Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I can't help you baby, but Jesus Can

Motherhood has allowed me many insights into my faith in Christ, and also many new reasons to trust Him and be dependent on Him.

The following story may seem trite, but to me it was a lesson that I will need to continue learning as long as I am a mother.

Recently Karis has started to visibily show great excitement when she sees me. She even crawls (or at least something that resembles a crawl) to me. She has, as the psychologist would say, created an attachment to me. This is a great thing in the parent-baby bonding world. And I must admit, the admiration I get from her is great (and even addictive), but also scary. Scary because I know that I although I can, by God's grace, do many things to protect, love and care for her, I am also a very imperfect human being - sin can still throw a party at this house any day. Not only this, but I am also powerless in soooo many ways to protect my baby. As every new mother will learn, there are so many things that are out of our control. Sooner or later our child will see our moral imperfections and powerlessness, and therefore I'm realizing that one of the very first things I want to teach Karis is to look to Christ for help, and not just daddy and mommy. I want to teach her that anything I can do for her is a result of God's grace toward her. I want her to turn her admiration and trust to Him ultimately. In other words, I don't want to be her God.

Today was a perfect time to start this - more for me then for her I guess, but nonetheless. We've been introducing solids to our baby for about a month now, and steadily increasing her intake. To say she loves food would be an understatement. This week, however, the solids have taken toll on her little body and she, like many babies starting solids, has become very constipated. Yesterday she began to fuss and cry while pooing. It's really hard to watch your baby suffer. I began to research online what I could take out or put into her diet to help her, and began right away with prunes. I was still dreading her next poo. Today she began to fuss again and I could tell she was trying to poo. I took her to the toilet, and she began to try to poo and cried even more than yesterday. My heart broke again. I hugged her and told her "mommy will do what she can to help you." But I knew that there wasn't anything I could do right then to help her. Her poo was so dark and hard. She fussed and cried more. It's then that I realized there will be many times when I will be powerless to help my baby, so she like I will have to turn to Christ for help. And there, on the potty we did just that. I told her that I wasn't able to help her, but Jesus could, and we prayed. She kept pooing and her poo began to come out softer and softer. It was very soft at the end, and we praised God.

I've been reading George Muller's autobiography. He prayed about everything, big and small. He knew that nothing was too unimportant for our heavenly father. Today I saw that too. What sweet, powerful mercy. As that old hymn says: "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pride Exposed

I’m a terribly prideful person. It takes shape in arrogance, false humility, shame, and the oh so ugly self-righteousness. Most encounters with another human-being exposes this sin - I compare, judge, criticize, envy. Oh, what a wretched woman I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24) Pride wells up uninvited. I hate and recognize it many times immediately, but I know many times I’m too blind to even see. Christ’s perfect humility to my account is my only hope.

Motherhood has especially magnified and exposed this sin in my heart. My heart boast that I get to stay home with my baby and have to make “sacrifices” to do so (false humility, check). My heart boast that my baby is beautiful, fashionable - oh, and the hair on that baby girl (arrogance, check). My heart boast that I use cloth diapers, oh and I breastfeed (pride, check). Sounds ridiculous I know, but all these are temptations to pride for me, and I so desperately want to be freed from them. Does anyone else struggle with these things?!

Everything I have is a gift from God. What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? (1 Corinthians 4:7 ). Besides my motherhood pride points, I take pride in my skills, abilities, knowledge, etc and look down on others who don’t have my same skills (even though they have other skills that I CLEARLY don’t). So again, wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24)

May He be my ONLY boast.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14).