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7 Kids, 49 lessons

Rachael Carman | September 14, 2023

Articles about parenting are continually being published. There are even magazines entirely dedicated to the topic. You can find articles titled things like: “Tips and Tricks,” “Things that Work,” “How NOT to Mess-up Your Kids,” “What My Parents Did Wrong,” or “How to Avoid Being Your Mother to Your Kids.” As parents, we are constantly second-guessing ourselves, doubting our instincts, and needing affirmation.

I have sought out and read my share of these articles while sitting in waiting rooms, having left the book I am trying to finish before the year is over back home. Usually, I am disappointed or frustrated by these articles. They are over-simplistic or cheesy. Often it is clear that I disagree with their focus. 

We have seven kids. When we started out, I thought I had it all figured out. Boy, was I wrong. So, as a sort-of response to the other lists, here are some of the things God has taught me so far.

  • This job is bigger than me. I need God every day, every hour, every minute – all the time.
  • Less is more. That is, less of me and more of Him.
  • I have the opportunity to teach my children to worship by my example. Sometimes I have not realized what I was worshipping until, to my horror, I saw my children bowing down to the same thing.
  • All TV needs monitoring. And living without it is not only possible, it is liberating!
  • There is a real, usually invisible, but sometimes clearly visible, spiritual battle for my children.

7 Kids, 49 Lessons | Ephesians 6:12

  • In my weakness, He is strong!
  • I will never again be well rested, but He will sustain me.

Psalms 55:22

  • Pride, anger, and selfishness are ugly when I see them in my children. But uglier still in my own mirror.
  • My husband is his most handsome when he is holding a newborn, changing a diaper, drying tears, washing the dishes, camping out, or on his knees for his family.
  • There is real power in the truth of God’s word and much more than in my sermonettes.

Hebrews 4:12

  • Laundry multiplies in the laundry room, even though socks always come out as singles.
  • A well-appointed home is overrated; well used is far better. 
  • God’s sacrifice of His only son for my sin is beyond my comprehension. Amazing grace!
  • My parents did a good job.
  • The beauty of  “I’m sorry.” The power of  “I was wrong.” The necessity of “I love you!” 
  • Bible references, books, chapters, and verses are invaluable in the discipleship of my children. “It’s in there” just doesn’t cut it.
  • Prayer is powerful, calming, bonding, encouraging, necessary, continuous, sustaining, and joyful.
  • Even a king-sized bed is small on Saturday morning.
  • Lightening bugs, Lady bugs, worms, and frogs are still fun to catch and amazing to watch.
  • My kids love to hear me laugh. I should do it more often.
  • Spontaneous adventures are often more fun and less expensive than pre-planned ones.
  • I do not always have to answer the phone; it will not blow up.
  • It’s exciting when someone accepts Christ as their Savior.
  • A song sung together makes chores go faster.
  • The more, the merrier.
  • Sheltering my children is a good thing.

7 Kids, 49 Lessons | Psalm 27:5, 91:1

  • Candlelight at dinnertime is fun, even with the kids.
  • Time spent with my children is never wasted – NEVER.
  • I cannot get lost opportunities back. Neither can I allow guilt to steal my hope of going forward.

7 Kids, 49 Lessons | Philippians 3:13-14

  • A popsicle is a popsicle is a popsicle. Sticky, cold, and sweet.
  • You are never too young or too old to learn something new.
  • Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:8

  • My children are watching, listening, and imitating me all the time – yikes!
  • Never interrupt a child who is happily playing unless it is an emergency; everything else can wait.
  • God answers prayers, especially those of children.
  • The Gospel message is really simple; adults make it complicated.
  • One hour playing Legos equals a lifetime bond.
  • It hurts when people are mean, and it’s hard to be nice back.
  • It is fun to consider “Why?”
  • Children are actually quite easily and inexpensively amused. Playdough, bubbles, and new crayons are just three examples.
  • At the end of the day, I cannot choose for my kids. 
  • I will always have reason to be on my knees.
  • It is invaluable to have family jokes that strangers don’t understand and you cannot explain.
  • God has got this. Really, He does.
  • I love cooking in the kitchen with my kids – it’s worth the mess.
  • Kids are never too old for reading time.
  • This is the best job in the world!
  • The “someday” – when everything is in its place and it’s quiet – will come too fast.
  • Cheering for each other builds self-esteem.