When my first child was placed in my arms, it was a euphoric moment. His tiny nose, those teensy hands, the perfect toes put me over the moon. I’d been a nanny and preschool teacher before he was born, read every book in the bookstore, and prayed for a family for so many years, I didn’t think I could possibly be any more prepared. Nursing came easily, my husband was a diapering ninja, and the baby looked darling in his little coming-home outfit.
Which is why I was completely unprepared for the moment when we buckled the carseat in, ready for our trip home, and suddenly anticipation turned into panic as I thought, “Oh my; are they seriously letting us take him home? Don’t they know we have NO IDEA what we’re doing?”
By the time the birth day arrives, most of us mamas are thrilled to finally have a baby in our arms; to count tiny fingers and toes—not to mention the glee at the sight of our very own toes, hallelujah!–and at the same time terrified as that tiny bundle’s weight exponentially grows over the coming days, months and years. There was nothing I wanted more as a young mom than for someone to tell me that I would make it, that I wasn’t making fatal mistakes at every turn, and that I could trust myself as I made decisions for my family.
Gathering every book on parenting to be found within 50 miles was what I did, instead. Thankfully, when the “expert” opinions clashed (don’t you hate it when that happens?) the Lord did gracefully point out some truths to me, the primary one being that since He was a Father, I could learn the most about parenting from paying attention to the way He treated His children. That’s how it came to be that my babies spent most of their days on my lap or being carried around. After all …
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom …” Isaiah 41:11.
What a beautiful picture! The God of the universe, so gentle and loving. That was a picture I could emulate.
When the nights were long and the zillionth feeding in five hours had me searching for a diaper with bleary eyes, my heart was comforted by the rest of the verse; the part we all need to hear over and over and over …
… and (he will) gently lead those that are with young” Isaiah 41:11b.
That’s us! Hurrah!
Desperate is the book I would have loved to have in hand twenty years ago.
In the very first chapter, we’re getting a glimpse into the reality of a new mama, overwhelmed, and another mama who can look back and say, “Come on! This is hard, but you can do it! Don’t quit!”
I’m so grateful for this book; it truly is a treasure trove of reassurance, guidance and truth for new moms and older moms alike. SarahMae’s heart-honest questions and Sally’s Biblical, grace-filled answers make me feel as if I’m listening in on a real conversation … and indeed, we all are! This is the book I’ll be wrapping for baby showers, referring confused moms to, and picking up again and again myself when I need a dose of grace in the difficult days of mothering.
The truth is, He is the perfect example of what we all want to be … the perfect Parent. And while we will never attain that level of perfection (drat!) we can ask for His strength and grace as we follow His lead throughout our days with the precious children He’s given us. He shows us how to be moms; He carries us and tends us and meets our needs. And when we are weary, He will gently lead us. That’s something to rejoice in!
Click here to read Sally’s thoughts on ideals and what happens when they bump into reality, today at I Take Joy!