Heart Pondering

The ponderings of one Christ-following mom on raising preschoolers

Reminded to treasure my children July 27, 2010

Filed under: For moms,Prayer — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:53 pm

Yesterday I called 911 for the first time.  I let the kids each pick a treat out of their ‘birthday party stash’ – the candy that had come out of a pinata at a friend’s birthday party.  My 4 1/2-year old chose a small piece of hard candy; when he asked how to eat it I told him it was like a lollipop but without a stick. Two minutes later he was choking – able to cough but not to speak, panic in his eyes as I gave him back blows and encouraged him to breathe through his nose. I called 911 as soon as the first couple blows didn’t work… and was on the phone with dispatch when he succeeded in coughing the candy into his mouth (at which point I called it off, sat with him as our adrenaline pumped, and prayed thanks to God for bringing him through it to safety.).  I’ve never been so relieved in my years as a mother as I was at that moment.  It was the first time that I truly felt crisis set in… that things could go terribly wrong right there in my kitchen with my little boy in my arms.

As I’ve reflected on that moment over the past 24 hours, I’ve thought about how the moment was for me a tangible instance of the visible and invisible worlds coming together.  It was an intersection between the what-is and the what-could-be, the possibility of a life-and-death moment.  The here-and-now and eternity seemed to meet in that moment. (more…)


Parenting with full surrender and trust in God July 18, 2010

Filed under: Fear,For moms,Parenting,Prayer — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 11:31 pm

There’s a large, vibrant church in our community called Jesus is Reality that I’ve often heard about; you see bumper stickers all over town that simply say: “reality.”  The lead pastor, Britt Merrick, is a 30-something guy from a serious surfing family and apparently an amazing teacher.  Last week I learned from Kendra of Preschoolers and Peace that Britt’s young daughter Daisy has cancer.  A large tumor was discovered last fall; after surgery and six months of chemo she was declared cancer-free; last week a new tumor was discovered.  At Kendra’s recommendation I watched Britt’s sermon from last fall, given six days after Daisy’s tumor was discovered… It was, without exaggeration, one of the most powerful sermons I’ve ever listened to.  It spoke into the places of heart-wrestling, at the mother level, that recent months have presented… when my baby’s heartbeat was irregular; when my friend’s son died of SIDS; when my nephew was born 14 weeks premature.  It spoke to me about parenting with a spirit of full surrender and trust in God.  Britt’s sermon, “When my heart is overwhelmed,” was so powerful that I took some notes; I figured I might as well share them here.  Bring me, O Lord, to this same place of parental conviction and peace…

–What I want to talk to you about this morning is, what do you do, as a Christian, when the doctor says to you, “Your 5-year old has cancer”?  How do you deal with that; how do you process that?  As the people of God, who (more…)


Thoughts on being a parenting anomaly July 11, 2010

Filed under: Culture,For moms,Parenting,Prayer — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:55 pm

Sometimes in life you realize you’ve become something of an anomaly, and I’m finding this is just as apt to happen in the parenting world as anywhere else.  Or perhaps more apt to happen.  Three passing examples from the last month:

1. Friends of ours were visiting from out-of-state with their twin three-year-old boys.  Conversation turned to training methods to reinforce a child’s accountability to his parents – specifically in obeying instructions.  I described the success we’ve found in utilizing the outlasting strategy outlined in Elizabeth Krueger’s Raising Godly Tomatoes, role-playing actual scenes in which I’ve used this method with one child or another for them.  Our friends were intrigued and inspired, whereupon one said: “Why have I never seen anything like this used before?”  I could completely relate to his question.  Before I started using the technique after reading the book (three years into motherhood), I’d never once seen it employed either. (more…)


The truth about fragility July 7, 2010

Filed under: Culture,For moms,Pregnancy — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 4:13 am

A few days ago my sweet nephew entered the world, three months premature and weighing just under two pounds.  To say that his arrival threw our whole family into a tailspin wouldn’t begin to describe it.  With my own children arriving at 40 and 42 weeks, I’m a stranger to preemie births; none of my friends have delivered much before 38 weeks.  So I personally have no experience in this realm- to say nothing of my dear sister-in-law (and brother), this being her first pregnancy.  In five years of mothering, I’ve experienced nothing remotely close to just the first hour of her child’s life – the medicalization, the fear, the surrender, the complete lack of control.  The desperation for the health of that tiny child.

Thankfully the sweet babe is stable and faring okay, though of course he’s at the start of a very long road.  He’s bathed in prayers from scores and scores of devoted family members and friends. In my sister-in-law’s words, “God’s faithfulness is great, and we rest in the fact that Sam is in Jesus’ arms.  What better place to be as he continues to be knit together.”   

When I pray for Sam I often see the image of the Holy Spirit in dove form, hovering over his incubator… And I believe that’s what happening in the unseen realm.  Counselor, Guide, Protector – keeping watch there over him.  It brings me great comfort as I ponder his tiny body.  Thirteen inches long and so delicate – to judge from the photo – you’d think he might break during a diaper change.  A picture of fragility.

The thing I’ve been pondering though, is that I’m really just as fragile as little Sam. We all are; according to the Bible, we’re all a vapor. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  And yet this truth is so far from the American psyche, so far from my own mindset.  The great lie of our culture is that life is within our own control – that we can plan and organize and have things the way we want them (at least to some degree).  A manageable, long, and comfortable life is expected, even assumed.  And our enemy is in the business of propagating this worldview.  His goal is to keep the true fragility of our situation as far from our minds as possible. (more…)