Thursday, March 31, 2011

Raising Jeremiah: A Series

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you,
then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.
But as for
me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15

I LOVE being a mother. Have you guessed that yet? I LOVE BEING A MOTHER! It is absolutely amazing to carry a child inside your body, nurturing and caring for them, as they are hidden in the secret place. It is a delight to experience the full pain of labor and delivery as you bring them into this world.

We LOVE being parents. There are no words to describe looking at the small scrunched up face of your flesh and blood for the very first time. Oh, I could go on and on with this list. It truly is unbelievable to be a parent.

Today Jeremiah was giggling as I was tickling him and I just had to sigh. What a blessing from the Lord! He is such a gift. He is a reward (Psalm 127) that we definitely do not deserve.

The last 15 or so months, as I was pregnant and since Jeremiah has been born, have been a time of accelerated growth for me. I have had to take all I once dreamed of and put it into action. It was finally my time to experience morning sickness, heartburn, crazy dreams, labor, delivery, nursing and child raising!

There have been so many supportive people in our life who have given Godly counsel and advice. There have been a lot of people who have asked us a myriad of questions. I have been pregnant with several good friends (Dawn, Darrah and Katie!) and walked the journey of motherhood with them.
Still, Joel and I are different. We always have been, I guess, and we knew that raising children would set us apart in more ways from the mainstream- even among Christians. We have "radical" ideas, as some call it, and as others would say are "too idealistic." Maybe. Maybe not.

As with all things Joel and I want to be fully surrendered to the Lord in our decision making processes and what we do. We want to make sure that we have sought the Lord in all things instead of just following what everyone does. It may be that in the end we do what most people do, but we still want to know that the direction came from God Himself!

Romans 14, at the very end, after talking about the weak and the strong follower of Jesus, in relation to food sacrificed to idols, states, "and everything that does not come from faith is sin." We get focused so much on the issue of not causing another brother to stumble that many times we completely miss this absolute fact. Romans 14:23 is a verse for ALL followers of Jesus, about ALL decisions in life, across ALL cultures and for ALL time. If it is not done by faith it is sin. Hebrews 11:6 also tells us, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

Those are just two verses that remind me to take all my decisions before the Lord before moving forward! I want to please the Lord, not sin and do all things by faith!!!

Many people have asked why we did, do and plan on doing certain things like natural family planning, womb bonding, out-loud pregnancy Scripture memory, natural childbirth, delayed and limited vaccinations, co-sleeping, feeding on demand, attachment parenting, delayed non-parent care-giving, baby wearing, natural solid food timing, baby potty training, realistic toys, spanking, homeschooling, etc., ETC, ETC. I would like to begin sharing why and how we are parenting!

(I never want to cause you, my reader (whoever you may be) to stumble or to feel that I am judging you for your decisions. As I stated here, I just want a place to share, digest and encourage you to, at the base of it, surrender your lives to the Lord- in ALL things. When you read my thoughts on parenting please take it at face value. And, for your home, seek the Lord!)

We are Jeremiah's parents. We have been given the role of raising him. We will answer for what we did or did not do in leading him to know God. We do not take that lightly! We are also not perfect. We am new to this parenting thing. I get really tired and drained. There are days that I have no idea what I am doing. I told Joel last night that I can see how parents can so easily get lazy. I also realize that what I share on this blog may not be what ends up happening in our home. I also know that Arrow #2, when the Lord blesses us again, will be a completely different child! I will probably have to write a whole new series about them!

Parenting is HARD work.

Maybe by expressing some of my thoughts and our convictions here I can encourage you while at the same time challenging myself to really think about what we are doing! I also want it to be a place where we can share ideas. You may have learned something along the way that we need to know!!! (Like HOW in the WORLD do you know when a 6 month old is being curious, playful or defiant? God give us wisdom!)

If you are a parent, the key is always prayer. We cannot do this without the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives! I hope to look back at these posts one day and smile... what an adventure!


Jadebird said...

Hi Jaclyn!
My name is Jade and I'm on staff here at Ellerslie with Ben. I would just like to be the first person to comment and say how excited I am to read your blog! It just touches my heart so much to read how seriously you take being a wonderful mama and always doing it by His leading. How blessed Jeremiah is to have parents who are actively seeking their God. Thank you for being willing to post your thoughts, I hope to learn from your experiences as you chart this new season of parenthood. May you have a beautiful day overflowing with the love of our precious Jesus!

Dawn said...

Since our times of chatting have been drastically reduced over time -- for good reasons! -- I, too, look forward to reading your thoughts and convictions in motherhood. I miss you and the times that we sharpen each other!