I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pondering God...as a New Parent

There’s nothing quite as precious as a baby. Their little hands, their little feet, their absolute dependency on someone to take care of them.

I love kids, but I have to admit, I was completely unprepared for how much I would love my own daughter. She had my heart from the moment I laid eyes on her. I’d do anything for her, and want nothing but the very best for her. Confession: this means I’ve already called the after hours emergency hotline convinced she had an intestinal bleed. Oh…the perils of being a new mother. I can’t imagine what I’ll do when she’s actually bleeding!

Looking at her has made me look at my relationship with God in a different light. Intellectually, I’ve always known I’m God’s kid. I know He has good plans for me. But I never knew what this meant from the perspective of a parent’s heart. Looking at Haley, I have the tiniest insight into what God sees when He looks at me. Someone He longs to hold, to comfort, to protect and provide everything for. Someone He finds joy in spending time with and watching grow.

I can’t fathom how painful it will be if my daughter tells me she doesn’t need me someday. I anticipate this will happen somewhere between ages two and thirteen. Even so, I know I will always love Haley, even if her actions hurt me. Her birth has caused me to ponder how often my actions tell God I don’t need Him. Yet, He still loves me unconditionally. Her arrival has taught me an unforgettable lesson about God’s character.

What life experiences has God used to teach you about who He is?

(And yes that is a shameless picture of my adorable daughter Haley Grace!)

Blessings,
Amy

Photo by Stephanie Gullifer Photography

25 comments:

  1. Welcome to the Ponderers, Haley! You are the second generation of the MBT Ponderers and we've been waiting for your arrival -- yay!
    I have to agree with Amy that motherhood has taught me the most about God ... and about myself.
    I've learned more about unconditional love and forgiveness since I've become a mom. Not that I've been all-forgiving and all-loving. Nope. I've learned that children all the most loving, the most forgiving people. Ever.
    And they reflect God to me.

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  2. Oh Amy, Haley is so beautiful, as is your post. What an exquisite, tender picture you paint of our Savior and the truth of His heart.

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  3. Amy~

    Just so you know, if I'd had a baby since my last post, I'd plaster his/her picture all over Friday's blog! Hmmmm...my first baby just turned 16, which is a milestone that may drive me to plaster his picture all over Friday's blog...just kidding. I think.

    In all seriousness, I totally love that you are getting to experience parenthood and the unique glimpse it gives us into God's heart for us. I can still remember the first time my baby boy smiled at me and thinking, as my heart overflowed, "Wow! Is this how God feels about me?!" Like you and Beth, I've learned so much about God from my children.

    But even before my boys, God brought my husband, Craig into my life. The way Craig accepted, loved, and cherished me gave me a tangible example of God's eternal, perfect love for me. Craig overlooked all my imperfections and chose me forever...and at our wedding promised to love me as Christ loves the church. Wow. Seventeen years, 2 teenage sons, and one life-changing accident later, Craig is still with me, still loving me unconditionally. And so is God.

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  4. Oh, Ames, what a beautiful picture, both in photo and in words. Yes, our children often show us glimpses of how God loves us. It is absolutely too wonderful to understand. I've been praying for Haley Grace since before she was born...will continue to.

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  5. Ames, she's precious...and already pondering.

    Parenthood has changed my life. When I was pregnant with my second child, I worried that I wouldn't have enough love for 2 kids, but the amazing thing about our hearts is they expand to give out as much love is needed.

    One thing I've learned is children are so forgiving and quick to love.

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  6. Becoming a mom, being widowed, definitely taught me more about God than anything.

    Haley is beautiful! I'm so glad you posted a photo. Congratulations, Amy!

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  7. I love watching my younger son and dtr.-in-law on March 1st make your same journey totally falling in love w/ their newborn daughter. They were instantly transformed into parents with a tenderness and depth of love that blesses me and overwhelms them.

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  8. Aww, what a beautiful post, Amy. Haley Grace is adorable!!

