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Not Me
Photo: Joelle Yamada
We baptized my son today.

There is so much joy in that sentence that it’s actually hard to figure out how the words can be just black and white. Seems they should glow and jump off the page in 3D!

I posted some pictures on Facebook and loved reading everyone’s excited congratulations. I found it interesting (and sort of baffling) that many of the comments complimented my husband and me on our parenting skills.

And not to say that we aren’t marvelous parents, but for the record? This had nothing to do with us.

Before becoming a parent, I knew exactly how to be a perfect one. I was certain that my children would never throw tantrums, would eat all their vegetables, would always say please and thank you and would go to sleep without complaint. They would do their homework on time, ask to be excused from the table, speak respectfully to their parents and always make their bed.

Constant State of Guilt

Then I became a parent and the failures began. I spent my first couple of mom-years in a constant state of guilt for all the things I was doing wrong. I was pretty sure that my kids were going to end up in jail and me in an asylum.

And then it started to happen. Little moments. Glimpses of other worldly beauty. Sparks of light that seemed to shine from the center of their little bodies. And I knew. This was not all about me and my parenting. This was about God.

These children were knit together in their mother’s womb by their Heavenly Father (Psalm 139:13). The plan for their personalities and giftedness and innate longing for spiritual things was placed inside them before I even knew of their existence. They came into this world with all sorts of wonderfully designed bits and pieces of the person Lord has created them to be.

It is not because of me that this wonderful event took place. At times it is in spite of me. As a mother, it is my God-given job to encourage my children to become. To become what God has made them to be. My son’s baptism took place not because I took him to church regularly or because we learned some Bible verses, but because the Lord has fanned a flame in his heart that just had to be shared.

It is a wonderful feeling for me to know that I can trust in God’s plan for my children instead of panicking about the details of my own plans for them. I will still strive to create a healthy, safe and spiritually encouraging home for them. But I will remember that these are God’s children I’m honored to hold for a time.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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