The Promised Land of Parenting

As I trudge through parenthood, I have to remind myself not to get too focused on the minutiae of it all—things like sleeping through the night or whether my daughter’s getting enough age-appropriate entertainment to keep her on-track developmentally. It’s enough to become consuming, if I let it.

That’s the thing. I have to make sure I don’t let those things become consuming.

Instead, I must remember what the real goal ought to be fore as a mom: To teach my daughter about The Lord and do my best to show Him to her.

I was reminded of this when I was reading through the early chapters of Joshua, as the Israelites are awaiting deliverance to the Promised Land and readying to attack Jericho:

Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” Joshua 3:2-5

“Since you have never traveled this way before,” the text says, the people are to let the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant lead the way. They are to follow the Ark, which will guide them, straight into the Promised Land.

Oh, how that resonates with this life of mine as a new, first-time mom. I have never traveled this way before and oftentimes feel at a loss, unsure of what I’m doing, wondering how much I’m messing things up, how many mistakes I’m making.

But, like the Israelites, I have to remember that it’s okay that I don’t know what I’m doing when I find myself into this unfamiliar territory. It’s okay, because God has led me this far and I have to trust him to lead me the rest of the way—into the Promised Land of parenting.

So long as I continue looking to him, looking to his Word and his promises, he will guide me and deliver me to that place of promise, that place where I can see my daughter flourish because she has found love in him.

That ought to be the Promised Land I’m after. I have to remind myself to let that—rather than everything else—be the mission that guides my steps. It is not getting my daughter to sleep through the night or perfect crawling by six months. It is so much simpler than that: Love God and model him for her in hopes that she will someday follow in those same footsteps.

Like Joshua told that band of vagabonds, looking longingly at their Promised Land off in the distance: When we let him lead us, “the Lord will do great wonders among you.” That’s the kind of Promised Land I’m after!

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  1. This resonated so much with me. Thanks for writing this. I'm a first time momma, and while my girl didn't crawl until almost year, I still have to remind myself time and time again that none of this matters.

    1. So true! A baby doesn't always go by the book--and that's okay!!

  2. I'm so thankful you've written this post and once again, God has shown me His providence with timely encouragement. It's definitely rough not only being a first time mom but also having a "spirited" child, as you well know. By the way, I'm making my way (slowly but surely) through the Spirit Led Parenting book and it's been such an encouragement! :)

    1. Ah, so glad you're loving that book. And, yes, these "spirited" children of ours. Totally give us a run for our money don't they? But I know (and keep telling myself!) it will so be worth it!

  3. You have so inspired me. I can totally relate to the daughter not being able to crawl at 6 months. My daughter is not starting to crawl yet and it makes me worry. Well with concerns to my daughter, I do have a lot of worries. But yes you are right, the more important thing is to give everything to God and focus on things that matter...that my daughter will grow up following the teachings and footsteps of Jesus.

    1. So glad that this article spoke to you and has helped ease some of your worries. Motherhood seems to dish up more than its fair share of those!


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