By Lindsay Kuntz

When the original SH Blog schedule came out, I was assigned the topic, “Talk about a time when you realized a new attribute or characteristic of God”. I like to be in control. I wrote back to ask for a new topic, one *I felt* I would be better equipped to write about. I wanted to share more about tips or things that have worked well for me as a Mom trying to juggle several balls at once. Fast forward to COVID19 quarantine, something none of us could have predicted, and SH rallied quickly to come up with a full schedule of Digital Events, to include “Lunchtime Lives” where I was able to share about, yup, you guessed it, Christian parenting through the lens of a work-from-home/home-school mom. All that to say, full circle, I *thought* I knew what I wanted to write about, but another opportunity presented itself, and now I’m just going to word vomit on y’all what I feel the Holy Spirit is whispering for me to tell through this blog…and yes, you guessed it, it aligns perfectly with my initially assigned prompt. So, I’m just going to preach to my (virtual) choir about what has been revealed, and continues to be revealed to me:

    God can and will use anyone, anything, any circumstance to drawn us near to him and to teach us.

For me, I’ve recognized this most through the life of my kids. God works through the Kuntz Kinder to grow me. And I’m so glad He does. Friends, how is God teaching you right now? Who/What/How is He trying to work in your life?

For me, it has been the gift and joy of having kids that has made me feel closer to God than ever before. It didn’t happen after our first child; it didn’t even happen after our second; it happened most recently with the birth of our first son. It’s so cool to me that my desire for my kids to know God and make Him known has led to me wanting to draw closer to Him. No coincidence there, huh. I now see God and his role in my life as my Father, Sustainer, Provider, Protector, Comforter, so much more clearly than I ever did before. I’m able to draw parallels regrading my role vis-à-vis my kiddos and God’s role vis-à-vis me and see how He enabled that through his Son, and through Jesus’ death on the cross.

If you have a child, or have ever driven a child, this scenario will likely resonate with you: trying to go somewhere, trying to strap child into car seat, child resists car seat, repeat. The car seat is there to protect, to shelter, to help withstand injury…yet the kids resist this protection; they fight and actually make what is meant to be so simple, even more difficult. Whenever I try to buckle my kids in the car now, I hear God talk to me: “I’m here to protect you, why are you resisting me? Why are you fighting me and making the job I want to do more difficult than it needs to be?” Friends, what might you be resisting right now that is meant for your safety?

Or try this scenario: “No, me do by myself [read with threenanger (three year old teenager) voice and ‘tood and visualize arms crossed with a cute cheeky smile]” … child is not resisting being strapped in to the car seat now, but rather, insists on doing it themselves (and, for the car seat metaphor, imagine the chest strap is not across breast plate where it’s supposed to be but rather closer to their belly button where it will serve no purpose at all in keeping them safe).

Okay, so you don’t want my help — the parent, the one who knows how to do this safely — cool. Insert God whisper: “Lindsay, you know you do this too, you try to do things by yourself, in your own strength, why aren’t you letting me help you?” Friends, what are you trying to do alone that you aren’t surrendering to God?

The scripture that popped into my mind here was Matthew 11:28-30, emphasis on verse 30. Growing up, Matthew 11:28-29 were my favorite verses; I never paid much attention to v30. Verse 30, however, is so revealing to me now: “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” A yoke = a tool used when farming to ensure the oxen plowing the fields stay together. If God is one of the pair, then we are the other, the weaker one. Whenever we yoke ourselves to something else, or someone else, we are making it harder on ourselves than we need to. God sent his son to die on the cross to carry our burdens, so why wouldn’t we yoke ourselves to Him? His yoke is easy; yet I resist. Friends, do you resist yoking yourself to Jesus like our kids resist us when we try to make their lives easier and safer?

We prayed a lot about conceiving, we prayed a lot throughout the pregnancy, we even printed off a cute printable from Etsy of a well-known verse. You might have bought, or plan to buy, a blanket with the cursive writing to hang in the nursery, “For this Child I prayed” (1 Samuel 1:27). We are currently praying about if we should have another child. We teach our kids that it’s important to talk to God and that one way we can worship Him and spend time with Him is through prayer. But what would a graph of my prayer life look like? Is the prayer frequency going up or down post birth? Am I still actively praying for my children and their lives and their salvation? I try to start every school day in prayer and with a devotion to model this for the kids. Insert God whisper: I am so glad you are teaching this and modeling this to your children, Lindsay, but I yearn for you to draw close to me in your own time, too. I often pray with/for the kids out loud around the table during school and before meals, and when I do that is when God puts other people on my heatr to pray for. God uses my example and desire to model prayer to my children to put other folks on my heart to pray for. Friends, how is your prayer life? Have you recognized when the Holy Spirit tends to whisper to you and encourage you in your prayer life?

I’ll end by painting this picture for you: Before our youngest could walk, he would crawl so fast, searching the rooms of the house to find me and pant for me to hold him. Now that he can walk, he will scurry around trying to find me. He doesn’t talk much yet, so he raises his arms and grunts at me. Jackson knows what he needs/wants, and he pursues me because he knows that I will be the one to help him. I will be the one to supply him the food he needs; I will be the one who can understand his needs; I will be the one to meet his needs. No matter what I am doing, I stop to help him. No matter how tired I might feel, I am there for him. No matter how angry I might be, I love him unconditionally. Whenever I look at Jackson, at any of my kids, I feel like I can see the love of God.

Queue the music. Picture our SH band ushering us into worship, “Your heart, it knows no borders, knows no walls | You’re constantly moving towards me with open arms | I’ve never known a love like Yours | I’ve never known a love like Yours”. The first time I heard this song (outside of SH), I swear it was like a movie scene in slow motion. Jackson had just been told no; his bottom lip was quivering, yet he was moving towards me, arms wide open, wanting to embrace me. No matter how much the kiddos aggravate me, at the end of the day, I just love them so much and am so honored to be their Momma. Insert God whisper: Lindsay, see how you love your kids? I love you like that, but even more than you can ever think or imagine. No matter what you do I will constantly move towards you with open arms. I am so grateful that God constantly moves towards me. Friends, He is always moving towards you, too. Will you let Him?