I had one of my favorite bedtime conversations to date with this gal this week.
Hattie: “Mommy, I’m scared of the dark.”
Me: “You don’t need to be scared, Sweetie. God says he has his angels all around us to protect us.”
Hattie: “But why can’t I see them?”
Me: “I don’t know. That’s the way God decided that it would be.” (I could use help with answering this question better in the future. Anyone?)
Hattie: “Is Jesus an angel?”
Me: “No, the Bible says that Jesus is even higher and greater than the angels.”
She pauses and ponders her next thought for a moment.
Hattie: “If you put your finger in your nose, it turns like a key.”
Me (laughing): “Yes, it does.”
I love her trains of thought…I only wish mine came to such enjoyable conclusions.
Instead, they go something more like this:
WHY ARE MY CHILDREN SO CRANKY?
Could it be because they’ve all been sick up until about two days ago and then went to three different Halloween parties yesterday and have eaten six pounds of candy each and went to bed an hour and half late last night and holidays make them think the world revolves around them?
No. That couldn’t be it.
It must be because I’m a terrible mother.
I haven’t disciplined them consistently enough lately. Or maybe I’ve disciplined them too much. Maybe they don’t realize how loved they are. I should take them on a Mommy Date. No, I should spank them. That’s what they need—a good sound spanking. And a toy. And a chore chart. And I should do more stuff off Pinterest. Those moms on Pinterest never have cranky kids. Look at their sweet babies playing quietly at their sensory tables and never throwing all that sand on the floor. I hate those mothers.
When is naptime?
Where is Christian?
(What kind of mother doesn’t know where her two-year-old is?)
But, seriously, where is he?
I need a nap.
I stink at this.
Mothering is too hard for me.
Three children are too hard for me.
(Oh! The baby kicked!)
Wait. I’m about to have four.
I’m about to be a mom to four small children. Four small, CRANKY children.
WHAT. HAVE. I. DONE?
We took a parenting class taught by our wonderful pastor just after Christian was born. In the Hall House, the debate was on about whether or not to stop there.
Three was proving awfully daunting. Any more might just be crazy (or drive me crazy, one or the other.)
But a light bulb went on for Josh and I in that class. The pastor quoted Psalm 127:3, a verse I have mentioned here a half a dozen times.
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.”
He said that the word “reward” here is translated from the same word also used to mean “wage” or “paycheck.” In other words, this verse could say something like, “Children are a paycheck from God,” and not be far off.
And as our not-in-any-way greedy pastor pointed out, “Who doesn’t want more paychecks?”
So for Josh and I (who very much like paychecks), “Why wouldn’t we want more kids?” became the obvious question.
Because if we believe God and if we trust that he’s serious when he makes a promise in his Word, then this, friends, is darn good promise to cash in on.
‘Cause we all want more paychecks, don’t we?
No, it won’t be easy, but no job is. No job is always fun. No job makes us feel like a million bucks everyday. There are none that are perfect or without their setbacks.
But if the paycheck is good enough, most jobs are worth it.
This one certainly is.
That class was 2 years ago now.
Since then, when it became obvious that more kids were in God’s plan for us, we’ve gone through some difficult times.
We’ve seen some ugly fits. Cleaned up a lot of bodily fluids. Prayed our way through some surgeries. Failed our way through many moments. Lost one darling to miscarriage and realized some major inadequacies in ourselves and our abilities.
Parenting will do that to you.
There are days (or weeks) when our thoughts will scream, “You are not capable! You cannot handle one child. You certainly can’t do two. Why even think about three? Any more is just foolish. You can’t do it.”
And we might as well be honest and agree. We can’t do it.
But God can. And he says he’ll pay us for it.
So take that, you ugly screamy thoughts you. You lie, but God doesn’t.
Whether they be biological, adopted, fostered or mentored, don’t miss your chance to cash in, friends.
Children are worth it.
(By the way, someone remind me I said this in about 5 months, eh?)
You had me literally laughing out loud and then crying! Thank you for the reminder that we can’t do it. Not on our own. Children are a reward!(and cranky, but so am I on more days than I care to admit) Those moments in conversation when you hear them whisper “I love you mommy” the chubby little hand that grabs yours but is so small that their little fingers are barely able to peek around your palm, the laughter heard from the kitchen and the moments you see them sleeping curled up safe in their beds. I know their lives are meant to change me and mold me. We do fail but we also win. Children are worth it! Thank you friend 🙂 xoxo
Haha! I had you in mind through much of this, Ang. I thought, “I’m anyone else in the world can relate, I know it’s Angela!” S thanks for being a such a relate-able friend. I need people like you in my life.
Hannah, this was wonderful reading. I loved the live conversation and felt like it was happening in my house. The pictures were terrific. Blessings to you and your family.
Thank you, Elaine. It’s funny how God can use the silliest things to point out Truth about himself in our lives. If nothing else, learning from my kids (who can derive wonder and interest through nose-picking 🙂 has taught me to see God in the smallest things. And it’s a good thing, too, because much of my life is about the small things. Thanks for reading, as always.
Honest and funny and true! It’s taken me a long time to realize children are a reward from God because my 23-year-old has autism and still only functions at about 18 months. While I don’t necessarily feel the reward part, she sure has stretched my faith and taught me some things I needed to know. Kind of like a paycheck, I guess. But it’s all good because God is good. Blessings on your family!
You’re right, Pam. I’m having to learn that a lot of the rewards from this child-raising business will not come until far, far into the future (even into eternity). This is certainly not an instant gratification-type job. And the job you’re doing…man, I can’t imagine the rewards you will receive. The jewels in your crown will be incredible. I’ll try not to be jealous. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings to you too.
Such a great post! You’ll do great with four…It’s been a wild ride for us, but God has taught us so much!
Thanks, Annie. I may be coming to you for advice. Keep the computer handy. 😉
Hannah – great post!! You are going to be a outstanding mom to 4 children God has already equipped you for this amazing task. He will give you his grace daily. It’s easy for me to see how much children truly is a gift and a reward in the lives of friends and family. I also understand the challenge as well, by working with children everyday. Classroom full of 15 3 year olds can be challenging at times. I am blessed by parents who allow me to have a part in their children’s lives. I can see where parents don’t see the reward until later, as a caregiver you see in each ment that you are with them, you don’t get them for long. The best part of my day is hear a child say Ms. Andrea, “I love you.” Thank you for sharing the conversation with Hattie that was so cute and funny. It made me laugh
Thanks, Andrea. I am certain that not every childcare worker has such a good attitude as yours. (I know I don’t some days.) I bet they’re desperate to keep you around forever!
I meant to say, as a caregiver you see it each moment that you are with them. You don’t get them for long.
Hannah, I agree with God! You can’t have enough paychecks (children). 🙂 Your a wonderful mom! Your children are blessed! You are an amazing blessing to Josh. But I totally understand those negative thoughts that Satan puts in our mind, they are lies, but God CAN’T lie. Again, love your blog!
Thank you, Be-Ann!