My heart is feeling so big right now that I can hardly contain all the joy and happiness in my body. In fact, it is so big that I cannot even just pour the contents of it in my prayer journal. (I keep a prayer journal where I right my heart out to God.) I feel like this has to be shared as a testimony of God’s love to His people and as an encouragement to others out there.
Being a full time mother is truly a gift from God. I praise God for allowing me to be a stay-at-home mom. I love every bit of it. Yes, there’s some challenges but they’re nothing compared to the love and joy I get each day just being with my little girl and making sure that she is well-taken cared of and is reared in the fear and honor of the Lord.
Since she understood the concept of “No” we’ve been making sure that whenever we say it or use it that we mean it. There were a few instances where we’d let things slide or negotiate but usually we stand firm on it especially if it’s something that we know will have a direct consequence later on.
Today was a special day for our ministry. My husband tried Facebook Live for the first time and certain important matters needed to be dealt with and prepared. I even had to help him with a few things. Unfortunately, due to the busyness of the day, he was not able to eat lunch and supper. Bethany and I ate at the appointed times. I had to do the bedtime routine with her and by the time Daddy was ready to join us it was already family worship time and then Bethany’s bed time. As we were finishing our family time, Ben mentioned that he was going to make himself some popcorn because his stomach was hurting from hunger. As soon as Bethany heard the word “P-O-P-C-O-R-N”, she jumped right up and repeated the word in her own cute little version. Bethany loves popcorn just like her daddy! She’d clap and squeal in glee as soon as Ben plugs the popcorn maker onto the socket. She’d sit on her chair and watch in amazement as each corn pops and jumps onto the huge silver mixing bowl. Then she’d eat and eat to her happiness while I pray earnestly that she doesn’t choke on it. You see, I’ve had several bouts of popcorn being stuck in my throat. It’s not a pleasant experience and I cannot imagine it happening to our little daughter. So, lovingly I would remove the hard part of that corn and give her only the pure white soft part. Sometimes there’s not much left and she does not enjoy it. Therefore, we resorted to just giving her the real deal and carefully watch her along the way.
HOWEVER, tonight was a different night. We had already eaten and it was her bedtime. Different rules apply. When my husband left the bedroom, Bethany followed him in excitement. She clapped her hands as Ben got ready. She was so happy! BUT, I was left inside the bedroom praying and thinking of what to do in this situation. “It was her bedtime. She already ate.” Those sentences keep ringing in my ears. I sought God for help. Ben wasn’t done with the “cooking” process but Bethany started rubbing her eyes while she sat on her chair. Ben asked her if she was sleepy and she said she was. So, Ben gently unbuckled her off her seat and took her to me. She came and snuggled a bit with me and off she went back to the kitchen. Same process happened. She got back on her chair but rubbed her eyes again. She looked tired. It was almost 12 hours since she woke up this morning. I kept praying and something special happened. I found myself getting up from the bed and walking to where my two precious loves were! I felt like God helped me up. I had a renewed strength! I went to Bethany and gently unbuckled her and told her lovingly, “I am doing this because I love you.” And just like that, we were both in bed snuggling together. I promised her we will eat popcorn tomorrow since tomorrow night is going to be a special night–Sabbath will begin. I told her we will have popcorn and blueberry smoothie with yogurt and juice. She was happy. I was delighted when she didn’t make a fuss or anything. She understood the situation. Mama, will give her popcorn tomorrow just as I promised her the other day that I will give her yogurt “tomorrow” since it was already bedtime when we got home from grocery shopping. She listened. She obeyed.
OBEDIENCE is such a strong word. It just makes me think how important it is for children to learn to obey at such an early age.
BUT THE STORY DOESN’T END THERE.
Since, she already nursed after worship time and when she came back after being with Daddy in the kitchen (the first trip back), I couldn’t nurse her again. (Yes, she likes to nurse before sleeping.) What was I to do then? I told her, “No, I can’t nurse you anymore because mama doesn’t have anymore milk for you now. You already nursed. But I can rub your tummy or your back or pat your bum-bum.” She agreed. No questions asked. No fussing. She listened. She obeyed. I was very overjoyed. Since she displayed such positive behavior and respected me I decided to do all three to which she thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂 Then she just came really close to me and snuggled with me for a bit and then found her favorite position and went to bed. I fell asleep with her on her bed but I praise God for answering my petition to wake me up when Bethany sleeps.
Lessons learned from this experience:
- It is important to build trust with our children. When I promised Bethany the other day that I will give her yogurt the next day during meal time I followed through. She trusted me. As soon as her personal worship was done, she ushered me to the refrigerator and said, “Yogurt”. I happily took it out of the fridge and told her I will add some blueberries, strawberries, and bananas to it. She agreed. She was happy. Mama followed through.
- Mean what you say. Bethany maybe only 21 months old but she understands majority of the things that we say. Therefore, as adults we need to exactly say what we want to say and mean it. No playing games even with children.
- Teach respect and obedience. These two go hand in hand. I believe that these should be taught early on in life so we can be able to raise a God-fearing child that will be a blessing not only in the home but also in the society at large. We must teach these and give them opportunities to learn them. Yes, it takes time but we must do it because we are the parents. It’s our responsibility.
As parents we have to be very careful with each decision we make. We have to consider wisely what we’re saying “no” to and we have to make sure that we do it out of love. Here I said “No” to her eating again because it was already late and she has already eaten, brushed her teeth, and is ready for bed. We love her enough that’s why we are teaching her the principle of letting our digestive system rest and respecting bed times. (We’ve had serious bouts of consequences for not standing firm on these. We’re learning….) I also said “No” to nursing again because out of love I wanted her to just be able to go to bed without having to nurse again. She nursed already and besides there are other good and soothing things out there that can help her sleep.
God loves us so much that He doesn’t say “Yes” to everything either. He answers our requests based on His will for our own good. It’s just amazing to think how He reacts when we do things because He sees everything.
For the ways of man [are] before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.Proverbs 5:21 KJV
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing willhe withhold from them that walk uprightly.Psalm 84:11
Anyway, I better end this post. I didn’t mean to write this long. 😀 Time to commune with my Father!
P.S. What are some things that God helped you be victorious with in your life? Or perhaps in the rearing of your child/children? Share your stories/testimonies with us. Would love to hear it!