2. nuture

in my selfishness, i will choose tasks over people. i will choose to put myself first, my needs first. the art of nurturing doesn't work with selfishness. it works with sacrifice.

my friend delivered a sweet boy into the world yesterday. as i think of the miracle of birth, that precious baby needed nurturing from the minute he breathed his first breath in the world. he'll receive it from doctors, nurses, his mom and his dad. it's in the early months up until more independence that a loving mother never questions her gift of nurturing. it makes sense. it provides health. it feeds. it leads to growth.

yet i find myself with three precious boys who have gained that independence more so and i wonder how to nurture. they don't need me like they did at birth. but that's not the truth. they need me and the gift of nurturing in a new way.

the same with God. He is still Father to me though seasons of life have a way of bringing to light new and different ways I see Him and need Him. as i parent, i need Him in different ways. i depend on Him in different ways. with babies, i depended on His promises that He was my strength and sanity when i was sleep-deprived and weak. with toddlers, i depended on His creativity to show me ways to keep a mobile child entertained for hours on end. with school-aged boys, i depend on Him for wisdom to debrief after a hard day of school.

i'm thankful God nurtures me. He knows what i need when i need it. He is faithful to care and provide.

Gary Thomas shares this as well:
"No matter how many bumps we may hit or bends we may have to negotiate along the road to raising our children, God promises to guide our steps,
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strengthen our stride, and refresh our souls. He knows we are insufficient, but he points us to his Son's provision and his Spirit's comfort, guidance, and power, all of which more than meet our needs. Even if we don't see all the results we'd like to see, at least we're getting steady reminders of God's patience and long-suffering toward us."

may you and i use the art of nurturing to meet our children's needs in ways that speak love and care to them. it requires selflessness. it requires sacrifice. but be encouraged. Someone was that selfless and sacrificial to us.

"Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:23-26