Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 (NLT)
Today we celebrated her life with a great group of her friends. We invited Rey (from Star Wars) to come over and hang out with us. She read to the kids, played some games, did face paint and the sung happy birthday to Sophie. I love that my daughter enjoys Star Wars so much. Its great that Star Wars has a strong female leader to be a role model for our girls.
Instead of talking about Sophie's birthday party I want to share 8 different lessons I've learned since having children. Each lesson will be very quick and most likely a helpful reminder.
1) Having kids is tough
When Sophie was born she went straight to NICU. She didn't pass GO, and we didn't collect $200. It was the toughest time we had ever experienced in our marriage but she will never remember it.
2) Having kids is a joy
Let's make sure to laugh with our kids and enjoy life with them. They are such a joy and as parents we have a great opportunity to cultivate joy in the life of our children.
3) Each child must be parented differently
No two kids are the same. What works with one may, or may not, work with the other. Let's make sure to understand the unique nature of our children and parent them in a meaningful way.
4) There is no formula for a great child
We can read tons of books, pray all the time and still struggle with our kid. There is no formula for a great child but each child holds their own unique personality and is created in the image of God.
5) Get outside
Each time I get outside with my kids it gives them an opportunity to fall in love with creation. It usually sparks a conversation that allows us to talk with them about God as creator.
6) Listen to what they have to say
If we would simply listen to our children we can learn a lot. There is no need to always talk as a parent.
7) Pray with them and invite them to pray
Don't always be the one to pray. Invite them to pray. Teach them to pray. Let's pray with our kids and for our kids.
8) Children are smart
Your kid is smart. Try to ask them more questions and let them make decisions. The great thing is, if they screw up you are there to help them talk it through. We can give them freedom to fail today and help them succeed tomorrow.
I am so thankful for all that Sophie (and Leah and Isaiah) have taught us about life!