{Guest Post} Between Christmas and Easter!

Between Christmas and Easter {Encouragement for Parents “In the Meanwhile”}

By: Tracey Pierce

And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. (Luke 2:7)

Ah, babies – little bundles of hope and promise.  Every life a delightful, warm, soft package stuffed to the brim with all it requires to become exactly who God created it to be.  As Mary most certainly must have done with Baby Jesus, we, as parents, look into the faces of our wee ones and ponder their purposes, daydream about their destinies.  We look through ‘heaven’s eyes’ at our adorable, angelic infants and become pregnant with expectation of all the marvelous plans that our God must have for them.

THEN…the “terrible twos” hit, followed closely by the “I-thought-it-couldn’t-get-any-worse threes”!  Yikes!  (I always said that whoever coined the term “terrible twos” had not yet had a 3-year-old!)  Shortly thereafter though, childhood development seems to give parents a bit of a reprieve (or is it the availability of full-time kindergarten?!) and we can breathe again – for a while!

 And Jesus grew in

wisdom and stature,

and in favour

with God and man.

(Luke 2:52)

Mary and Joseph had the amazing blessing and opportunity of watching (and participating in) Jesus’ boyhood growth.  And, although none of us has ‘God Incarnate’ living under our roof, we do have some pretty amazing masterpieces there who also need to be raised to grow “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”  Does that sound as daunting to you as it does to me?  Who feels prepared to guide a little newborn bundle from the cradle to his calling?  I know that I certainly didn’t (and still don’t)!

Now, I definitely don’t have all the answers (and never will!) but I have been convinced of one thing.  This is SO IMPORTANT – please, make sure that you“catch” it.  Every single child has been placed, on purpose, into the family that God planned for him/her before the beginning of time.  That is your family andyour child.  No matter how it may feel right now – it is the divine, God-appointed place for your ‘Susie’ or ‘Billy’ to grow.  You were chosen to be “Mama” and “Pops” to that kid and you are doing a great job!

Come on, do you really think that Mary and Joseph had it all together while they were raising Jesus?  Of course not!  What do you think they did when they were unsure of what to do next?  They talked to the Heavenly Father, of course!  Since He’s that best Dad of all, they went straight to Him for advice.  And that is all that is expected of you.

When 3-year-old Susie is throwing a fit in the mall, ask her Maker what to do with her.  When 13-year-old Billy is giving you attitude like only a teenager can, talk to his Heavenly Dad about it (even if you have to do it through clenched teeth!).  (Do I sound like I have some experience with this?  By the way, all names here have been changed to protect “the innocent”!)  On our own, we may not have the slightest clue how to get our offspring safely through toddlerhood and teenage terrors on to becoming the total person that God designed them to be.  And that’s okay; ’cause God does!

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gifts of children with which You have blessed us.  Help us never to be distracted by dismay, or even despair, when we have those “moments in the meanwhile” during which we wonder what You could have been thinking by placing these kids in our care.  Help us to always remember that You desire their ‘Luke 2:52 growth’ even more than we do and You will help us to navigate the way with them from our arms to Your plan. In Jesus’ Amazing Name, Amen.

About Tracey:

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Tracey is a Christian wife, mother, and teacher who                                                                                                                                                                desires to remind others of their God-given calling, and to encourage and assist them in taking steps toward fulfilling that calling.  Tracey lives in Kingston, Ontario with her best friend and husband, Tim, and their three great kids – Breanne (16), Cayden (14), and Devin (13).

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