for us too.
“I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah, 43:1)
(The New American Bible: Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002.)
He delights in calling us by the name He has given to us. How special it is to know that He has a specific name for us and He calls us His own.
It is just the same as the delight we feel when we can first call our child by their name and knowing they are ours for life.
Mothers Know Their Children
No one knows our children as well as we do.
People try to give advice and it leaves us confused, but we know them the best.
We know when they are tired and hungry. We know what will scare or excite them. We know what situations they can handle at their age and maturity. We know every freckle and every bruise.
This is the same way God knows our body and souls. He created us to love him and he knows how we will react to certain situations. He knows every freckle, every cry, and every laugh.
“Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” (Luke, 12:7)
(The New American Bible: Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002.)
You can’t get more personal than that! He knows us best because He created us. He finds every little thing special to us because he loves us just as we love our own children.
A Lost Child
For some reason when I was a child, I hid in the clothing racks at a department store (I saw it on television so I thought it would be fun, doh!)
My mother was frantic and wondering where I was. Being a mother now, I can only imagine how she felt in that moment. It only takes a few seconds when you think your child is nowhere to be found.
It makes your heart completely stop, you lose your breath and horrible thoughts begin to creep in your mind.
It is one of the worst feelings to think you have lost your most precious child.
Is this how God feels when we abandon Him?
We forget to make Him a part of our lives and become “lost” in the everyday drudgery. He misses us and waits for our return.
A Baby’s First Words
Ah, the first time our baby (who we carried for 9 months, bore labor or c-section, and sacrificed our lives for) speaks their first word!
AND OF COURSE, it’s almost always “DADA!” That’s ok though, “MAMA” is soon to follow.
From there on they continue picking up words, one-by-one. We are left in the wonder of the beautiful miracle that sits in front of us. We wonder how they learn certain words and we start to realize we need to watch what we say (OOPS!)
The words we use in the home will carry with them for the rest of their lives and becomes a part of their own voices.
That’s why God gives us His word.
He carefully chose these words thousands of years ago to help us in the here and now.
We will continue the love God expressed if we allow His word to be a priority in our homes, lives, and our inner voice.
When You Have Many Children
I love having three children, but there are times when it is tough.
Each child has their own personality, wants, needs, and interests. Sometimes this makes it very difficult to appeal to all of them at the same time. Each one brings a new challenge and teaches me something new.
God continues to cherish us as his children, no matter how challenging or stubborn we may be.
A good example is the relationship of Jesus and His disciples. Each disciple added their own problems and sinfulness, but they each had their own purpose for being followers of Jesus.
How can the traits of each child make us more aware of their purpose?
Maybe, the strong will of my 2 year old will help him stand up for what he believes in.
or the cautiousness of my 4 year old will give him good judgment.
With this perspective, we can think of this as an opportunity to train our children to develop good habits and skills according to their purpose.
We can relate this to ourselves also:
How can we be more aware of how our calling to Motherhood?
How can we use our own traits to be persistent in standing up for what we believe?
Can we allow God to take our flaws and transform them into strengths?
“Babyproofing” Your Home
You almost can never completely “babyproof” your home, especially when there are older siblings.
We try to keep all the dangerous items out of reach, yet, somehow the baby finds that one thing you forgot about.
On another incident, you accidentally drop something and of course, it’s immediately in the baby’s mouth.
I just think about how God has tried to “babyproof” my life from sinning. But somehow I always seem to find that one thing that may harm me.
He wants to keep us safe from harm of our bodies and souls, but even some small distractions keep us from his surrounding love.
So, what does He do?
He utilizes our return from sinfulness.
In our deepest requests for forgiveness, He can equip us with the tools needed to avoid or confront it better the next time.
We begin to learn how to fall and where to go after we sin.
Will you let him “babyproof” your life?
Power Struggle between Parent and Child
Some children are such picky eaters. As mothers, we make this amazing meal that we know they will love, but they don’t want it because it looks different.
I find this so frustrating. I just spent all this time making the entire family a meal that I KNOW my children will like and they still won’t eat it.
This is where the power struggle comes in.
Do I try to force him to eat it or just let him choose something else to eat?
Then, I see that look in his eyes that he just wants to have the control. It is one of my pet peeves, I must admit. He won’t eat it just because I want him to.
This is where a lot of arguments stem from and where we ask the question, “Who has the most power?”
It is a fighting battle between parent and child.
It is a losing battle between us and God.
From the very beginning, Adam and Eve desired to gain control over what God had asked them not to do.
Instead of doing as God simply asked, we want power over our lives. We get in the way of a lot of good that God has for us because of this. Sometimes we don’t allow him to take care of us because we think we know better. We try to take over and it ends up worse.
What are you struggling to give control to God?
We will never have the power we wish for, especially over our children. Yet, God continues to show us His love just as we do for our children.
How amazing it is to watch your baby walk their first steps.
You’ve watched them from rolling over to crawling to standing to walking. Although it feels like it went so quickly, it happened very gradually. They still haven’t perfected walking because they fall here and there.
No matter how many times they fall, we are there cheering them on to help them get back up again.
This is the same way God cheers us on.
He watches every little moment, every baby step, every big and small accomplishment we make. He is aware of our every flaw as a person and as a parent.
Since God is our Father, He is proud of us for just doing a little better the next time. He gives us His support and love just the same as we are there to catch our children when they fall.
In our own lives, we need to be aware and proud of every “baby step” that leads us to Him.
There are so many times that we do not listen to God, we get “lost” in our busy lives, and forget that He knows best. People tell us to “just make time” or “set aside a special, quiet time.” I laugh when I hear this!
Quiet, alone time in my house? HA! Good luck with three children under four years old.
That’s why I have been trying to find ways to spend time with God in every second of the day, whether it is quiet or we are super busy.
If we look at all the little things of the day as a way to bring us closer to God, it will transform our lives and our motherhood.
I hope you will join me on this journey to finding Christ in every part of Motherhood.