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Thursday, October 24, 2013

How Parenting has Changed my Prayer Life

I guess it makes sense that at different times in our lives, our prayers will change according to our situation.  However, I have noticed recently just how much parenting has changed my prayers, and I am so thankful for how God has used Jonah to change my heart.

The biggest change has to be the amount of time I pray for my parents and my in-laws.  My little guy is 17 months old, and totally in love with all 5 of his grandparents.  He calls them all either "Nana" or "PawPaw" gender accordingly, and he knows the driveway of all of their homes, and recognizes them in pictures.  He will point at people who look like them and proclaim, "Nana!" or "PawPaw!"  This is a video of him looking for them while we were on our trip:
video


I love my parents and my in-laws, but now I value their lifespan SO MUCH MORE!  I want Jonah and Karis and all of our future children, to grow up with all 5 of their grandparents for as long as possible.  I pray for their health, physical and spiritual, far more than before I had a child.  Watching Jonah love his grandparents makes me love and appreciate all of them more, too.  Being a parent also gives me a greater appreciation for all the things our parents went through with us!

The other thing I notice, is that I pray for change in myself in order to be a better parent.  As a teacher, I prayed for all of my students by name daily on the way to school, and I would say something at the end like, "Please help me to love them and teach them the way they can learn the best."  As a parent, I pray, "God change my heart to be less selfish, to give more patience, more grace, to be the kind of parent you want me to be."  I think that whenever I go back to teaching, I will certainly still pray for my students, but I will continue to pray more for God to change MY heart more than my students, to make me the kind of teacher He wants me to be.

I think the most important change in my parent's perspective prayer life, is the way I pray for my husband.  John is a wonderful father and husband, but I used to pray very generally for him "Help him to be more patient," etc.  Now, I have made my prayers so much more specific for our lives, thanking God more for all the ways John is awesome, and praying God will help him with the exact things that he struggles with, and that the Lord will show me how I can help my husband.
In the morning, when a cheerful 27 pounds isn't that bad.
That afternoon he had to carry him for just over an hour like this while he slept.
Super Daddy!
This is one of those posts that I don't really know if it will help others, but that I need to take note of in my life to remember things the Lord is teaching me now.  Some days parenting is very difficult, but most days I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to mold and shape little people, who in turn, mold and shape me.

Speaking of "shaping," the third trimester has officially begun and Karis is growing and moving constantly!

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