I have no idea what or who my seventeen-month-old daughter will dress up as for our upcoming Halloween events. These days, it’s a big responsibility to make sure that your family costumes are aligned with your values and that the character or theme you are portraying is moral and upstanding. Will we show up as the princess of the year or the cute cartoon character? What if, down the road, the princess is no longer thought of as a good role model for young girls? Or if the cartoon character teaches (whether purposefully or not) a lesson with which I disagree?
“Don’t you see how hard I’m working?”
“I feel like my work goes unappreciated.”
“It seems like no matter what I do, it’s never enough. There’s always one more thing.”
Before having kids, my husband and I believed that family dinners would come naturally. Neither of our parents seemed to have much trouble making this happen, so we thought we wouldn’t either. Veteran parents might laugh at us for being so naive, but it hadn’t been difficult for us to eat dinner together before. Boy, did our baby girl change things.
Having my daughter last spring has definitely changed my walk with Christ. Busy days come with sleepless nights and quiet moments are often broken with cute coos and not-as-cute cries (though I do think her cries can be cute). It extends to my experiences at church. No longer is the Sunday sermon a time where I get to sit and soak up the nuances and meanings in God’s Word. Now it’s a time of wrangling, toy-picking-up, and diaper changes. I expected and longed for these days.
As a new mother, I’ve been struggling to figure out a spiritual routine for my daughter and our family. We say prayers at bedtime and read some books that are Christ-focused, but sometimes I feel lost when I think about teaching her about Jesus as she continues to grow.
This school year, my family is transitioning to having a child in school all day. My oldest starts kindergarten and is anxiously waiting to find out what being at school “all day” is all about. We recently visited with his kindergarten, teacher and his big concerns were finding out how to know what was being served in the cafeteria for lunch each day and if they would be doing painting and art projects in kindergarten.
My son called to me in a stressed and urgent tone, “Mom! I need a big eraser!”
Prayer is a unique opportunity that we are given to talk directly with God. How cool! The Creator of the universe, the one that spoke the stars into the sky and fish into the sea, wants to hear your words. Your God, the one who with a single word caused the sun to stand still, a storm to cease, and the sea to separate, wants to listen to your words.
You open your phone and scroll past another devastating news story. A friend posts about the death of someone they loved. You open your email to be met with a long list of messages that need your response. You glance at the texts sitting unanswered on your phone and decide that those will need to wait a little longer.
“You have to be in charge, FOREVER!” This was my five-year-old’s response after I had been teasing him that I was going to take a break from being in charge.