My son ate shredded cheese and fruit cocktail out of the can for dinner last night, and my daughter had a peanut butter and honey sandwich for at least the forth night in a row. And we maaaay or may not have washed our hands before we ate. There. I said it. If we rewound life about five years ago, you might be talking me off the ledge right now. As a new mom I was bombarded by all the should’s, shouldn’ts, can’s and can’ts. I remember upon announcing my induction date, I received a rather disturbing response from a “friend” who highly discouraged an induction and all the reasons why modern medicine just isn’t acceptable for the birthing process. (Oh really? I’d like to tell her exactly where she can put that advice today.) I also had a discouraging response when breastfeeding just didn’t happen for me. It was hard and in a lot of ways, I already felt like I was failing as a mom. Fortunately, just like anything else, parenting is a learning process. When I took those insecurities and doubts to the Lord, He began to grow me in the areas I was unsure of. I gave up the burden of comparison and began to understand that the best way to parent is by learning from the One who created parenting Himself. The Ultimate Parent. So what do we do when we aren’t the mom who breastfeeds, blogs to thousands, runs an Etsy shop for all the adorable clothes she windled together with her bare fingers while cooking her four course dinner, that’s of course all Paleo, and cheerfully greeting her husband as he arrives home from work? (Which for the record I should say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things!) As Christians, we rest in the assurance that the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He gave us these precious gifts we call children. These very specific, precious gifts. Whether we feel unequipped, inadequate, or unsure of uncharted territory, it makes no difference. He knew before the foundation of the world who He would entrust into our care. When we commit to raising them according to His design we embody all our kiddos need. We don’t have to worry about what other families are doing. We don’t have to second guess the decisions we make based on what’s best for our family, even when it’s contrary to what everyone else is doing. We can confidently walk through each stage of life knowing that His grace covers all and fills in all the gaps where we fall short. (And for me, that’s a lot of gaps! Just ask my five year old, she’d be happy to tell you all the things I’m bad at.) I love what it says in Psalm chapter 103, “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those that fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children…” His promises to withstand the ages, different cultures, and to be our ever present Guide are found all throughout His love letter to us, the Bible. It also says in Psalm 144, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” It doesn’t take long to learn that the battle is on for our kiddos. It’s on for their hearts, for their minds, and even for their bodies. I’m obviously not speaking about literal battles, although I guess that might be appropriate in some cases. I’m referring to the spiritual battle happening every single day right under our noses. (Ephesians 6:12) The battle is taking place in the heavenly realms and fighting against our kids battles with what we can see just isn’t enough. Our culture is relentless, and our enemy is relentless. We win battles on our knees in fervent prayer for our children! When we keep our focus locked tight on Jesus we can have all the confidence in the world that we need to parent and to parent effectively. Prayer allows us to see things unseen, it sharpens our hearing to hear what’s really being said that goes unsaid with our children, and it fine tunes our wisdom and discernment to hone in on the things we would otherwise miss in our children’s lives.
So rest Momma’s, and stop being so hard on yourself. It’s ok to not have it all together. It’s ok to do things differently than others when it comes to parenting. And it’s definitely ok to feed your kids shredded cheese and fruit cocktail for dinner every once in a while. I mean, it’s basically Paleo.