The crib is set up, you wipe away all of the wrinkles in the sheet, the books are lined up just so, and maybe you’ve even rocked in that new chair in the corner; all in preparation for that new baby to come home.
I’m sure you can picture yourself in this scenario, whether you are in this time-frame of life currently or not. I remember longing for those moments, when all I felt was God saying “Wait, wait, wait.” It was such a long wait period and so agonizing at times, until that day when Mazy Grace was born. Then all of those dreams came true.
I had all good intentions of having her sleep in her crib as a newborn. Start ’em off right, right? Easy as…wait, not that easy. Mazy was still taking naps in her bouncy seat when she was close to 6 months old. Yeah, the whole crib thing flew out the door just as quickly as it came in. Wanting everything to go just so, I read books to help me along in those first few months of oblivion, only to frustrate me and make me feel like I was doing something wrong. Was I?
Oh did I have a whole lotta learn, folks! If there is one thing I could encourage any mother to do, that is to stop looking around and just look at what’s in your arms. At the beginning of motherhood, I was searching for answers as to why certain things were happening, only to find out that every kid is just so different. Why don’t they say that in “the books?” I mean there is a book written on every issue a parent could face, but I haven’t found one that I’ve read that says “your kid is your kid…raise YOUR kid.”
Ha! Then I realized, there is one. It’s called the Bible!
All I have to do is read Psalm 139 and realize that every kid is different. How you raise your child(ren) is going to be far different than how I raise mine. Why? Because God uniquely created me and He uniquely created you, for different circumstances in life. For different Kingdom-advancing purposes.
It wasn’t until I took that concept to heart, that I finally let go of all of the “should be’s” in parenting. You know, those “My kid should be…” Where does that leave room for the uniqueness of our children if we are constantly thinking they “should be” doing this or doing that?
Here I go with my “don’t get me wrong…” which I often say…but don’t get me wrong. I still find myself thinking WAY too often “Oh, Mazy should be…”
I thought that OFTEN when she wasn’t sleeping through the night. It was just a few months ago that Mazy started sleeping through the night on a consistent basis. She was almost 3. I often wondered early on if Mazy would be okay since she wasn’t eating her vegetables. Welp! She still doesn’t and you know what? She’s JUST fine. Now I sit here and wonder if she will ever poop on the toilet. She’s got the potty thing down and even sleeps in underwear at night and stays dry, but when it comes to the #2? I’m learnING, she will be just fine and she’ll get it. It’s maybe a bit backwards in doing things, where most kids have a harder time staying dry at night and are fine pooping, but hey, since when has Mazy done things the “normal” way? What child does everything the “normal” way?
What it comes down to is that I have the daily GIFT of raising MY child and what a gift Mazy has been. She has been a testament of grace for me. Seeing her, reminds me that I often have it all wrong; yet she continues to put up with my skewed ideas and mindsets. I am in awe of how God has used her to teach me some incredible values and lessons in life. Lessons I know I wouldn’t learn any other way.
So let’s pick up those kids, whether they are yours or not, and accept that God has created them uniquely and that there is no cookie-cutter kid. Whew…I could not be more thankful for that truth because I’m sure fitting into a cookie-cutter world would be pretty boring if you ask me!