I’m excited to begin this little series on parenting, and I’m thrilled that my mother agreed to be the first interview.
A little over thirty years ago, my parents received a phone call that their baby girl arrived two weeks earlier than expected. They left the hospital with me and a receipt for “one baby girl.” My dad still has it tucked safely away (the receipt, that is!). I’ve always known that I’m adopted, and although on occasion I’ve been mildly curious about my birth parents, I’ve never felt like a piece of my childhood or history is missing. I’ve never gone searching because I already know who my parents are.
My deep desire is that my daughter and I have the type of relationship my mom and I have. I enjoy my time with my mom, and I miss her when we haven’t connected in a while. I appreciate so much about her parenting, even as she continues to encourage me in my own parenting.
So without further ado, here’s my mom.
Hi, mom! Let’s jump right in. Tell me the story about how becoming a parent affected your walk with Christ.
When I became your mother, it was very humbling. All I really did to get you was answer a lot (I mean, a lot!) of questions and pass a clean house inspection. At that time in my life, I was very self-sufficient (the strong, Yankee, military wife – I am woman; hear me roar!) and thought I could handle just about anything thrown my way. But I just couldn’t get pregnant. And so God blessed me and humbled me by giving me a child: the very thing I could not do myself or control. I knew that God was in the gift-giving business, so I easily comprehended the gift of His Son (NOT easy to comprehend the sacrifice of His Son). The humbling part was that your father and I were “chosen” to be your parents by both God and your birth mother. I always believed in God, but did not understand the sacrifice He made to bring me into His kingdom. I started seeking the One who “chose” me to be your mother and, as I later learned, “chose” me to be His child.
When you were little, I used to sing to you the song I learned in Girl Scouts so many years ago. You have heard me sing it over the years. In fact, I still sing it, usually on the way to work when I am alone in the car:
God gave the wise men their wisdom, and to the poets their dreams;
To mother and father, their love for each other, but He left me out, so it seems.
I went around broken-hearted, thinking life was an empty affair.
But when God gave me you, it was then that I knew,
He had given me more than my share!
I can say without reservation, the song quoted above refers to my Lord, my precious daughter, my unwavering husband, my devoted son-in-law, and the cutest granddaughter on the face of this earth!!!!
How did you incorporate God and the Bible into our daily lives?
Hmmm . . . You know, I don’t remember making a conscious effort to do that; it just happened very naturally. Since you were such a talker anyway (who me?), we talked about what you learned in Sunday school and church school. We prayed together every night and at meals, so we set that example for you. Awana played a big part in setting off discussions because I wanted you to understand what you were memorizing, and we would work on those lessons together. When a puzzling issue came up, particularly when you were older, we would talk about the biblical perspective. You watched your father and I work on and attend Bible studies. You saw us make church, our fellow church people, and others a priority in our lives. We taught you the real meaning of Christmas and Easter. Oh, I guess I can say that we did not make a conscious effort to incorporate God and the Bible into our daily lives, we just tried to live a Christian life.
What has being a parent taught you about your relationship with God?
Being a Mom has taught me a lot about patience and learning that I do not come first. Being a parent has taught me that you never stop learning how to parent. You just get a handle on one stage, and then you are catapulted into the next – swimming upstream, grabbing for every branch of knowledge that whips by your head or slaps you in the face. God is much better at parenting (oh, the patience! the love! the grace!). Children do silly, stupid and immature things (that sometimes bring disgrace to their parents). So do I.
If I were to say to you, “Parenting is a high calling” What does that mean to you?
I’ll use Dr. Dobson’s words here: the role of a parent is to raise a child to be independently dependent on the Lord. You can raise a child to be a morally responsible adult and maybe even do good things, but that does not automatically mean that child will have a relationship with the Lord. When Jesus said to His disciples “follow Me,” it was more that just go where I go and do what I do. He was saying to them, “I have chosen you (as a rabbi chose his students) and you can be like me.” He taught them and set the ultimate example. As parents and disciples, we do the same. There is no higher calling!
How can we as parents see the daily tasks of raising our children as holy work?
Operative words here – daily tasks! Laundry, poopy diapers, dishes, mud, reading the same book a million times, cooking, shopping, vomiting – did I mention poopy diapers? You get the idea. Like I said in the last question, as parents and disciples we set the ultimate (earthly) example in how we conduct ourselves as we go about the “dailies” of our daily lives. Our children take it all in! Do we make mistakes – you betcha! Can we learn from our mistakes – you betcha! God teaches us with love (there may be a spanking here and there), and we do the same. That’s holy work.
Thanks, Mom. I continue to learn so much from you!
To read the interviews in this series, click here.
For more insight into seeing parenting as a High Calling, please check out the other blogs in our network. Check back next Thursday when I shine the spotlight on my precious husband who is an amazing dad.