And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4
Before becoming a mother, I saw kids as a clean slate. I believed it was a mom’s responsibility to teach them everything: form every aspect of them. Based on that, I was a patient and creative mom with my first child, Zack. I almost never yelled or lost my cool.
Instead, I was always looking for new ways to trouble shoot any issue he had. Sometimes I copied the great tricks and techniques of the amazing moms I crossed paths with. Other times, I worked and worked at refining an idea until it solved the problem. Consequently, my motherhood toolbox was bursting at the hinges.
Mason is a completely different kid from Zack. None of the tools in my motherhood toolbox worked with him. I was pissed! Despite all the time and energy I had invested in crafting my tools, they were useless. That meant I had to start all over again, creating new techniques for Mason.
But by then, I was sleep deprived and exhausted. Zack was a VERY busy little kid; and Mason came just 22 months after him. Plus, the novelty of motherhood had worn off. So instead of finding new techniques, I forced the old ones on Mason. It was like trying to bang a square peg into a round hole.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles. Not only did He fill them with wisdom, courage, etc., He filled them with the ability to speak in foreign languages. I always presumed that meant they could suddenly speak French, Italian, Farsi, you name it. I still do think that was the case.
But as I read about Pentecost from the perspective of motherhood, I think the Holy Spirit also granted the Apostles the ability to speak to people in the language of where they were at: at their cognitive level, in the individual style and approach that worked best for their listeners. I think He loaded up their teaching toolboxes with every technique under the sun so they were prepared for anyone and anything.
I believe the Holy Spirit can and does do the same thing for us mothers. When Mason is struggling, and I’ve exhausted every trick in my book that worked with Zack, I have no other recourse but to pray to Him for guidance and help. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, I’ll get an inspiration. Without fail, it always solves the problem. It feels like magic; but really it’s a Holy Spirit miracle.
God was very intentional when He gifted us with our children. He knew our kids’ abilities and shortcomings, and He knew ours as well. For those shortcomings, He gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has unlimited tools that are available to us for the asking. Best of all, they always translate into the learning language of whichever child we’re dealing with.
I used to think I had to keep on trying to forge three different sets of tools for my three very different kids. What I was left with was an array of toolboxes cluttered with random tricks. A lot of those tools were broken and only succeeded in causing chaos in my brain.
Now that I’m dipping into the Holy Spirit’s toolbox, life is smoother. Not only is His toolbox neat as a pin, but it’s filled with flawless tools that always repair the problem.
* Do I try to use the same tricks and techniques with each of my children?
* Or have I spent the time and energy to craft different motherhood tools specific to each of my kids?
* Have I ever asked the Holy Spirit to loan me a tool to fix a problem with my kids? If so, have those tools translated to their specific language?