Fast asleep in the hospital bed, I awoke to a high pitched noise coming down the hallway nearing closer to my room. The door gently swung open as the nurse pushed my newborn son’s squeaky bassinet cart beside me. “Mrs. Schafer,” she said, “Your son is bathed and he’s ready to eat now.” She picked up Austin, placed him in my arms, and hurried out the door.
It was almost 3:00 am and all was quiet. It was the first time I had held my son at length since he was born a few hours before. I looked down and his dark brown eyes met mine. He was so calm and peaceful. Although he could not speak a word, his deep gaze said everything I needed to know. “This little guy is completely dependent upon me. He is helpless,” I instantly felt the weight of being his mom.
I began devouring books on parenting, children’s nutrition, and how to lead my kids spiritually. My prevailing thought was, “I’ve got to get this right.” Coming from a very dysfunctional home, there were things I didn’t want to repeat in my own family. After the arrival of my two daughters, the silent undercurrent of not wanting to make a mistake was multiplied times three.
Looking back now, I realize I placed a lot of pressure on myself to hold things together for my kids. I had many moments where I felt very inadequate. Today, my young adult children have graduated from college. They are thriving and they love the Lord. Somehow, God filled in all the blanks where I was lacking. He was incredibly merciful. I didn’t get it right every time and it’s my hope that you can learn from my mistakes.
- The success of your children doesn’t ride solely upon your shoulders. God is a big God. He can bring about relationships, connections, and experiences that can build things in your children he never expected you to construct.
- You’ll never reach a place where you’re parenting perfectly. If that’s your goal, you’ll always fall short. Get ready for a one-way ticket to Shameville.
- Lean into God’s grace. Matthew 11:29-30 MSG says, “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Pray the prayers God instructs you to pray for your kids. Do what the Holy Spirit gently guides you to do.
Take it one . . . day . . . at . . . a . . . time.
God’s got this.