Deanna Bartalini revisits the topic of her Catholic Moms Summit presentation, discussing what it means to say, “Our children are not our own.”
My presentation for the the Catholic Moms Summit was focused on knowing that our children are a gift from God. As parents, we care for our children, teach them, and raise them in the faith, directing them toward God and his will for their lives. God does not ask us to make sure they are perfect, because he knows that we cannot control the outcome of who our children are as they grow and become adults. We pray, ask for guidance and do our best.
We are not in control
Isaiah 64:7 says, “Yet, LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you our potter: we are all the work of your hand.” God is the potter and He will mold and shape your child as He does you. It’s easy to forget though and become overly focused on how we, as mothers (and grandmothers), want to mold and shape our child. There is a difference between parenting to raise faithful, responsible adults and parenting to be in control.
God is the potter, not mom. We know this. Intellectually we know this. But in our mom heart, which is big and beautiful and sometimes tortured and afraid, we forget. And we want to be in control of all the outcomes. I have found, in my own life, when I want to be in control over all the outcomes, I am not nice. Truthfully, I’m horrible. We often equate letting go with not caring.
And that’s not true. I think about it this way: I know that God has a call on my life, a plan for me that He and I together work out. He has a call on your life as well. And God has a call on our children’s lives. When we have to be in control we may get in the way of God’s plan. We are God’s hands and feet and face in caring for our children. We are not His mind or will.
One of things I did as my children were growing up was to dream with them rather than for them. I prayed that God would help me learn to let go of control and embrace the messiness of parenthood.
God gave you your children for a purpose. And He has a purpose and plan for our children. How can you help them live out God’s plan? This is meant to lift off of you the heavy burden of thinking it is all up to you, that whatever happens to your children is up to you. It’s not.
Our children are not our own, and if we try to hold onto them as if they are, everyone loses because they don’t become who God calls them to be.
It is a mindset that says, "I am in this mom journey with God. He’s entrusted me with these children, and with His help and guidance I will do my best, trusting that God will do the rest."
Copyright 2021 Deanna Bartalini
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About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini, M.Ed.; M.P.A., is a certified spiritual director, writer, speaker and content creator. She is the founder of the LiveNotLukewarm.com online community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through live, interactive faith studies. Her weekly Not Lukewarm Podcast gives you tips and tools to live out your faith in your daily life.