I remember looking at Braylen, before her weight was even registering a double-digit reading on the scale, and feeling an overwhelming sense of responbility. I remember the emotions washing over me like a flood, and I almost felt the need to say, wait, I’m not quite ready. When I talk about responsibility, I don’t mean the changes that it would bring to our social life or my sleep. When I talk about responsibility, I mean the responsibility of raising a child, of teaching her to be kind, to have a good heart, to love others and to love Jesus.
These past three years have increased my faith in ways I never thought possible. And you know what? I was ready, all along. My biggest worry was how she was going to turn out when she grew up, but God doesn’t require me to figure those things out. He simply requires a life reflecting faithfulness, a life that shows her a love like Jesus gives, and letting go and giving the worry to him. My faith has to come alive each and every day, no matter what, because I have two blue eyes that watch my every move. I quickly learned the only to teach her, would be to show her through my actions.
I was raised in church, but I don’t think my faith really came to life until I was living it on a daily basis, out loud. It took the birth of Braylen to put things into perspective. To fully understand what it means to live in faithfulness, to put faith in God, that while I can’t always be with her, He can. In our home, we strive to bring faith to life in everything we do. The more she sees it, the better she understands it. I don’t want faith to be limited to Sunday school and youth choir. I want faith to be a part of each and every thing we do. I want our decision to be faith-based and driven by good intentions. I want our actions to speak for our faith. So how do we do that?
By offering grace. I’m quick to ask for grace, to expect it on a particularly tough day. But, how often do I offer grace? Offering grace is something I work on daily. I’m quick to get frustrated when wait times are too long or someone messes up an order. Grace can really change you. I had to understand that it wasn’t about being passive or a pushover, sometimes grace has less to do with me and more to do with those who I should be giving it too.
By letting her see my faith in action. From simple actions like praying out loud to reading God’s word, and studying together with Allen. I want her to know that we are on the same page. She can catch him studying for something he may be teaching or wake up in the morning to us studying at the kitchen table. I don’t ever want it to be neglected, to be a book that sits on a shelf and collects dust. We read Bible stories to her and she asks questions, sometimes tough questions and other times questions that make me laugh for days. I like the questions, it means she is listening.
By leaning on God through everything, not being afraid to admit my flaws and working to make them better. Sometimes it isn’t about what she can see. Sometimes it’s about how it changes me. I’ve had to learn that it was okay to admit that I was wrong or I messed up, otherwise, I’ll never get any better. I’ve had to wise up to the fact that I can’t control everything, no matter how hard I try. The single greatest strengthener of my faith has been humility. Relinquishes the control, realizing it was never mine to begin with.
We live out our faith, but we aren’t perfect parents by any stretch, we all require grace. There are days when I am reminded that she is always watching and for those reminders, I am thankful. They keep me centered and grounded. My faith was strengthened when she came along, and I’ve learned more from her than she has from me, of that I’m sure.
Here’s a schedule of the next few weeks, I hope you’ll join us!