Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Club "Friday" | Mama Made the Difference

Mamas Teach Us to Be Wise

We are reading through the book Mama Made the Difference by T.D. Jakes. All direct quotes taken from the book are in bold type.

Okay, so there are many books I should have read before becoming a mother... or at least chapters of books.... and this was one of them! Every new mother-to-be needs to read this chapter before delivery so that when her baby is handed to her and starts crying immediately upon transfer and everyone around her starts asking, "What's wrong with him/her? Why is he/she crying?", they won't feel like a horrible mother for not having the answer right then and there.  T.D. Jakes tells us that it is perfectly normal! (Insert huge sigh of relief here)
Newborn babies do not come with instructions. A woman does not know everything about being a mother the minute she gives birth. (My favorite line of the whole chapter!) She does have God-given instincts, and she does have intuition, but she does not have all the answers.
Many times, parenting is done by trial and error.  Mothers (and fathers) learn how to parent each child individually over time spent with each child.  We have learned over the course of three years which methods work best with Addie and which give us no results.  Even in her school time, I have learned that she learns faster when she tickled for every right answer! Go figure!
As parents, we need to become students of our children.  We need to take the time to study each child's personality, character qualities, and ways of learning if we are going to parent each child in the way that God has called us to. We need to ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5-6) in how to reach each child individually, and He will abundantly give us the wisdom we need for each child in each situation.

And that brings me to the error of comparing our children to each other.  Because each child has been created differently (and let's face it, both parents go into parenting the second one with more confidence and experience than they did the first), it is completely unfair to the children to compare them to each other.  It is something that we will not be doing with our two and something we will not allow others to do with our children either.
Before I became a parent, I had this naive notion that parenting was so easy. What I didn't realize until I became a parent myself was that each child has an individual heart, and each heart must be molded and dealt with in the way that the child can best hear God's voice coming through.  Jesus never had a blanket approach to His ministry.  He dealt with each person on an individual level.  For some, he touched them when he healed them, while for others He only spoke and they were healed.  Same result, different method.  When correcting, he was gentle with some (woman at the well and the woman caught in adul*ry) while others He did not hold back and answered with quickness and sharpness. And the ability to to respond this way is because of wisdom.

I believe that a woman's second greatest source of wisdom, after the Bible, is her God-given intuition.  I was always amazed at the intuition my mother hand.  Sometimes it bothered me, because it was always right. However, now that I am the mother, I have noticed that my woman's intuition is blooming and growing into a little twinge I can trust. 

Addie tends to break out in an eczema rash when she is around a particular dog.  Over the last couple of months, I noticed that the rash always seemed to get worse when her skin has been dry.  I know that God spoke to the woman's intuition of mine to begin lathering her in lotion.  We have done that, and she has not broken out in the rash since.  Then the other morning as I was waiting for the weather report on a local channel (I needed to know if it was "safe" to wash and hang my laundry or if we could expect rain), a pediatrician was giving advice on different types of skin rashes.  The first one he brought up was eczema and said that although it is common and without a cure, keeping your child's skin moisturized with lotion would help prevent breakouts.  I was beside myself that God had been working on my intuition (and I had listened to it), and I felt a bit like my mom that morning.

As women, wives, and/or mothers, may God continue to give us the wisdom that we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability, and may He keep our intuition sharpened so that we know what is best for our families.


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