Before I had children…

Before I had kids I thought I would have 5 children.

I thought my children would never watch tv and never eat at McDonald’s.

 I pictured relaxed family weekends sitting besides Chatsworth River with  well-behaved children giggling and laughing with one another.

Before I had kids I thought my regimented morning “quiet-time” with God would continue.

And then I had children.

Sometimes I wrestle with the tension of the perfect idealism I hold in my head and the reality that we have 3, not 5 children; that our children have a drawer full of DVD’s and that they have numerous “Happy Meal” toys scattered round the house. 

As for regimented time with God in the morning… it’s definitely a bit more miss than hit.

But what I am learning is how to have a more integrated life. I have learnt how to connect with God whilst washing up, wiping bottoms, feeding babies, removing dog poo from shoes, running to school, and cooking dinner. I am learning to hear His still soft voice whilst bathing the kids, mopping the floor, hanging out the washing, and tucking up little ones at bedtime.

I have begun to see and experience that life doesn’t neatly fit into boxes. The  “God-stuff” isn’t something separate to the “family stuff” or the “ministry stuff”. They’re all part of life and, if we let Him, God can disciple us through all those moments whether they appear to be “spiritual” moments or not. I love my longer times of connecting with God but I also love knowing that He is discipling me  in all my everyday activities.

And I am also learning that I am really happy in the reality that my kids “occasionally” enjoy chicken nuggets and make silly jokes from the DVD’s they’ve watched. A little bit of reality injected into my idealism is a good thing!

posted by Anna

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5 thoughts on “Before I had children…

  1. Did you also picture children who behaved beautifully through church services, sat quietly while notices were given out, never used the church building interior as a race track, and worshipped in a calm and appropriate manner standing with their families during the worship time?!
    As parents of small children, It is a wonderful thing to have church leaders who also have small children and know the reality of it 🙂

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  2. Anna, as regularly happens, I have read this and it has made me cry as I identify with it and allow God to show me what He wants to. I so needed to read this this morning. Thank you.x

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  3. Anna,
    Your honesty is really refreshing and encouraging! Your comment that ‘life doesn’t neatly fit into boxes’ is something that Verity and I talk about a lot. When you lead a busy life, the space between ‘the boxes’ (and sometimes lack of space) seems to be where a lot of tension is able to creep in and distort our perspective. I agree that God works through all of these strands of life and we can waste a lot of time and energy trying to keep family / work / ‘church’ apart. God wants all of it.
    Great blog! It’s good to know your thoughts.
    Kris

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  4. Pingback: what if we allowed our kids to be a channel rather than an obstacle? | the robinsons

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