Life is drastically different for my husband and I with two kids than it was pre-babies. When we take an hour to get out the door or have to switch off eating so one can hold the baby, we like to look at the other person, chuckle and say, "Do you remember life before having kids?"
While it would be nice to eat my meal when it's hot, there are a lot of things in my life that are even better since having children. One of those being my relationship with God. If getting up with a baby every two hours doesn't bring you closer to God, I don't know what will.
Here are a few things that I have learned that hold a completely deeper meaning now that I am a mother.
One of the best feelings in the world is when my kids want to climb up on my lap to talk and cuddle with me. I cherish those moments and wouldn't trade them for anything! I'm sure God feels the same way. He wants us to go to Him to talk - to pray while I'm driving to work or doing the dishes at home. I can only imagine how he cherishes those moments with His children as I do with mine.
2. Trusting When We Can't See
My kids don't understand why I want them to eat their vegetables. They think I'm being silly when I make them hold my hand in the parking lot. They think I'm trying to poison them when I give them medicine! One day they will understand that I did everything because I love them, but it might take some time. There are things that happen in my life that I don't understand, but will end up being the best thing for me. I don't understand it right now, but I need to trust God that He has everything under control.
3. How My Sin Hurts God
In my eyes, my children are amazing. They are beautiful and they are adorable, but they are flawed. My son knows I want him to do one thing and he will look me in the eyes and do the opposite. It infuriates me! After all I do for him and he has the nerve to disobey me! It's disappointing. But most of all, it hurts me.
I know God calls me to be kind to my husband but he left dishes in the sink this morning and when I respond in anger, I disappoint God. I tell a little white lie and I hurt God. I look God right in the eyes and I know I'm being selfish but I do it anyways. I don't stop to consider how I'm making God feel after all He's done for me.
4. What Jesus' Death Really Meant
Most of my life was spent going to church. I've heard about Jesus' sacrifice more times than I can count. I went to a Christian high school and college. I even married a pastor. But the word sacrifice has never held so much meaning until I became a parent. I would sacrifice my own food so my children are fed. I would sacrifice my happiness so my children don't hurt. I would sacrifice my health for my children's. But thinking about sacrificing my child's life for your life, literally has me in tears.
5. Unconditional Love
Before you have children, everyone tells you about this unconditional love you will have for them. You know all about it and the crazy things it will make you do. But it's one of those things that you will never fully understand until you're holding your baby in your arms for the very first time. My children get mad at me when I force medicine on them but I will keep doing it because I love them. The disobedience will continue to hurt me, but I'll continue to love them and show them the right path.
I am called a child of God. While I thought I understood what that entailed before because I was a child, I comprehend that so much more now that I'm a parent. I know the love I have for my children is a mere drop of water in the ocean compared to God's love for His children. And I know I can barely begin to grasp how much God loves me, but I think I am slowly starting to understand that love more as I embark on this journey of parenthood.
And to think that God's love for me surpasses my love for my child - well that's pretty crazy.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Maintaining Me. It has been republished here with permission.