IMO, the best parenting book

Grateful

I can’t believe we just had another Mother’s Day! I’ve had 22 so far, and although it’s just a holiday made up by clever marketers, I appreciate the sentiment of honoring mamas just the same. I am so thankful to be a mom and to be used by the LORD to bring life into this world.

After every birth, I’ve cried tears of joy. Well, also tears of relief since MY WORD that hurt! But each and every time I have had the honor of holding one of my babies, I am amazed how that little person was just birthed out of me. I know that the LORD could have used anyone to birth each of my blessings. But in His Providence, He chose our family to raise that child. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Parenting is hard

But I have to admit, parenting can be so hard. When we had our first, I thought I was prepared . I ignorantly thought to myself, “It’s just a baby. How hard can it be?” I’m convinced, the LORD belly laughed. Our first baby was our official crash test dummy, and wow did I feel like we crashed quite a bit that first year. At least, I did. At times, I cried when she cried. I barely slept. Then I had to work because, DUH! I worked hard for my degree and I wasn’t going to let this little one stop me from continuing on to greatness.

Again, the LORD I’m sure was chuckling, just shaking His head. His plans were so, so much better than mine.

What is going on?

As soon as I left for work that first day I had to leave our daughter, I was honestly confused. How could I feel like my heart was being ripped out? That baby was PSYCHO! She cried ALL. THE. TIME. I wanted my space, but what was going on? In theory (i.e. before I left), I was dancing my way out the door! But in practice (i.e. after I left), I was a mess. I felt so conflicted, guilty, and horribly sad.

Everyone has a unique story

Now I understand completely that there are situations where a mama has to go to work. This is not a criticism of that. However, I want to share my story, because of how the LORD worked things out for our family.

What’s amazing about God is that He’s not like us. He’s so much more creative than we could even dream to be, so I have my story and others have theirs. But the point is that when we allow God to be the LORD of our lives, He always works things out for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Romans 8:28).

Anyone else have mama guilt?

As you can imagine, I dealt with a lot of mama guilt that first year as I worked and mama’d. There was no way I could stay home at the time since we had this small thing called a mortgage. We never contemplated me staying home before baby, so that was off the table.

Finally home

It took a few years, but we were able to eventually get me home full time to be with our children. Despite what you’d think, however, I still struggled with mama guilt, and I definitely struggled with knowing how in the world to parent. And at that point, our oldest was 3 and our next baby was 1.

A huge help was a book we decided to study with some friends of ours – Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It seems as if it was more than a lifetime ago, but I remember it having such an incredible impact on both my husband and I.

It helped us realize how important it was to set boundaries and to have our children obey. That book also helped empower me to know that the LORD put us in charge, not our children. Seems as if these are simple, obvious concepts. But at the time, it helped free me from feeling bad about leading our children with a gracious, but firm hand. The best part was that God’s Word was tightly knit into the entire book, and it was so helpful. Especially considering we were both relatively young Christians at the time.

Not exactly an expert, even after 10

I wish I could say that I’m an official parenting expert. For goodness sake, you’d think I’d qualify after 10, right? But the LORD has humbled me enough times to let me know that I am not. God is so wise. He gives us not only children unique to our family, but each and every one of those blessings are different. So right when we think we’ve got things down, along comes another child ready to rock our world in an entirely new way.

Mama-ing is not for the faint of heart. Our lives consist of correcting and blessing these littles (to name a few things). But at other times, God uses those same littles to correct and sanctify us. Definitely the toughest job that I love beyond measure. God is so good.

Clearly, it helps to have some tools to help along the way. Obviously, God’s Word is central. But I’d say there are a few books out there that are rock solid and incredibly helpful. And Shepherding a Child’s Heart is definitely one of them.

So remember, if you need a great book of encouragement and empowerment to share with some new parents, I can’t recommend highly enough Shepherding a Child’s Heart. A parenting classic!

2 Comments

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  1. Tina Gleason 1 month ago

    I ordered Weak, Whimpy and Woke by John L Cooper
    for a friend of mine. She received it in a timely manner!
    I’ve read it and recommend it to all Christians to read so they have an answer to others that don’t understand what’s happening in our churches, schools, country and our world. It’s intelligent and so well written to put all that’s going on and has been going on for a very long time. Every page has so much information and backed up by the Bible. I’m so glad I found mudhenmama.com. This will be the first place I look for Christian books!
    Ordering was a breeze!

    • Author
      Michelle Lazor 1 month ago

      Thank you so so much for your comment Ms. Gleason! I’m happy to hear you had a good experience! And FYI, I LOVE John Cooper! His podcast, Cooper Stuff, is EXCELLENT! I think he’s touring right now so he hasn’t been as consistent (normally, it’s a weekly podcast). But if you get a chance to listen to it, you definitely should!

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