When God Interrupts

IMG_3261Last week I sat down to write my weekly blog post for Alpha Childbirth and I was highjacked. Right then and there at my laptop. I had my topic, my thoughts, my coffee. I was ready. And then God showed up. My nice and tidy post about how we teach nutrition was totally infiltrated by the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Thoughts were flying at me as I continued to type away my planned topic. I went ahead and posted on how we teach nutrition (what does that say about how thick headed I am?). But this past week God just wouldn’t let it go (I’m stubborn, but He’s off the grid on holding to His standards…).

So, this week, I’m going to share with you what God has been quietly and not so subtly reminding me.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take your complete reliance on God seriously.

I am not a self-made woman. I am not in control of my own life, let alone my children’s lives. As much as I can plan for the future, I can’t finalize the outcomes. Even when I do everything right (which is about never) life just may not go the way I want it to. Life is messy, unpredictable, hard and unstable much of the time. It will always be that way here on earth. It will be that way for me, for my children, for future generations.

As we say in the texting world…ugh.

But there’s this incredible hope that we can’t lose sight of. It makes the reality I just spit out at you much more palatable. It’s the second part of what God keeps telling me. God is self-made. He is in control of my life, as well as my children’s. He does finalize outcomes. God is right 100% of the time.

The crazy part of living in complete reliance on God is knowing that what He wants for me still may feel messy, unpredictable, hard and seemingly unstable. Maybe, because when I feel those things, I cling to Him and no other.

Realizing this for yourself is one thing, but it takes it to an entirely new level when thinking about your children. And this is where I want us to land, mommas. When we become pregnant and start dreaming of our children’s lives, we don’t even want to think about the times that may be difficult. We naturally want the best for our kids, right from the very start in utero. But the reality is, the best might not always be the best. I ultimately don’t want kids that grow up thinking everything is going to go perfectly all the time. I don’t want kids that think I can fix everything or that they themselves can make everything ok. I don’t want self reliant kids….I want God reliant kids.

When I wrote last week’s nutrition post what kept going through my mind was that I didn’t want to give readers the impression that if they just ate perfectly – I mean all lean protein and leafy greens with no hot fudge sundaes or Doritos – every aspect of their baby’s development and their own health was guaranteed to be successful. That’s just not the case. Yes, be responsible and try your very best! But don’t believe the lie that you can control all the variables and outcomes in your child’s life right from the start.

As I was mulling this over, my husband and I were walking through our incredibly safe and idyllic summer community talking about how wonderful it is for our children to have freedom to roam and play, and at that exact moment, a child on a bike came quickly rounding the hill and crashed into a car just starting to move after stopping at a stop sign. I literally saw this 7 or 8 year old bounce off of the car hood into the street. Thank God, he was safe and it was the bike that took the beating. But there was my reminder. A visual I still can’t get out of my head. I’m not in control of it all and I never will be.

The same week, I heard word that a family from my church lost their 20 year old son to a drug overdose. Then, I spoke to a dear friend who’s teen daughter was caught in a lie, years in the making, that is shattering her momma’s trust and straining relationships as well as plans for the future. These are good families with strong Christian faith. Moms and dads that love their children well, pray for their kids and live Godly lives. Reminders that parenthood is not for the faint at heart, and everyone one of us here on earth screws up, makes mistakes and needs Jesus as our savior.

Pastor Andy Stanley has a fabulous teaching series called Future Family in which he describes the tension we all have to live with; the tension between “the real and the ideal”. God sets the ideal standard of what our families are to look like and we should do our very best to live out that ideal. Right from the start as you are carrying your baby in utero, try to eat well, exercise, prepare for birth and pray for your baby. But know that none of us live up to the standards. We all fall short of God’s glory. “The real” looks more like only sneaking a Snickers bar twice a week, or yelling at your husband to fold his own darn underwear because you are sleep deprived caring for a six week old, or melting down alongside your toddler in the Target (all real life examples from my own life). “The real” may be more serious faults that we need to ask forgiveness for, fight against for years and experience loss over. But in all of it, if we rely on God and not on our own strength, we are where we are supposed to be.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take your complete reliance on God seriously.

God reminds us. For us and for our children.

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