In yesterday’s post, Megan shared the struggle through heartache and confusion that began the journey toward Spirit-Led Parenting. Today, her co-author, Laura Oyer, shares the second part of the message – the one God used to bring redemption to their mothering journeys.
Laura and her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Mark, have two children – Maya, a sensitive, wise almost-second-grader, and Noah, a four-year-old version of Buddy the Elf.
As Megan shared yesterday, her first weeks and months of parenting were a time filled with fear, namely the fear that she was failing.
Her story echoes mine. We each found ourselves overwhelmed by the weight of failed expectations, intense confusion, and total lack of direction. We’ve told you how parenting manuals caused so much distress for us when we were new mothers. So why on earth would we write a book on parenting?
Because somewhere along the way, we discovered a beautiful truth: there is another way.
“There is an approach to parenting that looks fear in the face and boldly speaks an answer: Freedom. Freedom from required formulas, unrealistic expectations of our children and ourselves, and the belief that we must force our babies to fit into a mold that may not have been designed for them.”
In the lowest, most darkest moments of weathering the shock of parenting babies who in no way acted the way the books said they should, God spoke into our lives a radical idea, that He had a unique path for each family – one that honors the beautifully-created individuality of both parents and children – and that we could embrace the freedom to follow His lead.
“This idea of beginning without a clear plan can be unnerving. We want consistent guidelines and cold hard facts. We want outlines and directions that are easy to read and follow. But Spirit-led parenting doesn’t work like that. And the reason for this is yet another radical idea: the first year should be less about training our babies and more about God developing us as parents and human beings. If we let Him, God can use that first intense year of baby’s life to train us how to live a life that is fully surrendered to Him. To cultivate in us a trust that follows His lead, seeks Him first, and understands His grace.”
Eventually, we had the courage to tell others about this revelation. We shared our stories, and were surprised and overwhelmed by the response. Other parents shared their own journeys, how they had been burned by trying so hard to follow one parenting methodology or another, how the quiet promptings of the Spirit were drowned in the clamor and noise of the Mommy Wars.
And that is how God first stirred our hearts to write this book. We are passionate about sharing the stories of our own lives and those of others to illustrate how the first year of parenting doesn’t have to be marked with insecurity, shame, and worry. Instead, it can be a year of life-changing growth and transformation.
“He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
Our invitation is for you to join us in discovering the freedom that God offers to families everywhere:
Freedom to lean wholly on the wisdom of God in the trenches of parenting … because He is faithful.
Freedom to embrace the beautiful uniqueness of your child … because they were fearfully and wonderfully made by the work of His hands.
Freedom – yes – even to fail … because He loves and redeems and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We would love to share our stories with you. Because we know now and declare for the rest of our days that He has truly set us free.
Megan and I are offering five copies of Spirit-Led Parenting to (in)courage readers. To enter to win, leave a comment on yesterday’s post finishing this sentence: My biggest fear about having a new baby was/is _______________. Your answer can be silly or serious. We’ll choose five commenters to win a copy of the book on Friday!