Thursday, September 20, 2012

why motherhood can be like pinterest

***updated:  if you're reading in a reader, part of this post will be difficult to see. . . the web version should be fine, sorry for the hassle.   {oh the joys of not being a techie!!}

Two weeks ago I opened my inbox to and my stomach lurched a little. . . can you give a devotion for Miranda's baby shower?

You have to be scraping at the bottom of the barrel to ask me to give a devotion or do any sort of public speaking, but besides the obvious lack of skill in elocution, my main great weakness is the inability to say no. 

So anyway, I said yes,  really because this idea flashed into my head that I could use.

I'm sharing it here just in case there is someone out there like me who somehow gets roped into giving a little talk. . . I think you could pretty easily adapt the idea to marriage, too.  As I covered a subject, I pinned a little scrap of magazine (PB Kids had great backgrounds) to a canvas board.  It kept me on track and away from my famous rambling. See Figure 1.

And can I just say that I can't wait to see my sweet friend be a mom to her little punkin' . . . it has been so fun to watch Weston and Miranda as they have married, built a home, served and served cheerfully and faithfully.  They are such great examples. . . my kids love them and it is a privilege to call them friends.

{just copied and pasted my notes in here. . . please forgive the wildness of the structure}

Deep Breath.

Oh Miranda.

Being a mom is so fun.

you’re in that dim little hospital room, just you and that little baby, adrenalin pumping and sleep far, far away, kissing that fuzzy head and breathing in that baby skin- 

And you’re like I did this!!!  I can’t believe it!! I am superwoman!

(And then you have to go to the bathroom and have to push the nurse button for help.)

Welcome to the paradox of having your heart burst with pride and having no pride left at all.

And I know I do have pride left, but not much.  If I pretend that I have it together right now during this little talk, my kids' teachers sitting here are going to stand up and start telling you stories.  Almost every mother here has a child whom Jacob bit,  my middle child is still sucking her thumb and my youngest at eleven months is just beginning to think about sleeping through the night.  So these aren’t thoughts from a supermom.  And they certainly aren’t thoughts from someone with perfect children.  Rather they are a collection of the most important mom advice that others have told me.

I just want to explain why I think that motherhood can be just a little bit like Pinterest.

First of all having a child can be like having this huge blank board.  (draw ? )

They are young.  they are impressionable.  The whole world is open to them.

It is your job to pin things to this board.  IE  raise this child.


Proverbs 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.[NIV says impress, English Standard says teach diligently,

Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living--they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.

These all demonstrate a theme of shaping and molding your child’s direction..

Your child is a blank slate with a sin nature and There are going to be many, many forces and influences vying for opportunity to write on the walls of his heart.  Guard it!

You have the privilege of being the board administrator.  You get to say what goes on the board.

Proverbs 13 20 says that he who walks with the wise will be wise and so just like pinterest has that little box  that says ://repins from ://with 3 little slots for their names, so parenting can have that box too


1.  Look at parents whose children are just a bit older than yours.  Look at what you like.  Go ask questions.  There is great value in having people in your life who are just one step ahead of you because they have the issues that you are dealing with fresh on their minds.


2. People whose children are grown.  Your issues may not be as fresh but they have perspective on the years your’re facing. And clarity to tell you what to sweat and what not to sweat.


3. Then people whose children are grandparents. Here is where the real wisdom is.  They have not only raised their own children, but have watched their children raise theirs.  They have a pretty good idea of what they regret and what they don’t regret and they have humble, gentle advice to share. So sit at their feet and listen.


Moving on to pinning.


Respect for their daddy.  1. Remembering that your relationship with Weston is for life;  your relationship with your child is too, but you are probably not going to be living with your child for longer than 18 years.  However you are going to be with Weston for the rest of your life. Your child needs to see the priority you place on your marriage; a 100% child-centered mom is going to be raising a child whose world is a little askew and will have a husband who doesn’t know where he fits in to this new picture. [see fig. 2]  
This priority traces itself back to Genesis and God’s design for the home beginning with Adam and Eve.  Their little family was complete with each other;  Children are an additional blessing to that home.  God blesses with children usually, but it is important to note that a marriage is a separate entity, not hinging on the babies.  The benefits of treating your husband like he’s still the most important person to you will spill over onto your child.

