And I so often take it for granted. I just move about, day to day, wiping Miss E's face after meals, giving her baths, changing her diapers, reading her stories, showering her with kisses and compliments, disciplining her, singing her silly songs, dancing with her in the kitchen, picking up the food she drops off her highchair, picking her up off the floor when she throws a fit, giving her $1 a pouch organic fruit snacks to keep her quiet in church, snapping photos, giggling, sighing, buying diapers and food and sippy cups, washing her clothes, scheduling playdates. The list goes on, and on, and on.
And I forget to stop and meditate on the the daunting task of raising this baby girl into an independent, responsible, loving, generous, thoughtful, intelligent, cultured adult. One who loves her God, loves her family, respects her peers and her earth.
I believe it's the little choices, now that I do stop and think about it, that add up to a big impact. It's shutting off the television, it's putting something "important" aside to follow through on discipline, it's laughing, it's abandoning plans and being flexible, it's modeling good behavior, it's taking more time, it's being efficient. It's so much.
And as a mommy, I have to be in tune with medical news, psychology, developmental milestones, and so much more.
When asking friends where to get the best parenting advice, one friend, who is raising 21 (!!!)children (yes, you got that right), said simply: The Bible.
Bookstores and libraries are FULL of parenting books. Friends, family members, and complete strangers are quick to offer up the "perfect" advice. But the truth is, if I don't start at the heart of the matter---a relationship and obedience to God---how is any other parenting tidbit going to help?
Being a parent is overwhelming, yet at the same time, it's easy to forget the POINT of being a parent and the goals we should have for our children and mostly, how we reach those goals.
We make it too complex sometimes. Yeah, we have to be smart, on-top-of-things, mindful, graceful, and humble. But above all, I think we have to be RIGHT with God ourselves before we can expect anything else in our lives to work out for the best.