Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 146: Milestones and Motherhood

Many of you may recall the day that you got married as the most significant milestone of your life. For others, it may be the day that you graduated college or took your fantasy vacation or found your dream designer, mustard yellow handbag at 75% off and watched as an old lady stole it from you in plain sight (*cough*-There's part of my heart that still mourns this day.).

For me, I can mark today down as an epic milestone, along with these memorable days from my past:

1. The day I found out that the guy I liked for 2 years in college had a twin. [I thought this was God's gift to me. Then, come to find out, his twin is a girl.]

2. The day I tucked my dress into my underwear at a 5 star resort.

3. The day I announced publicly my belief in Big Foot.

May 26 (that's today) will forever go down in infamy, one that can be added to my list of epic milestones. Why? Because today I decided I wanted to be a mom.

Was it a cute baby at Target? Was it watching a rerun of A Baby Story on TLC? Was it feeding orphans in Africa? No. It was one comment from one pastor in one Q&A session. That's all it took.

Yes, I know what you may be thinking... "All those years of people trying to convince you that motherhood is a good thing and sermons and teaching and babysitting...and all it takes is a Q&A session? You've got to be kidding me." Well, it happened that way.

It was this statement:

"My goal as a parent is to make my family safe
so that they can enjoy God."

-Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Redding, CA

I started thinking about this and it kind of wrecked me. REALLY wrecked me. I started lining up my 20-something-aged friends in my mind and was going through each and every person birthed out of this parentless generation. In my mind I walked up to them and asked, "Did your parents nurture you in a place of emotional and physical safety so that you could freely enjoy God?" Almost every person I asked in my mind would respond with a sarcastic, wounded laugh.

It was in that very moment that I realized I have the tools to raise a child. Now, I'm not married, I don't own a car seat, and if you asked me how to cure diaper rash I would have no idea, but I enjoy God. I enjoy God with every part of me. And if you have a parent who truly enjoys God (I'm not talking about going to church on Sunday and doing an occasional "quiet time" here), but a parent who genuinely ENJOYS God ... then you have a recipe for success.

[Enjoy: to take pleasure or delight in; to live in happiness; to relish the pleasures]

I also value safety. But I hear you saying to me, "Doesn't everyone?" Okay, well then answer me this: Do/did you feel welcome with your parents? Could you talk to them knowing that you wouldn't be judged? Do/did you feel freedom and a sense of belonging? That's the kind of safety I'm talking about valuing...the kind that our culture is allergic to...the kind of safety that only exists in trust.

I want to be able to walk in front of that same line of people in my mind someday and see a transformed generation. A generation that knows the heart of God, delights in His will, and feels safe enough to enjoy their Father. So much so, that in the future they can stand in that line with their children and confidently say, "I made my family safe so that they can enjoy God." Then, I can look at their children, and ask them, "Do you enjoy God?" And instead of words they just dance.

I hope my children become dancers...

So, here's my vow, public and electronic, that I will make my family safe so that they can enjoy God. If that's what being a parent means then sign me up for motherhood.

Today is the milestone of motherhood. Day 146 of 2010.


Joan C. Webb said...

Totally awesome blog, Justine!
I love your "aha", your insight about motherhood, your new vow. AND you telling us about this statement: "My goal as a parent is to make my family safe so that they can enjoy God."

I do understand your little survey with your friends asking them this question and the sarcastic responses. After having spent hours as a Life Coach and LifePlan Facilitator, I do see (and it's sad) that it is the exception when a person grows up feeling "safe" emotionally, mentally, spiritually, creatively as well as physically. Thus it is difficult for many to "see" and experience and enjoy God. Thanks for writing about this. You expressed it so well.

Dawn Wilson said...

Justine, I love the way you think ... and write. My ministry is all about making wise, godly choices, and I've scanned your blog posts and see many great choices for God.

Your stated "goal" is powerful.

Have you ever heard of the True Woman conference? (see I know some single gals who attend who have your heart. Wish you could go. (I'm going to Indianapolis.)

Keep on writing, Justine. You've got some books in you. (LOL - that reminded me of a cartoon I saw. A woman lying on an operating table. The doctor is holding up a book and says, "I guess she really did have a book in her!")

Lynne Hartke said...

Hi Justine, I'm a new blog follower. I found your comments on safety intriquing because most of the books I read talk about the negative aspects of raising our kids to be safe rather than risk-takers for God, so that they go looking outside of Christianity to find adventure. I understand your premise in regard to safe - to be safe emotionally and feel stable and secure so that you can launch out to serve God boldly. Interesting thoughts. My daughter, age 21, and I often have the "safe" converstaion as she explores internships to work with an organizataion overseas dealing in sex trafficking. Sometimes I wish she wanted to be more safe!!!

Justine McKnight said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement! Dawn, I'm specifically holding onto your comment, "You've got some books in you!" :) I will keep you posted on that one....

Garasha said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for the parenting encouragement! Now this is a first for me. Taking parenting advice from a non parent. I LOVE IT! God is beautiful!

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