2. Let your husband help. Over and over the Bible says “listen to the the instruction of your father and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”  It does not say “listen to your mom and disregard what dad says.”  This can start really really young.  Moms have such a tendency to just overwhelm the new dad with advice:  no, don’t hold him like that.  Oh, he likes his bottle this way.  You’re putting the pacifier in the wrong way.  Oh, you can’t put the pacifier back in without triple washing it! In most cases you are going to be the primary caregiver and you are going to have ample time to “do it right”—encourage daddy involvement by not being critical when he helps out. This will set the stage for an easy transition when your sweet angelic baby reached the terrible twos and you are desperate for your husband’s input.  He will already be involved and won’t have to start from scratch in relating to his own child.


Saturate your child with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6:7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Look for ways to speak Scripture into your child’s heart and there are so many ways to do this.



Reading the Word

Literally writing it on your child’s walls

This kind of goes without saying, but you need to be in the Word in order to have your child be in the word.


Put Kind words into your child’s life.   Psalm 19:14 (Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight.) Kind words to your baby are going to come easily at first.  But they won’t always. It starts that first night the baby has cried and cried and cried and you don’t know what to do and even though you wouldn’t think of being cross with your precious punkin, when Weston rolls over and says “I’m trying to sleep.” . . . kind words typically don’t spring to your mind. The habit of kind words doesn’t usually start easily, but it is a beautiful thing to cultivate. Sleep deprivation and the weariness that comes from pouring yourself out for your child can result in emptiness and cross words spring from an empty heart. Notice the Psalmist didn’t say The words of my mouth ARE acceptable.  He asked that they be acceptable.  Ask God for kind words . Ask God to fill your heart-  He will.

Put fun into your child’s life. Pr. 17:22A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Psalm 126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

Put GRACE in your child’s life.  You are going to fail.  He is going to fail. Ephesians says not to exasperate your child, but to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  This is a process and a process take time, not finger snapping.  Grace, grace, grace.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  .  .And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. From John 1 

Pin Compassion.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

 Don’t pin COMPARISON.  Your child is going to be this amazing, unique person.  Let him be! Paul said we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are not wise.  Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love.

Pin Individuality! Train up a child in the way HE should go. (from Brown's Concordance)  Or, according to the tenor of his way, i. e., the path especially belonging to, especially fitted for, the individuals character. The proverb enjoins the closest possible study of each child's temperament and the adaptation of "his way of life" to that.

Pin instruction! Clarke’s Commentary- Train up a child in the way he should go - The Hebrew of this clause is curious: חנך לנער על פי דרכו chanoch lannaar al pi darco, "Initiate/educate the child at the opening (the mouth) of his path." When he comes to the opening of the way of life, being able to walk alone, and to choose; stop at this entrance, and begin a series of instructions, how he is to conduct himself in every step he takes. Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him.

Limits are important.  This really begins with babyhood.  You can set loving limits even for a tiny little one.  Dr. Adrian Rogers said this:  
 Children will tell you that they don't want limits.  Don't believe them.  If you don't set limits, a child unconsciously feels rejected.  Even in the Garden of Eden, God set limits - not to dampen the spirits of Adam and Eve, but to show His wise provision for all that they needed. 
And keep in mind that children will push against limits.  If you give in, then the boundary collapses and security is lost.  Giving children limits helps them learn that the world has consequences.

A biblical perspective of the earth.The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalm 24:1

This verse covers a lot.  Stewardship, resourcefulness, respect for all nationalities and a realization that we all bleed red. Give your child an awareness of a world bigger than his four walls, or even hometown.

Good pride. I have great confidence in you. I take great pride in you.  I am greatly encouraged.  In all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds. II CO. 7:3

Pin LOVE.   It can be tempting, much like Pinterest, to just idealize, reading all the great parenting books, talking about being a good mom and dreaming about the perfect child.  At the end of the day, though, thinking about ideas and mothering and great plans and dreaming isn’t enough.  You just have to jump in and do it. Above all, put on love which is the bond of peace.

Fig. 1
a dad brings a lot of balance to the following scenario:
Fig. 2


  1. Great advice! You're such a great mommy!

  2. I'm not a mother yet, but you gave the sort of advice that I think is very balanced and true, I'm taking notes for the future :)
    A lot of wisdom in this post!
    I especially liked this, "This kind of goes without saying, but you need to be in the Word in order to have your child be in the word." It kind of reminds me of how important it is when teaching kids to do as we do, and not just expect them to do as we say.

  3. OUTSTANDING....scripturally practical and appropriate....blest by your insight! your blog

  4. Love! You have so much practical wisdom, Hayley.