What I’ve Learned About God In The Hood

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There’s been a lot of hype lately about The Mother Hood.  I’m sure you know how things roll there or at least have seen a commercial or YouTube video about it. So here’s my flow…

In the last year, my Hood has seen

Long days, short nights; lots of caffeine.

Tantrums. Messes. Sleep deprivation.

The Greatest Potty Training Rebellion in the nation. 

Lessons and practice and places to go;

And don’t forget the endless school-paper-flow.

Exhaustion is my homey and Rest is my foe.

My kids stopped nappin’ so it’s been real, yo!
From the trenches, I confess my shades tend to tilt toward the negative. But as Mother’s Day approaches, I’m reminded there are sunny days in The Hood; those shining moments when I’m overcome by joy and contentment and can’t imagine my life in any other place. 
I can’t help but giggle and smile when I think of all I love about The Hood…
I love holding my babies and getting “Cubby” hugs from them.
I love listening to them sing and hearing them laugh.
I love being with them in still, quiet moments.
I love seeing myself in them (most of the time).
I love teaching them new things and watching them finally Get It.
I love being my kids’ mom–not just A mom–their mom.  Not because they’re perfect but because they are mine.
You know, God probably enjoys the same things about His children.
Being a mom has taught me so much about God. That’s not to say I didn’t know anything before I was a mom; it’s just His heart for His children is so much clearer from this vantage point. His desires for us make more sense now, because I realize I want the same things for my kids that He wants for His.
He may be our Father, but I see similarities between my Mommy Heart and His.

God loves to hold us.

I have always loved holding my babies. With my first-born, people warned me not to hold her too much, but I couldn’t resist. I wanted to hold her, cuddle her, be as close as I possibly could. She was part of me, my heart wrapped in a pink blanket. 

She will be eight soon and I am sad to say it is almost impossible for me to carry her to bed–but I still try!
Unlike me, my Father’s arms never need a break. I will never be too big for Him to lift. When I raise my arms up to Him, He will always pick me up. (James 4:10)
And when this Mommy gets weary and just wants to hide in a blanket-tent and color, I can. He’s still my Father and I can enjoy the freedom of being His child. He is still in control, even if my tent now requires a mortgage. (Psalm 4:8)
God loves being with us. 
My son just turned three, so he’s still the perfect size to hold and cuddle and carry.  He says, “Momma! Sit wi’t me in ‘da Night-Night Chair!” That’s our spot.
Our mornings are routine; we watch Peter Rabbit over milk and coffee and cuddles. It is our time together and I cherish it every single day, much like I imagine The Lord enjoys His time with me. 
My daughter and I had a similar routine, only it was Jack’s Big Music Show and Nilla’s with milk. But once Baby Brother came along and school started, our routine had to change. Gone were the days of quiet, slow mornings. Sigh…
Now we have to purposely find time to be alone, and what we do together looks different than it did when she was two. The time I spend with The Lord has changed, too, and as I’ve shared, that’s okay with Him.
Same goes for time with my own Momma. The rhythm of our lives has changed, but our love and desire to spend time together hasn’t.

God Loves to hear our voices.

Young or old, near or far, all moms love the sound of their kids’ voices. (Side Note–don’t forget to call your mom on Mother’s Day!)  Granted, there are times I want those little voices to desist, especially after hearing MOMMY! 4,518 times in a row; but I’d go crazy without them.

My favorite are those tender, quiet moments when the world is still; lying in bed, listening to them think back over their day.  The way they whisper secret thoughts with sleepy voices between yawns, even though I already know what they are thinking…

These are the moments I wish would never end, ones I savor for nights they’re down the hall in their own room.  They are intimate and sweet and so precious to my heart.  They are the moments I most understand how much God delights in me.

Like the night my son prayed…
Gee-Zus, T’ank you for apples, my pillow, my jammies, pickles, my horse, Sissy, Sissy’s school, Daddy, Momma, Gramz…
I have no doubt Jesus grinned through that whole prayer, just like I did.  It was music to His ears and mine.
God loves seeing Himself in us.
It’s an awesomely weird feeling when your child makes a face or movement and suddenly, you see yourself.  It feels good to have someone say, “They look just like you!”  But acting like you? Well, that depends.
Sometimes that’s a cute thing, like this morning as my daughter tried to kill a bug in the backseat. I warned, “Don’t break the window!” to which she quipped, “I’m trying to break the bug!”  Yep, she’s mine.
Other times are not so cute, like disciplining your child for being bossy–which they totally learned from you. Such a humbling moment.

Fortunately, God wants to teach us His ways because they are always Good. 

I love it when I see the light come on over my kids’ heads.  The moment they learn to snap their fingers or tie their shoes–or use the potty–is just The Best.  Their little minds grow right before my eyes, proving all my efforts aren’t in vain.
Thankfully, God waits patiently for the moment when we Get It. The moment we realize we are made in His image to reflect Him. The moment we grasp the depth and width and height of His love for us.
God truly loves being our Father.
Motherhood is the perfect paradox.  One minute I want to lock myself in the bathroom to get away from The Minions, but then I don’t want them out of my sight.  I’m stoked for a Mom’s Night Out, but then I’m teary-eyed when I leave. What is that?
For every moment my kids make me feel like a crazy person, there are triple the moments I feel blessed. I think God feels me.
Even though we are sinners, God loves each of us even more than I love my babies (if that’s even possible). He loves us with a before-you-were-born, everlasting-to-everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)  
We are His and no matter what we may say or do, how we may misunderstand or falsely reason, He promises to never abandon us. His resources will never dry up. He will always care, always provide, always give us the best.(Isaiah 54:10)

God doesn’t want to punish us.

I think my least favorite corner of The Mother Hood is The Naughty Step, yet I am forced to take my kids there.  If ever there were a doubt as to whether God’s word is true, Psalm 51:5 is proof it’s legit.  We don’t have to be taught how to sin.

God hates sin. He is Just and He must punish it.  Yet, He loves us so stinkin’ much.

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23

Oh, I understand this in my deepest soul now.  When a three-year-old pushes the limits of his tantrum by spitting at me, justice comes natural.  Yet when that same precious one cries tears of remorse and sobs, “Mommy, I sowwy,” Mercy takes over.  Grace is the balance.

In His Mercy, God doesn’t give us what His Justice says we deserve.  By Grace, He gives us something we do not–Forgiveness.

The longer I live in The Hood, the more I realize becoming a parent is to become more like God; to feel His heartbeat, see His view, and have His desires. 

We want the best for our children.  We pray for them, nurture them; protect and direct them. We provide for their Needs and graciously give their Wants when possible.  We see their true worth and have hope for their future. Sound familiar?

Our heavenly Father wants Good for us so much, He actually gave His one and only Son to be killed in our place.

As a mom, that is the one thing about God I don’t think I’ll ever fathom. I could never give my child over to be killed for anyone, much less someone guilty of a crime.
Yet, that is precisely what The Father did. He accepted full payment for our sin debt from His very own perfect Son in order to offer us forgiveness.
When we accept this amazing offer, He gives us the free gift of eternal life. From that moment on, The Father begins parenting us to become just like His sinless, first-born Son.
We all think our kids are pretty awesome, but His really was.  And He took the spanking we deserved.  Like my C-section scar, His wounds gave us life.

As moms, we’ll never move out of The Mother Hood but one day our peeps will find cribs of their own (we hope). The frenzy will settle and we will no doubt pine for the good ol’ days.

That day will be here before we know it, so let’s do our best to enjoy our place in The Hood today.

Peace out and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

~Jessie

Check out these videos for some fun Mother Hood laughs…

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