There is one thing I have always told myself I wanted tattooed on my brain as I get older: “Remember the diaper years of parenting!” It’s easy to forget as time goes by. It seems to me that there is a plethora of resources and relationships that are available once our kids reach school age, but what about for the challenges happening during those early years?


Maybe you’re there now?

Sleeping schedules? Packing bags? Balancing food choices? Please, for the love, why won’t my child just leave the diaper on?!

I mean, we could no longer just make plans to go somewhere for the weekend … we needed an agenda just to leave the house! I still remember the first time we realized that it was taking us an hour to get out the door, and that was after some pretty big improvements! Remember the slogan, “Keep calm and carry on”? I remember thinking, “I’ll keep calm, here, take a bag and CARRY ON!”

But guys, there is hope.

The first thing to remember is that, sometimes, the most spiritual thing you can do is sleep. Yes, as a family, in the middle of the day, in shifts, whenever you can. I wish someone would have told us that it’s okay for the house to look that way, for the laundry to wait a little longer, so that we could just rest and recoup.

The second thing to remember ties to this and builds a foundation for years to come: Carve out your time together as a couple. No, I don’t just mean date nights, though those are important. I mean time together to connect spiritually, before the Lord. I always thought that we would come up with a system or a program that would work for us, but in reality the intentionality and commitment that you make as a couple is key, the wrestling it out is normal! The time that you guys choose will change based on the growing needs of your family and that’s okay, just make the time to pray, read Scripture and hear each other’s hearts. Try different things: pray while you cook dinner together, print out passages of Scripture and then look for time to talk about it when you guys are together, tag-team a book by switching who reads the chapter and have that person share what they’ve learned along the way.

Finally, the old adage is true, it takes a village to raise a child and the church is the best place to connect, be refreshed, grow, and hear what others are doing along the way to encourage you and point out the grace of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, for each other and to each other! Someone once told me, “God gave you that child so that you would better learn what it means to be a child of your Heavenly Father, yourself.” That little one is dependent on you for everything and when we look to Him, we will find that God is sufficient for every need we have to do it!

Andy Bowen



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