I am only 16 months into this whole parenting thing but MAN, I have learned a LOT! So many people given me their advice, some unwarranted ☺. I have read more books than I have in a long time. My husband, Sam, and I consulted both of our parents. That was all very helpful, but nothing can prepare you for parenthood – in every aspect.

Parenthood is hard. Parenthood is exhausting. But parenthood is so incredibly amazing. Parenthood has taught me so much about my Jesus that I have loved for many years. Parenthood has shown me my weaknesses and my strengths.

These are just a few of the things that parenthood is teaching me about Jesus:

Love – The love that a parent has for a child is incredible. And there is something so amazing about knowing that my daughter, Harper, is such a beautiful mix of Sam and me. I never fully understood what Mary must have felt watching her son die on the cross. When Harper was just a few months old, I was rocking her one night while she slept. I was overcome with emotion just thinking about Mary and what it must have been like to watch her son be crucified. The love that I have for Harper is far from perfect – which makes me know that Jesus’ love for His children is almost unfathomable.

Trust – I can’t do it on my own. I realized that very quickly night 1 in the hospital. I prayed a lot in that hospital room! I had no idea what I was doing and had to trust that the Lord would equip me to be a mom. I love children. I majored in Child and Family Studies at UT (go Vols!). But I had no clue what to do with my own child! The Lord wants us to trust Him. He wants us to go to Him when we are scared, hurt, or even excited.  We also have to trust that the Lord will guide Harper and show her that He loves her and bring her to Him. Parenting has a lot of ups and downs. Harper is an amazing little girl and we are so thankful that the Lord trusted us to give her to us!

Patience – Sometimes I get frustrated when Harper takes forever trying to do something herself when I know that I could do it in half the time. Case in point: Harper loves bringing us our shoes. Every morning Harper brings Sam his shoes before he leaves for work. Sam and I both know that he could grab his shoes and put them on in seconds, but Harper has the biggest smile on her face when she picks up each tennis shoe and brings it to her Dada. Just as parents have to be patient with their children, the Lord is patient with us. The Lord is patient with us learning to be more like Him. He is patient when we go astray. He is patient when we continue to sin and sin and sin.  Which brings me to my next point…

Forgiveness – Being a parent brings out the best (and sometimes the worst) in us. I have had to ask for forgiveness to Sam, Harper, and Jesus more times than I care to admit. Some days are better than others, but usually there’s an “I’m sorry, please forgive me” somewhere in there. I am often humbled at thinking about how many times the Lord forgives us so quickly. He doesn’t hold grudges or act bitterly towards us. He loves us, forgives us, and offers grace and mercy every single day.

In the end, parenthood is a journey. It’s not easy. It’s not glamorous. But it’s worth it. And ultimately, it’s not about us.

Sort of like following Jesus!