I used to have a job that I thought was really important. I was a Membership Coordinator for the FBI’s National Academy Associates. With John’s blessing, I resigned last May to be home with our son and daughter. I made some really great friends through the NAA. One of the most inspirational people I met, and am lucky enough to call a friend, is a Past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter.
This friend attends Element Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As a Podcast-loving person, I listen to Element’s messages. Over the past few weeks, Jeff Maness, the Lead Pastor, is preaching a series entitled Modern Family. As a fan of the hit ABC show, the name drew me in, but that’s where the comparison ended. The TV show makes me laugh; this sermon series makes me think…a lot. I encourage you to Google Element Church or look up the church on iTunes.
The first installment of Modern Family filled my heart. Pastor Jeff says that only 1 in 5 parents feel they are doing a good job spiritually and morally in raising their kids. Only 1 in 5. I have to say, there are days when I am absolutely part of that statistic.
What really, really hit home with me though was hearing this, “God gave us our children. They are not our kids; they are God’s kids. As much as we love our children, God loves them infinitely more.”
When I heard those words, I had to push “pause.” Then, I wrote that statement down. Then I read the words. Then I listened to those words again while reading what I had written down. Pastor Jeff caused me to look at my children as something else, but something that they completely are…a blessing from God. Go ahead, pause.
Last night I snuggled with Elliot in his bed—the bottom bunk with his skull and crossbones comforter. He was worn out from a busy weekend, but needed a little extra attention to settle down. I told him I was going to lay there for 5 minutes, but before I knew it 10 had passed. In those 10 minutes I listened to Elliot’s breathing become heavier. I watched the time projected onto the ceiling by his rocket ship alarm clock. I rested my head on a pillowcase with pictures of fighter jets and American flags. I was completely immersed in all that is Elliot. In his shadowy room I replayed those words in my head…”Elliot is not my kid, he’s God’s kid. God loves him more than I do.” For me, that’s big stuff, but good stuff. It’s hard to swallow that anyone loves my kids more than me, but God does.
Just those minutes spent listening to that sermon changed my thinking. If I don’t think of them as mine, it’s not so hard to be patient, extra patient, extra loving, extra thankful.
Being a parent is the most challenging and demanding job I have ever had. Some days the job doesn’t even stop, as our kids are in our room in the middle of the night or beginning their days before the sun even rises. But, many days it’s a job that offers more rewards than I am capable of collecting. And, it’s the most important job I’ll ever have. With God's help, I will keep that sermon's statement in the front of my mind, and it recalling it often will make me a better mom. A mom that knows she’s doing a good job spiritually and morally. Everything else pales in comparison.