Maybe it begins in the hospital, that first moment you see this little life and she blinks her eyes in your direction because she’s heard your voice, un-muffled for the first time by the sound of your heart beat and the shushing of your womb.
Maybe, if we’re being truthful, it begins before that. We moms analyze morning sickness, aerobic kicking routines versus squirmy tummy rolls, a baby sucking his thumb on the ultrasound or another one turning somersaults and having to be chased around by the technician to keep him on the screen.
We think about our children, consider their character, who God has made them and how He has gifted them.
We think about what they like to eat and why, whether they keep to the schedule willingly or fight it all the way. We consider whether they are spontaneous, creative, artistic, analytical, strong-willed, stubborn, articulate, shy, introverted or extroverted.
And then we ponder what to do about it.
Like how I still remember the first time my middle girl handed me a fistful of air and asked me to eat the “sandwich” she had made for me when her older sister had never yet cooked up a pretend meal for me to taste.
Or how I watched as one of my daughters played with her toys by lining them all up in one straight line, categorizing the farm animals into groups. And my second daughter played with the same toys by creating elaborate story lines and interactions like, “Hi, what is your name? I’m here to see the farm!”
And how two of my daughters can play for hours on their own without any need for outside conversation or stimulation and my oldest daughter can’t survive 15 minutes without someone to do things with her.
I ponder all this because God has given me these gifts, these children, and being a mom means engaging in the discipline of pondering, taking the time to listen without speaking, watch without intervening, evaluate, assess, and yes, even marvel.
Sometimes we miss it. We’re busy; they’re busy. They struggle and we don’t realize it. They needed us and we failed to see. They hurt and we were distracted.
But our desire, our goal as moms, is to mother like Mary, who
“was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them” (Luke 2:9 HCSB).
We do this because want to get this right. We want to parent these blessings with wisdom, making the right choices for their benefit and for their future. God teaches us who they are only when we take time to pay attention.
In her book, The Passionate Mom, Susan Merrill writes that a mom must
ponder everything she learns about her child so she can truly know her child.
This in turn becomes a spiritual discipline all its own, because pondering is the call of every mom.
More than this, it’s the call of every Christ-follower.
None of us can randomly and haphazardly scramble through this life maze and find wisdom without hunting for it or choose to turn here and there correctly without actively pursuing direction.
The Psalmist challenged us:
Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord (Psalm 107:43 NIV).
Wisdom comes from heeding…from pondering.
And what do we meditate on? What do we watch so carefully and take our time to consider, churning it over in our mind, thinking of the implications and action steps?
We ponder the “loving deeds of the Lord.”
Not just skip right over them in haste and busyness. Not shout back a hurried “thanks, God” as we tumble on our way headfirst into another crisis.
No, here we pause and take the time to see and to say, “Look how God showed His love for me…what does this mean for me now and tomorrow and every day to come?”
Solomon assured us that attaining wisdom is an active pursuit:
Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures (Prov. 2:2-4)
Cry out for it.
Ask for it.
Search and seek like it’s the greatest treasure and you the Indiana Jones in this adventure.
Knowing our children doesn’t happen accidentally. We don’t become the expert on our baby instantly at birth or know all we need to know to parent them into adulthood before the nurse rolls us out of the hospital in the wheelchair.
We learn through pondering.
And this God of ours…who He is and how He works, what He desires and plans for us…we can’t fathom without the wisdom that comes through pondering His loving deeds and pursuing wisdom actively, passionately, constantly, and even patiently.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King