I am sure that almost everyone who is joining in with the Not About Me November challenge will invariably have this be one of the "not about me's". This "not about me" is, for me, a hard truth to swallow. More than finances (I work the seven hours, five days a week while I'm nine months pregnant and you're telling me the money I earn from that is not mine??), more than my posessions, more than anything else. I want to grasp onto these little miracles that were formed in my body, that I gave birth to, that I nursed for 16 months, that I value more than my own life, wants, and needs. To ask me to give them up, heck, to even ask me to share, I stomp my foot or I cry out "that's not fair"! But, the reality is, they are not mine. They are the Lord's and He has the right to do with their lives what He wills. Now again, this is where we run into the trust issue, that until recently I wasn't even aware that I had. To trust Him means to trust that no matter what He allows in their life He has a plan and perfect will. "And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) If I truly trust Him I would trust that no matter what they are going through or wherever He calls them, they will be safe in His hands. Even if on the outside it looks like disaster. I am terrified of my son taking the path I chose to take as a teenager. I'm terrified of him being in danger every day, especially when he is away and out of my hands.
But in all this, I know that my children's lives are not about me, they are about Him. They were created for the same purpose I was. To glorify God and walk humbly before Him and have a relationship with my Creator and Savior. I am mistaken to think they were only created to make me happy and fulfill me. Because some days they do anything but that ( I am saying 'they' because I currently am carrying my second child in my belly but in the present moment I only have one child that I have to run after and face daily challenges with, and that's my toddler. But make no mistake, most days the challenges are minor). I am in no way implying he's hard to deal with, I'm just saying some days he reminds me that he isn't here just to look at and make me feel important by being a Mommy.
Another part of realizing it is not about me is in the way that I raise them. I must go against my flesh and selfishness to be the role model that they need. My actions, thoughts, and words must point to Christ so that they have footsteps to follow. Nice words to read, but much, much harder to follow. Because that means that when I want to yell out in frustration I must restrain and redirect in love. When I want to go to bed and it's only 7:00 p.m. and he wants to go outside and play or just be paid attention to, I must. Just like Jesus did when He was tired, had nothing to eat and had taken His disciples away so they could get some peace and quiet. But what doya know, here comes a flock of people wanting Him, needing Him. Does He turn them away? No. In fact He not only feeds them through a miracle of the fish and loaves, but He feeds them spiritually. When things seem so overwhelmingly tough and the trials choke the life out of me and I feel like I can't go on any longer and the last thing I want to do is take the time to slow down and pray and be in His Word, I know that when I choose to take that path I am not only benefiting me, I am benefitting them. So that when they are in the same spot some day I will know, because I have been there. I will have tasted the desert sand in my mouth of a broken heart, disappointments, promises made that were not kept, and just plain despair. No, this trial, this hard season is not just about me, it's about them too. And that's just it. My job is not just to raise them, but to raise them up in the Lord. To raise them to love God and serve them with all their hearts. Again, not about me and just playing "Mommy" for 18 years. There is a greater purpose to parenting.
Their lives, my life are not about me. Lord, in all I do, may I honor You.
I also would like to share a link of a post by Ann Voskamp when she first started her blog that lead me to my post today. It's the very last one at the bottom of the page.