By Elizabeth Pennington.
As a mother of many (both biologically and through adoption), I know what it’s like to be stretched.
Over the years, I have sat through conferences, hearing the long list of things that I need to add to my motherhood to-do list: Spend time alone with each child each day. Be consistent with family traditions and rituals. Give more affirmations than corrections. Listen and respond to each child 100% of the time.
Oh, and as if the list of things to do for my kids is not enough, let’s add the expectation for self-care. Make sure you are exercising, reading, eating healthy, and enjoying relationships with friends. Yeah right! When can I possibly fit all of these expectations into my already full day?
I remember sitting in one of these parenting conferences crying, “God, my children are hopeless!” I did the math, and there just wasn’t any way I could give my kids everything they need.
In response, God asked for my loaves and fish. He reminded me of the small child who brought Jesus his five loaves of bread and two fish in John 6:1-15. “Five small barley loaves and two small fish” for over five thousand people. The needs of the crowd were too huge for one person to meet, let alone a child. This responsibility could only be handled by one man: Jesus. The overwhelming needs called for a supernatural response.
So it is with my many children. The responsibility to meet their needs is not mine. Jesus has taken it from my hands. What He expects of me is to offer the small loaves and fish that I have and watch Him supernaturally multiply their impact.
When I find myself feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, I remember the loves and the fish, and I turn my attention away from myself and even from my children. I focus on Jesus and ask Him to multiply the impact of what I have to give.
For more information about what the gospel means for your parenting, we encourage you to check out Rooted.