Halfway there. Twenty weeks. Holy cow. (Crank some Bon Jovi for me?)
I just began reading a (so-far) excellent book entitled Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, a mother-daughter duo. The idea is that your children are not perfect, will never be perfect, and as Christian parents, giving them more law ("Be good!") is not a gospel-centered way to nurture them. The law does not make us perfect as adults, so why do we think it will make our children perfect, or even teach them true obedience? Our tiny sinners need the radical, crazy gospel of Jesus our Savior. They can't do it, they can't please God, they can't get it right, and they need to know they can't, so they'll actually understand the gospel. They write: "Our children aren't innately good, and we shouldn't tell them that they are. But they are loved, and if they truly believe that, his love will transform them." By God's grace, I pray I can love my kids with a gospel love, and not out of a selfish need for this precious child to behave and "be good." He can't be good.
(Incidentally, I always wish I could tell my parents this in a way they'd understand at my job when they seem shocked that their little darling disobeyed/bit/hit, whatever. I just want to say, "Your kid is a sinner, and will never be perfect; don't be shocked that they act this way." But without the grace of the gospel, they don't understand that.)
I've been thinking about what it will mean to be a parent, to give up all these things that I think I want and need, to put my dreams and ambitions on hold, perhaps for a very long time, for the sake of nurturing this tiny human to the fullest of my small ability. It's scary, but good; I know every reason I could throw out for not having a child this young, this early, are all completely selfish reasons. I want to choose to embrace this wonderful, beautiful, greater, sanctifying good over what I think I want from my life. And I'm trying to work it into some sort of a nice poem, but right now, all I have is this rough start, based on one of my favorite children's books:
Goodnight comb. Goodnight brush.
Goodnight stars. Goodnight air.
Goodnight freedoms everywhere.
Goodnight self. Goodnight sleep.
Goodnight quiet, dark and deep.
Goodnight youth. Goodnight brands.
Goodnight carefree evening plans.
Goodnight silly, careless, wild.
Goodnight self: Goodnight child.
Good morning, beautiful baby.