I’d be lying if I said most mornings look like this.
This is one of those rare quiet moments where I forget all about my lack of sleep and crazy hormones and think, Please, God, let it always be this way. Let him stay small and in my arms forever.
It’s a moment that forces me to slow down, to breathe in deeply that sweet baby smell, and to praise God above for being kinder than I ever thought possible.
A moment where I can’t help but know that God exists and that He is very, very good.
There are many days now where my time with the Lord looks a lot different than this photo. Days can go by at lightning speed in which I barely look up before realizing it’s practically time for bed again. My head hits the pillow, and I talk to God, confessing that I wished I had talked to Him more throughout the day but thanking Him for sustaining my family and me.
But then there are days like this one where I stumble out of bed after however many precious hours of sleep, put on a pot of coffee, make some oatmeal, and sit at the kitchen table. I put my son on my lap, and he sits there quietly. Curiously. Listening, watching, taking it all in as I read the Word. Sometimes I read aloud and he coos along in a way that feels like maybe it’s God’s doing. Maybe he’s cooing in agreement.
Those are the mornings that I cling to—those moments that don’t come every day. They may not even come every week. But they make it all worth it. They make motherhood and staying at home worth it. They make being exhausted worth it. It is a privilege and an honor to be this guy’s momma and stay at home with him full-time. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Motherhood is the hardest and the best job I’ve ever had.
When I’m able to start the day in the Word with my son, I think, Wow, how on earth did I become so fortunate that God would bestow this on me and allow me to live this way?
Some days I feel way more in tune with God, and we’re having a conversation all day and all night long. Back when this babe was still a tiny guy, I was awake almost every hour and nursing him for such long periods. Now we’re in a rhythm where he sleeps a bit longer, and he’s getting bigger, slowly but surely. I try to remind myself at 3 a.m. when I’m nursing him, rocking him, cuddling him—in my half-awake, half-asleep state—that these days will soon be gone. They will be in the past, and I’ll never get them back again. I want to soak it up now and not be in too much of a rush to get him to sleep perfectly or eat perfectly or do all the things that I want him to do so that I can “live my life.” This right here is me living my life. I want to simply enjoy the time we have because the time is fleeting.
As I pray for him, I pray in four specific ways. Months ago while I was still pregnant, I heard a guest on Moody Radio talking about how to pray for your children. I’ve searched and searched, and I still cannot find who this guest was to give him credit. (If you know, please comment below!) He provided four pillars to guide your prayer life, and I immediately jotted them down on a Post-It note. These four categories have been foundational for me. They’ve helped anchor my prayers for my son.
Prayer is not an afterthought. It’s not something to do when you feel you have no other options. It’s the first option. Prayer unites us with God. Prayer tunes our hearts into what God is saying to us. The most important thing we can do for our kids is pray. I pray that my son would come to know and love the Lord with his whole heart at a young age. I pray he would want a real relationship with Christ, not because he wants to please mom and dad, but because he feels a stirring in his soul.
Here are four ways to pray for your children, and if you aren’t a parent, try praying these for yourself, family, and friends:
I pray my son would seek to know God’s character. I pray he would know that the Bible is a story about God. God is our rock, stronghold, strength, fortress, deliverer, refuge, salvation (Psalm 18). He is righteous, faithful, and just. Full of grace, mercy, and love. I pray he would know who God is and seek to be more like Him every day.
I pray against addiction of any kind and against sexual sin. I pray he would want to live his life like Christ.
In this crazy world we are living in, I firmly believe one of the best ways we can disciple our children is to encourage them in their God-given identity. They need to know not what the culture says about them, but what God deems true about them.
I’ve memorized this verse and plan to teach it to my son. I recite it to him while I change his diaper. I want him to know that he was created by God, in the image of God, as a boy who will one day grow into a man. I pray he becomes a Godly man. That he embraces his God-given masculinity and whatever gifts God bestows on him. The book Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson has been incredibly helpful for Charles and me as we embark on this journey of parenthood. (He’s also written Bringing Up Girls if you have a daughter.)
I pray for my relationship and my husband’s relationship with our son. I pray for his future teachers, coaches, and pastors. I ask that these people would protect him, encourage him to walk in the way of the Lord, and show him practically what it looks like to follow Jesus. I pray for my son’s friends—that they, too, would encourage him and challenge him in his faith. I also pray for a Godly woman to be his wife one day.
We’re all called to live missionally and share the truth of the Gospel. God sent His only son Jesus, to live a perfect life on earth as a man and die for our sins. He took on the death that we deserve because of the fall. Jesus rose again to sit on the throne in the Kingdom, thereby defeating death as we know it and granting eternal life to all who turn from sin and believe in Him.
That’s my prayer for my little one, too. I pray he would believe. I pray he would share the light of Christ no matter where he lives and works in the future—whether he’s a businessman, a writer, a pastor, a missionary. Whatever vocation he’s called to, God’s will is that he would live for Him and share Him with others. I pray my son recognizes this and presses into it.
Character, identity, relationships, mission. Four simple but profound ways to pray for and disciple your children every day. I’m thankful for that guest on Moody Radio whose prayers I’ll never forget.
What do you think of these pillars? How do you pray for your kids?