When I first became a mother, we were young newly weds… only married a year. Though I loved Kelsey, I didn’t think consciously about delighting in her. I thought about making fun, happy memories with her and being a joy-filled mother. But I didn’t purpose to look for opportunities to focus on her and just simply delight in her. Of course I slowed down to help her put on her dress up clothes, but often times it I was grumbling in my heart because I had to stop doing something else. Then she would start dancing to worship music, I would be lured in and begin to delight in her. She had this ability to mesmerize me.
After having two, three, and four children, I was so busy maintaining my home and relationships within my home, helping my husband with business, I was exhausted and found it harder to go out and purposefully make those memories. I was simply too tired to go to the zoo on my own with the kids. After having our fourth baby, I was feeling overwhelmed and “done.” Drew had colic and I was exhausted. After seven months of sleepless nights and nursing during the day, on top of having had four children in six years, I was physically drained. Though I was feeling done having children, my husband was not at peace with that decision. So I prayed about it and tried to be open to the idea of more children. But honestly, I was trying on the outside and saying all the right things, but my heart was insincere.
One day at church someone from children’s ministries asked me to sub in Sunday school, hesitantly I committed, out of guilt. Though I was good at it and gave the perception I like children, in my heart, I had a hard time truly loving and delighting in children. This was a hard realization for me. I recognized that afternoon that I didn’t love children. I loved my own children, but I didn’t get excited about the thought of spending an hour with 20 five-year olds or nine-year olds. When I got home that Sunday my husband asked how it went, and I confessed to him my heart wasn’t in it. I was so drained and tired from pouring myself out to my family all week, I didn’t have anything left to give other children. So he asked me to pray about whether to continue. As I was praying for God’s will to be made known, I realized that my problem wasn’t the Sunday school class commitment. It was my heart. So that night, six years ago, I asked God to change my heart, to help me to love children.
Well, It didn’t change overnight, and I didn’t continue serving in the Sunday School class. However, I did continue to seek God and ask Him to help me love children. In the matter of a few months my heart began to change towards having another child. Just in time to find out the Lord had blessed my womb. This time, through out this pregnancy, I was overjoyed, even when I was put on bedrest from throwing my back out with morning sickness. Something had truly changed in my heart and I began to love babies. I found myself cooing them in the grocery store and letting things go around the house just so I could cuddle and read to my kids. I began really delighting in them. The Lord did a work in my heart and I really loved just simply being with them.
So I was not always this mother who was passionate about Leaving a Legacy that was relationship based. It wasn’t until I really truly began delighting in my children and cherishing them for their uniqueness. Now as a mother of six I look back and think how funny it is that it took having five babies to get me to get it. To really understand what it meant to delight in them. Some people are slow learners, but wow, right! Six years!
Now having an almost twelve-year-old and an almost two-year old our house is so full of laughter and delight, funny saying, silly noises, cuddles, bonks, sniffles, dance parties, arguments to be reconciled, booboos to be kissed, conversations to be had late at night (with the older ones), life is full, but I have no regrets and wouldn’t change a thing.
I am so thankful for the refinement process that God has done in my heart, making me less selfish, and showing me my sin everyday. Parenthood does that, it is sanctifying! When I am not delighting in my children, or even ignoring them, I think. Wow I need Jesus!