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Monday, April 8, 2013

Children are a Heritage of the Lord

By Alan Smith
     One of my daughters recently gave birth to a son!  This is my third grandchild, but it is her first child, so she is discovering the joys of parenthood.  Like most first Moms, she tends to get a bit stressed at the overwhelming responsibility of taking care of a child.  So, I share this bit of advice with her (and with you) on how having a second and third child differs from having your first (the author of this piece is unknown to me):

YOUR CLOTHES
1st baby:  You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby:  Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

THE BABY'S NAME
1st baby:  You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right?  It might as well be you.
3rd baby:  You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.

PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH
1st baby:  You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby:  You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

THE LAYETTE
1st baby:  You pre-wash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby:  Boys can wear pink, can't they?

WORRIES
1st baby:   At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby:  You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

ACTIVITIES
1st baby:  You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby:  You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

GOING OUT
1st baby:  The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby:  You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

AT HOME
1st baby:  You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby:  You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

     Parenthood is quite a challenge.  But it is a blessing from God (though we sometimes have to keep reminding ourselves!).

     "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." (Psa. 127:3-5)

     Some quivers are larger than others, but there is no more awesome responsibility in all the world than the responsibility to instill within our children a love for God and His Word.  May all of you who are parents be blessed and encouraged as you raise your children in the Lord.

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com


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