Faith, Parenting

The letter I wish I had read as a new mom

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Dear beautiful,

Congratulations! You have joined the prestigious, bleary eyed, milk stained, caffeine fuelled club that is motherhood.

Firstly I want to tell you to enjoy these precious few moments as a brand new family.

Ignore the phone, wave off visitors and bed down with your baby. Cherish each gurgle, each smile, each milestone. Hold your baby. Yes, I mean ignore the do-gooders who advise you not to carry them too much in case you spoil them, there is such a thing as the fourth trimester and baby-wearing has proven benefits for both mother and baby in these first few weeks. You don’t see 14 year olds being carried by their moms. This phase will pass as your child grows too big for you to carry so jolly well make the most of it now.

Your role as a mother will not define who you are.

This is an important statement for you to hold on to when you are knee deep in nappies and can’t remember the last time you looked in a mirror, much less brushed your hair. You are more than a cook and bottle washer, more than a cleaner and laundry attendant. You are an independent woman who is strong, confident, accomplished and gifted, no matter how you may doubt and question yourself. Can I really do this? Can I ever be good enough? Am I qualified? The answer to all these questions in God is yes. If He has called you to it He will bring you through it.

Rather than breaking new ground in ministry, just getting dressed and brushing your teeth is your greatest mission right now and that is OK. Your girlfriends are your world and social media helps you stay connected to fellow moms who are going through the same stages as you. These wonderful women that you have so much in common with will be the lifeline you need to sustain you through sleepless nights and tantrum-filled days so invest in your relationships even if only through midnight whatsapp messages and mid feed tweets.

Make your motions effect your emotions.

There will be days when you want to flop in a heap and sob uncontrollably after six days straight of sleep deprivation, and this is ok, but remember this too shall pass. Allow the hormonal (and non hormonal) emotions to wash over you but don’t wade in the waters of self pity. Ride that tidal wave like a boss and get yourself to the shore asap with positive attitudes and a lot of prayer. Also don’t take things to heart when your worries or opinions are not received the way you would like. You have a tendency to wear your heart on your sleeve a little too much so why not protect it and keep some things just between you and God. He knows your heart, He knows your desire to be loved, accepted and to belong which is why He sought you out to become a daughter of the King, part of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is also the reason He gave you a great marriage, a husband who knows you intimately and loves every part of you. A strong man who will uphold you and strengthen you in every area, a man who has got your back. Open your heart to him and to God first.

In the years to come you will face trials and tribulations but you will never be alone. God is with you, He is for you and He has gone ahead of you. You will overcome redundancies, health scares and depression. You will rise above doubts and dilemmas, bad decisions and bad behaviour. You will learn the difference between being a friend and being faithful and your personal faith will reach levels you never dreamed of.

Take courage and stand tall, the future is bright, you just need to believe it and grab it with both hands.

R

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Faith

Don’t be deceived

This was my run buddy on the canal this morning. A familiar site on my route that got me thinking as God whispered into my heart today.Heron

The heron stands so still that you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a statue, so majestic you would think it was a peaceful non threatening bird, however when the time is right he strikes. That magnificent beak becomes a terrifying sword piercing the unsuspecting fish below, his slim smooth body unfurls to reveal a vast wingspan that can outrun and overwhelm its prey.

The devil can be heron like in our lives. He stands very still watching and waiting while we rush by getting on with every day life. If we aren’t vigilant the devil will sneak in and stand on the sidelines of our life, ready to pounce when we least expect it or when we are at our weakest. Perfectly camouflaged, he will tempt us away from the narrow path of following Jesus with sin and deceive us with distractions. You may think you are ‘doing good things’, busy doing every day life however your busyness is taking your focus off the one who made you, and if there is one thing that the devil delights in it is distracting Christians’ attention away from Christ.

How do we keep from becoming his next target? Keep our eyes open and get into a connect group, home group or life group where others can watch your back. The Bible states:

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬ NLT)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

We will all trip up, wander off the path slightly during our walk with God, which is why God designed humans to be in relationship with one another. Jesus said we as the church are the body of Christ, all with different roles that must operate in unity to function properly, and if this is the case then we need to be concerned if the hands or feet or mouth start heading in the wrong direction.

Watch out for your friends and examine your own walk with God. Don’t let sin slip in unnoticed in your life, what may seem harmless can become an obsession or an addiction that draws you away from Jesus, not closer to him. Don’t allow the devil to distract you with worldly attitudes or attributes that take your focus away from Jesus. Get connected with a group of like minded believers who will have your back and help keep you on the straight and narrow.

R

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