    One life experience God used in a huge way, actually, was a period of silence and restlessness in my heart. At the end of it, when half a dozen doors opened at once, I realized he was working all along...and his plan was beyond perfect!

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  9. Amy, love the picture of your sweet Haley and the one your words paint. God's love continually amazes me. :) I have learned so much about God's love for e as a mother. His example challenges me to love my kiddos better, more like He loves me. Couldn't be happier for you!

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  10. What a sweet baby!

    God has used many things in my life to remind me that I may not always understand his purposes, but no matter what, he is good.

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  11. TEE, I love the way you said it, that your kids reflect God to you. So true! And I've already told Haley she's a second generation Ponderer, and to be proud! I hope she can meet all of you in person someday!

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  12. Thanks, Paula! I'm amazed at your servant heart and the love and care you've taken of your parents this past year. You are in my prayers, always!

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  13. Heidi, you are right, I've also learned so much from my husband. He keeps me grounded, loves me unconditionally, always cheers for me and will defend me to the end. Having someone to walk through life with is an incredible blessing.

    I can't believe your baby is already 16! Time is going to fly. I look at Haley and can literally see her growing. I keep telling her to stay little!!!

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  14. Dear Pat,
    Thank you so much for praying for Haley. I'm so glad she's here safe and sound. It's a little scary though, because now she's out in the world and so many things could harm her. Just keep praying she comes to know Jesus and we have God-given wisdom as we raise her. Love you!

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  15. Hey LJ,
    It's funny, I think that's a fairly common fear with a second child. I'm so glad to know it's completely unfounded! (Although I think hubby is going to take some coaxing before we tackle kid #2!)

    One other thing I've loved is watching Gregg become a Daddy. I KNEW he'd be amazing at it, but he was so worried he'd fail. Watching him come home and go straight to her for a kiss has melted my heart!

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  16. Roxanne, watching you live your life has taught me to value each moment and never take for granted the ones I love! I'm so glad God has walked with you every step of the way and brought you into my life. You are such a dear friend! Blessings always!

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  17. DEE, I've been thinking about your family going through the same transition and praying it goes as smoothly for them as it has for us. I'm sure you are reminding them to treasure each moment because they grow and change so quickly!

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  18. MTagg, you are so right that God uses the silent periods of our lives to get our attention and redirect us on his path. I had a time like that in college where I realized that even though I grew up in a Christian home, I could actually walk away from God if I wanted to. It was a startling revelation, I'd never thought about choosing to say no before. I think that period solidified my faith in a way that has shaped who I am today!

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  19. MTagg, you are so right that God uses the silent periods of our lives to get our attention and redirect us on his path. I had a time like that in college where I realized that even though I grew up in a Christian home, I could actually walk away from God if I wanted to. It was a startling revelation, I'd never thought about choosing to say no before. I think that period solidified my faith in a way that has shaped who I am today!

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  20. Jeanne, yes, it's so humbling to want to love your kids like God loves me. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be a little more selfless with my sleeping, eating and bathtimes. (That kid seriously chooses those 3 times of day to scream!) Then I remind myself that she's precious and I wouldn't trade this time for anything!

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  21. Lindsay,

    Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you trust that God is always good even when we don't understand his purposes. I'm glad God continually reminds us of this and that he DOES want the best for us!

    Blessings,

    Amy

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  22. Amy, she is so precious!! Congrats, my dear friend!

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  23. I got a dog. Does that count? I really hope God doesn't want to lock me in a kennel sometimes. lol. Adorable pic, Amy. Congrats!

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  24. Amster,
    She is absolutely adorable. In this season, my kids are teaching me to enjoy every moment. My 16 year old will be 17 in 2 months. My youngest is almost 10. Life is flying by and I only have so much time to teach them to love God and love life and all the things in-between.

    Awesome Mommie moment? When your teenage son hugs you in front of his high school and his high school buddies because you've been gone for a week. Priceless.

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  25. The prettiest baby girl I've seen in years ;)

    Soooo happy Haley is finally here :)

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