I laid in bed with my boy and rubbed cuticle cream on his little fingers. He's been chewing his nails down and picking nervously at them for awhile.
I'm not sure when it started but I remember the day his teacher mentioned it and I realized it was serious. He's the kind of kid that tries to do his best and do right. If he thinks he's is struggling his little heart worries and then his fingers suffer. I feel helpless. He feels helpless. So, I rubbed cuticle cream in and we talked about how nourishing his hands and fingers would be much better than picking. Seems many of us need more nourishment in our lives rather than picking.
As he laid next to me and fell asleep I thought of all the other mothers before me. Centuries of mothers throughout the whole world have held their babies close and wondered about the life ahead of them. I was once a worrier concerning my babies. When my oldest was little I rarely turned to God for help. One night I gave up. I laid flat on my bed and cried out to God. I couldn't do this mothering gig anymore under the stress. If I didn't worry about something concerning my baby then someone made me worry. It was constant and at every turn. I cried out. He was almost 3 at the time. I couldn't keep worrying like I did about things that would probably never happen. So I prayed.
I became a warrior for my children and not a worrier.
That night I gave my boy back to God. Not in a ceremony at church in a baby dedication but right in my home with a tear soaked pillow. I asked God to be in charge. I would simply do the best I could and He would have to do the rest. I was not sufficient on my own or even with my husband to raise this boy child into a man. He belonged to God. The most important part of him, his soul, belonged to God. I was just the caretaker of this little guy. God knows better than I at all times.
Since that night we have been blessed with 4 more children. I keep them out of the streets, the knives safely put away, the thermostat on the water heater turned down, warm clothes in their closet and blankets on their bed. God provides and I use the provision to do the best I know how to protect them but what about loving them. That's what I'm called to do daily. Love them.
Showing God's love for them is a challenge sometimes. When I'm busy and forget the kiss on the forehead, the hug, the reassuring words then I feel guilty. See! I'm not sufficient. So I pray for them. I think about every mom before me that raised babies with love. Did they worry? Did the regret? What would they do different? Does their heart long to go back to holding their babies once they are grown? Does it hurt when they are gone? It's not just a purpose I serve. I'm deeply attached to my purpose. My babies are so precious to me. Does every mom feel these?
I cry tears over my babies regularly. Mostly they are thankful tears and happy tears. Rarely do I cry over disappointments but this fleeting life does make me wish I could go back. The remembering of their tiny baby bodies and the way they smelled as infants is harder every year. I'm grateful I live in the day and age that I can look back at lots of pictures. However, looking back isn't looking forward.
My prayer today as I hear a toddler squeal and bigger kids pour cereal, I know my oldest is still sleeping and the youngest is still too, I pray for them. I want them to have the qualities of Christ poured into them as the grow to be men and a lady of Christ. I pray they seek to serve him. I pray for protection. I pray for so many things that God is not withholding. I pray for wisdom. I ask God. I simply give them back to Him daily and let Him be sufficient in the many places I am not.
Prayer is part of my strategy as a warrior. Reading God's word and seeking wisdom is another. I refuse to sit and wring my hands with worry when I can pray and fight for them wearing the full armor of God.
Raising them to do the same for themselves is a whole other blog post.
Be a WARRIOR!