When I first turned my life over to God and accepted Jesus into my life I thought was faced with a hefty learning curve. I had grown up attending church, I had taken courses on Christianity and had read loads of articles. As an adult I’d attended church sporadically but ultimately I’d never truly lived my life for God. I felt like I had a mountain of change to make before I could actually be a good Christian role model for our daughters.
Soon after making the decision to living as a Christian and praying about it I was feeling overwhelmed. What does a Christian life look like? Will I be good enough? How do I make sure my children are raised in a Christian home….Google had so many answers for this, so many articles float around the internet on this topic, I was quickly confused.
Being the researcher I am I didn’t stop with Google, I continued on to ask all of my Christian friends these questions. Thank you to all of you for your patience! I cannot imagine how it felt having me walk up to you on the children’s playground and ask you “How do I teach my girls about God the right way?”
It may seem silly to some of you but I was like a dog chasing its tail. I was very concerned about being a good Christian mother for our girls. I wanted to be someone who shares Jesus with them in a way that they naturally understand his Love for us.
After asking practically every Christian woman I knew, I moved onto researching private Christian schools. We happen to have a fantastic Christian school near us but frankly the tuition is out of our budget. Realizing this I prayed, I asked God to provide a way for our girls to attend because of COURSE it’s the place where they’ll learn what a Christian life would look like.
Alas, my prayers were answered but not with the outcome I’d wanted…..our girls wouldn’t be attending anytime in the near future.
This all happened over the course of about 6 months, in the meantime we had continued with our daily routine of talking openly about Jesus through the day at home, saying grace at meal time, praying for others at bedtime and attending church.
So life was carrying on but this nagged at me, looking back I can see the dog/tail behavior I was perpetuating and it makes me a smidge embarrassed.
From the moment I’d made the decision to turn my will and my life over to God I had begun praying, seeking God’s guidance in my life with my decisions and choices. I’d made conscious efforts to change my patterns, to accept that I cannot control life and trust that he could and would if I sought a relationship with God.
But somehow I missed this one.
Somehow in all this motherly worry I’d forgotten to turn to God for help. Finally I was exhausted by it all, I had no idea what to do and finally prayed and asked God in a very petulant way what I was supposed to do, demanding he throw me a bone already!
The next evening we were at the dinner table and Chelsea (6) was telling a story how her good friend had told her she wasn’t inviting Chelsea to her birthday party the following week even though many others in their class were going. Immediately my heart dropped, expecting her to be devastated I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the emotional fall-out.
Sydney gasped and said “Well she can’t come to your party then!”
Chelsea replied, “Well I think I’ll invite her, Jesus wasn’t mean to the people just because they were mean to him, right Mama?”
I swear I could hear the sound of thunderous applause in my head, my inner psyche was chanting “Chelsea, Chelsea” as I calmly smiled and said “Yup, that’s exactly right Chelsea. There’s no point having hurt feelings over this.”
The conversation didn’t end there, next Sydney related it to an event I hadn’t been invited to recently that she’d happened to notice. We sat as a family connecting the dots in our lives to those we’d learned about in scripture. It was a lively discussion and often strayed far off-track but in the end we had a great time learning as a group.
That night as I prayed, I laughed at myself and gave God the props he was due.
Once again God’s sense of humor had smacked me across the face and I’d learned a lesson I thought I was beyond.
As long as I’m seeking an active relationship with the Lord and openly sharing that with our children…..well it turns out that we had been living the Christian life I’d been researching all along.
It’s not a simple, sudden change when you change your life dramatically but a journey of learning and relationship. As long as I remember to turn to God first, I can learn faster and enjoy the outcome which bleeds down to our children.
I know I’ll mess this up again, if the past is any indication I’m a slow-learner but thankfully God has that sense of humor and is happy to redirect me when I ask.
How about yourself, do you question your faith as a parent?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Multi-Testing Mommy says
What a wonderful post – thank you for letting us into your life as a Mom figuring out how to share faith with her family! I think you are doing a fabulous job.
Ninja Mommers says
Amazing post lady! I love reading your thoughts. You are always so open.
I appreciate that, I often worry about being too open and scaring folks away
Lisa Marie says
Wow – powerful. It’s amazing how God works even when we don’t think “we” are doing it right. :) <3 Nice work mama. Way to shine as an example for your littles.
it’s funny isn’t it how we miss his signals Lisa?
Thanks for posting this – you’ve given me a few things to think about :)
I’m glad you’ve found food for thought
Brandy @InsaneMamacita says
Simply amazing and beautiful Julie! Thank you so much for sharing.
I too grew up in the church but sadly have not attend much as an adult. Both of my children are baptized (in the Catholic church) and I would love for them to learn more about God and Jesus but I don’t know how to find the words. I am not too familiar with the Bible (certain stories have stuck with me through the years) and would love to learn more about it. However, my husband has no desire to attend church. So, I am unsure as to how to proceed.
Ahhh well Brandy sounds like a tough spot to be in. Why not head to church without hubby? Make it an event with the kids to investigate
Fantastic Post! Loved every word of it. And good for you for giving God recognition. I like to do that too. When I’m healthy and happy, I always thank God. I just don’t reach out to him when I falling apart.
And yeah, Chelsea floored me too with that answer.
Way to go with your teachings, Mama!
Your Friend, m.
Ahh Mark why are we so bloody thick? I know logically during the good times that I’m supposed to turn to him in the bad….but almost every time I get stuck in my worries…ughhh
I love this post Julie. I cannot tell you how many times I struggle with situations and then think: “duh! Why didn’t I just turn to my Higher Power.” And of course, my plans don’t always turn out the way I wan’t them. Looking back, I am so grateful they didn’t – my plans were so small compared to what HP had in store for me. Thanks again, for this post. I will share it on our Christian RLT facebook page.
Thank you for sharing it Veronica, I’m always amazed when I finally see over the hill to the view God’s had all along….when will I learn
amen sista! live real and that speaks louder than anything else. it’s actually good for them to see us be vulnerable and real, it shows them that if they make a mistake GRACE is there and LOVE covers all. <3
Veronica H. says
GREAT POST! I just found you through the SITS girls, and I’m glad I did. You’re spot-on in every word that you wrote. And yes, God has a wonderful sense of humor and it (thankfully!) patient and merciful.
Bonnie Way says
Hmmm, yeah… I grew up in a Christian home too and often feel like I’m not doing enough as a parent. It’s a struggle for me as a mom to find time to deepen my own relationship with God, so beyond bedtime prayers and saying grace before meals (which I often forget!), I wonder how I’m living my faith for my daughters. Somehow, they pick up on it anyway, as you say. It’s in the small, everyday things that we do, I think. :) And maybe children have a better sense of God than we do… Thanks for sharing!
I totally identified with this post. So often I research something to death – online, talking to friend, whatever. I just can’t seem to find the answer and life is getting so hard. Then I remember to ask God. I don’t know why I keep forgetting. When my life is the heaviest it’s because I quit letting Him help me carry it.
Thank you for sharing your faith. It can be difficult, but it’s so important.