Thought you would enjoy this baby shower devotional that my mom gave today in her church for the pastor's daughter...
On January 11, 54 years ago, my life changed forever as I held my firstborn in my arms. That day I fell head over heels in love with a red faced, squally, wiggly little baby – my son Paul whom I adore to this day.
I was all of 19 years old, married just a year and on that day, the happiest person alive!
Less than 2 years later I was again in the delivery room and heard the doctor say, “It is a girl!” That was so exciting as I grew up with 3 brothers and always wanted a sister. Then a couple of minutes later another announcement, “there’s another baby in there!” At that time I went into shock as a second baby girl was delivered (there were no sonograms 50 years ago). So at 21 I was the mother of 3. Betty Ann joined the family 3 years later and just when I sent her off to school, Phil arrived bringing the total to 5.
With motherhood comes a joy that cannot be described as you hold that precious little one in your arms for the first time. As I examined Paul’s fingers and toes, marveling at this miracle I held, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that only God could create such an awesome little creature.
But with motherhood also comes a tremendous responsibility – that of nurturing and raising this little one.
As I looked back over my 50 plus years of motherhood, being there while my children raised my 10 grandchildren, and now experiencing again the miracle of birth as my third great-grandson is due any day – I wondered what gems of wisdom I could share with you, Tiffini, as you and David embark on one of life’s most exciting journeys – parenthood!
First of all – realize that this precious baby is a gift from God. From conception through morning sickness, the first little flutter, the strong kicks that wake you up in the night, to eagerly looking forward to those contractions that let you know your suitcase better be packed and ready – God is at work. King David described it so beautifully in Psalm 139 when he wrote, “You formed my inward parts, you did weave me in my mother’s womb, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance and in your book they were all written - - the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
And then give your baby back to Him. As a pastor, one of my hubbie’s greatest delights was to officiate at a baby dedication as new parents would promise to raise their children, to the best of their ability, to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer is so important. Pray for wisdom for yourself and David. Pray for your baby.. Over the years your prayers will change as your child grows. Some that I have prayed are -
"Please, Lord, just let me get a good night’s sleep."
"Help me see if he really pushed a piece of red crayon up his nose and if so, help me get it out!"
"Don’t let him love his kindergarten teacher more than me."
"Protect him from these crazy neighborhood kids."
"He’s too young to be interested in girls!"
"Help us all to survive his learning to drive.
"Thank you that we finally made it to graduation. I’m so proud of him."
"Keep him faithful to you as he goes into the Air Force."
And all to soon – "Bless this young couple as they begin their life together."
Don’t try to do it all alone – How thankful I am for my parents, teachers, youth leaders, camp counselor, pastors – and so many more that were instrumental in my children’s lives.
I remember a dear lady in our Bell Brethren Church who was the mother of 4 grown children, all serving our Lord, who would call me every day at 11 a.m. and pray with me over the phone for my house full of pre-schoolers and for me. Sometimes she just listened as I poured out my heart, encouraging me in my walk with the Lord. What a blessing.
Enjoy your baby. Enjoy each new phase of his life. (Of course, there are those middle school years when you want to put junior in a trash can with a rock on the lid and not let him out for awhile!) I am sure each one of us here will testify to the fact that our children grew up way too fast. Where did the time go? So savor each moment as it comes.
Be consistent. It is so important you and David be on the same page in expectations, discipline, and such because -
Kids are smart. They know mom is pretty firm but they can get most anything they want out of softy dad (or vice versa) and use it to advantage! They know if you actually mean something or not. How many times have your heard a parent say – “if you don’t stop that I’ll - - - -“ and then not follow through. If you tell him you’ll send him to school in his underwear if he isn’t dressed on time – do it! (My mother actually did this to my older brother. Of course, she didn’t let him get past the front yard but he got the message.)
Sometimes it is so hard to discipline. When my children were little we would get eggs fresh from the hens via our egg lady who would deliver two dozen each week. One morning I left them on the kitchen table and came back into the room to see my 2-year-old twins dropping the eggs one by one onto the floor and watching them break open. They would drop one, squeal with delight, jump up and down, drop another – until they saw me. They knew they were in trouble and tried running away – through the slippery, slimy broken eggs. Of course they fell into the mess and it was so funny it was almost impossible not to laugh as I picked each one up, dripping scrambled eggs all the way into the bathtub, to get cleaned up. I can’t remember what the punishment was but that incident was never repeated, much to our cat’s disappointment as she was more then happy to lick up the mess.
Play with him, laugh with him, celebrate each new accomplishment, be firm when necessary but be sure to give more praises then scoldings, love unconditionally, teach him to pray.
Someone has said that the best gift you can give your child is to love your spouse and in this day when more then half of our children are growing up in divorced or single parent homes, I would emphasize that importance. But even more than that, I can’t even imagine trying to raise a child without the help of our Heavenly Father.
Children do bring great joy, but can bring heartache as well, whether it be an illness, their being on “outs” with a best friend or grieving over the loss of a pet, making poor choices, or walking a different path than we would choose for them.
It is during these hard times that we grow in our faith as we give our children into His care as He loves them more than we ever could and He knows far better than we what is best for them – and well as for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 put it this way –
For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Tiffini – your little one is blessed indeed to not only have two parents that love and serve the Lord, but grandparents as well – and a whole church full of people who love you and will be praying for you.