I unpacked Ellia's bubble blower this afternoon (genius invention by the way) and as she stood out in the yard surrounded by swirling bubbles, I had a flashback to middle school studying the geocentric theory (not gonna lie, I had to google it) where the thought was that the whole universe revolved around the earth.
And that got me thinking.
Ya know, being a mom really exposes your weaknesses.
Well, I can tell you it brings out mine… I mean, think about it. You’re raising another little human! A mini person with a real soul and personality is completely dependent on you for every part of their little physical existence… it’s really a terrifying thought the more you think about it. Be prepared for a little anxiety attack if you’re gonna venture down that thought. Maybe save it for later.
But I think what it really boils down to is the fact that we as humans are just RIDICULOUSLY selfish.
Our culture has drilled it into our brains. Serve me now. Make me happy. Build my self esteem. Fulfill my needs- I may not even know what those needs are but I can sure as heck throw some ideas out there for you. In that geocentric theory, clearly I am the earth. Me, me, me.
It’s an inward obsession that pours nothing out.
But that’s the thing about parenting. It punches selfishness directly in the face.
All of a sudden it’s not all about you. And it stays that way. When that baby enters the world your life goes straight out that window. In a good way of course…it’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s just that now you’re not the earth anymore.
Congratulations, you now revolve around the baby.
You can cry all you like and beg your baby (I tried that) to sleep for just one minute longer so you can just get 3 hours of straight sleep, but when that baby wakes up hungry you will drag your zombie self out of bed and you will feed her. You can pout all day long about having to change another poopy diaper, but guess what; that doesn’t change the fact that the poop will keep coming and will eventually find it’s way onto your walls in the bathroom and into your furniture.
Your free time, heck any time, is owned by your baby. Your house is now your baby’s. Your body’s been totaled by your baby. Your social life is taken by your baby. Your marriage is affected by your baby, even your precious, precious bed is monopolized by your baby.
So how is it that after all of that we still love our babies with a love that can’t even be described? That we’re filled with an overwhelming joy when we hold our sweet babies? (except for the period between 1am-5am… there’s generally no joy during those hours of night) That we would give (almost) anything to make them happy and wouldn’t think twice about giving our life for theirs?
An outward pouring that fills you up.
It was designed and displayed beautifully for us by our Maker. It’s really an incredible thing because it goes against our very nature. Against every fiber of our being. Against our culture. Scripture teaches that Jesus "emptied Himself" in becoming a man so that He could provide us with life.
Isn't that parenting? (on a much, much smaller scale) Our job as parents is to empty ourselves, whether it be from lack of sleep, or lack of time, or lack of whatever, so that we can provide a life for our babies. I'm writing this at 2am right now, so I will be extra empty in the sleep area tomorrow. I can tell you for sure that my brain is empty a whole lot more now.
I’m not saying that complete selflessness is an instant byproduct of becoming a parent. I’m just saying that parenting trains you to learn to be selfless. It teaches you what it means to put something before yourself whether you wanted that training or not.
And it’s exactly what we need. What our culture needs. It’s not all about me, me, me. It’s about Who put me here and who I can serve while I’m here for Him. That’s what the story of this life should be about. So check your orbit…who’s at the center?
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."