When J and I found out we were expecting our first child, we were filled with so much
anticipation, nervousness and excitement about what it would mean for our lives. We knew,
without a doubt, that many things would change, and they most certainly have. However, one
thing I never expected was how much baby C would affect my spiritual life.
Being a mother has caused me to look at my actions so much more closely, because I now have a small person who is learning everything about the world from me, and watching my every move more attentively than anyone ever has before.
Her very existence challenges me to chase after God all the more, and to live a life worthy of imitation. As C’s existence is challenging me to live a more Godly life, I also see my failures even more clearly. This was never more true to me than recently.
We had been thinking about getting C an ExerSaucer or a bouncer, and had been looking online at the many options available. I had found a super fancy one that supposedly goes from 0-24 months and has all kinds of bells and whistles. It was ridiculously expensive, but I can justify almost any purchase, especially when it comes to the baby. We had talked about it and thought we might pick up the exersaucer when we were in America this summer.
Two or three days after we were researching and price comparing, a nice lady from J’s school
emailed me and said that she had an ExerSaucer that she was finished using and wondered if
we would like to have it.
My first reaction was gratitude and awe that God had provided us an ExerSaucer for free! However, when it got dropped it off, my ugly, sinful nature showed its face.
THIS ExerSaucer wasn’t good enough for OUR baby. It is pretty basic, and has almost no special features. It was dingy and faded. I didn’t really even want it.
A more logical side of myself caused me to keep it and for a couple weeks it set in the corner of C’s room. One day, I pulled it out and decided to try it out. C’s face lit up when I placed her in it. She smiled and laughed as she played with the various toys on it.
I was so humbled by her child-like innocence and joy as she explored the world. I was challenged by her to approach the world in the same way she does - thankful and joyful for what God has blessed me with.
I think this may have something to do with Christ’s teaching in Mark 10:13-16. Some children
had been brought to Jesus for a blessing, but the disciples rebuked them because they were
concerned they would bother Jesus.
Christ responds saying, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Jesus knew that we would be prideful and think we were too good for his free gift of grace, just like I thought I was too good for a used ExerSaucer. He knew we would need to humble ourselves like little children in order to receive His gospel.
It amazes me that I am blessed to not only be C’s mother, getting to nurture her and teach her, but at the same time, she is edifying and teaching me how to better live my Christian life.
My prayer is that I would be a good student of the lessons God is teaching me through her.
Melanie and her husband Joel live and do ministry in Bangkok, Thailand. She is mommy to baby Claire and a graduate of Denver Seminary with a degree in Intercultural Ministry. She enjoys traveling, reading and discussing theology, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves the adventure that comes with living every day in another culture.
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