Parenting in the City #1 | Embrace the Season
Raising a godly family in the city can be amazing. It can also be really tough. Today we’re starting a new blog series to equip and support our church family in London (and the wider world) in this challenge that God has called us to. We aim to share our best tips, spiritual lessons, funny stories and be real with each other as we navigate through this busy life whilst preparing our children for the eternal city to come.
Our first post is by Holly Satterthwaite.
Embrace the Season You’re In
There is a man in Wiltshire who has been celebrating Christmas every single day for 15 years. Roast dinner, presents, decorations – the full works can be enjoyed at his home 365 days a year. I can’t knock his commitment and passion, but I do wonder if, while focusing so much on the joys of the festive season, he’s massively missing out on what the other seasons have to offer.
It can be hard to let go of seasons of life, especially good ones. It can be tough to embrace new stages that bring fresh challenges we have yet to figure out. I love being a mummy; don’t get me wrong, but I must confess I have spent far too much time fighting against the restrictions and dilemmas that parenthood has brought rather than focusing on what this season has that the last lacked. God has been increasingly teaching me to accept and embrace the seasons and rhythms He has built into life.
Right now, sometimes I have to be flaky and I’m not able to commit to set rotas as much as before (especially when unpredictable projectile vomit was a threat). I’m definitely not cool: I’m doing well if I’m on top of shaving my legs: being on top of the latest fashion trends as well is like asking me to find the time to build a small space ship! And however much I sound enthusiastic about the new Boxpark Brixton, I know actually attending would be a logistical headache. However, I get to love and be loved in abundance. I get to develop another little person and help others making the transition into this season. I have this whole new network of people as a mission ground and I get to experience a fast-track refinement of character – patience, selflessness, compassion, self-discipline are all continuously being burned into me.
How Can We Embrace the Season?
1. Don’t shy away from asking for help. We’re not designed to raise our children alone. We’re meant to be in community and to learn from each other (see Titus 2). We can also help out with babysitting one night, pick some food up for friend when ill or lend maternity clothes and baby equipment.
2. Be realistic about our commitments. Sometimes we have to let go of things and allow others to step up in our place so that we can focus on family and other new areas of ministry, work or other activities. It doesn’t help anyone to be stressed out because we’ve over committed and can’t deliver.
3. Watch our talk. Whilst we want to support one another, let’s try to avoid gatherings turning into moaning about our children or aspects of parenthood. There are so many joys on offer which we could to choose to talk about as well.
Stay Plugged into God
Most importantly of all, when plugged into him I have the spiritual joy and energy to keep going. He gives me the perspective, wisdom and patience that I need and when I am finding things tough he is my comfort and encourager. Nothing is impossible in Christ.