Growing in Faith

Growing in Faith During Baby’s First Year

Taken from Watching in Wonder: Growing in Faith During Your Baby’s First Year by Catherine Claire Larson.

Beholding and Becoming

Baby's First Year - Faith GrowsNothing compares to that first moment you hold your wriggling, warm baby in your arms. The exhilaration and pure delight are unlike anything else you will ever feel. By the kindness and mercy of God, I’ve experienced this six times, and I can tell you, it never gets old. Aside from my wedding day, these are the six best moments in my life so far.

Having had the privilege of walking this road before, I can testify that it’s a time of strenuous demands on our bodies and hearts. Whether you’re welcoming your first baby or your fifth, it can be difficult to maintain regular, close, daily time with God with everything off balance: our routines, hormones, emotions — in short, our normal. Regaining both our balance and regular time spent in the Word can be challenging.

The first year is also a time of rare beauty and wonder. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as a newborn: a new life, a new soul, a beautiful possibility whose days are yet unwritten. Like that roller coaster that takes your breath away, that first year — and the swift pace at which your little one develops— is unlike any other point in their lives. First smiles, first laughs, first scoots and crawls melt your heart. This amazing life blossoming in front of your eyes is no accident, but a carefully and thoughtfully designed creation of God. God has given you the incredibly high and holy calling of motherhood. Whether you are crossing the motherhood threshold for the very first time or approaching it again, your charge is no less sacred. You have been called to mother this beautiful child: to pray over, to cherish, and to nurture this incredible trust given to you.

These days deserve remembering. Despite all the challenges, take the time to record those fleeting glimpses of wonder that lead us back to the heart of God. Record the prayers that set the tone for your child’s life. You will cherish these. Finally, lean into your God-given calling of motherhood, a mission of incredible importance.

While you are watching in wonder as that little marvel develops before your eyes, I want to lead you to also watch with equal wonder the ways of your God. I want you to, in the words of that wonderful, old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” “look full in His wonderful face.” These are the days we hold our little ones in our arms, admiring every facet and detail of them — watching them, cherishing them, beholding them.

For moms of infants, the days (and nights) can be full. We don’t have the luxury of much quiet time or even alone time. We learn to fit it in when and where we can. For me, many a nursing session has become prayer time. While washing dishes, I often meditate on a single verse of Scripture thoughtfully and prominently placed at the window over the sink. Coffee and Bible go hand in hand. And when I haven’t been able to balance both my gigantic study Bible and an infant, reading the Word on an e-reader or phone works in a pinch. I’ve learned to feed my soul through worship music or a Christian podcast while folding laundry or taking the baby for a walk. In short, as moms, we must be creative and snatch time with Jesus whenever and wherever we can.

The first year of your infant’s life will be full of wonderful moments: from first snuggles and smiles to those adorable, if not clumsy, attempts your baby makes to sit without toppling over to messy experiments with solid foods. While your wonder and awe of your constantly changing little one grows, I hope your heart also grows in gratitude for our unchanging God. As you study every little detail of the babe in your arms, from that dimpled chin down to those kissable toes, I hope you’ll also be drawn to notice the nuances of our God and worship the One who created and sustains that little wonder.

The year will go fast, but God has called us to seize and savor the day.

Taken from Watching in Wonder: Growing in Faith During Your Baby’s First Year by Catherine Claire Larson. Copyright © 2023 Catherine Claire Larson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Gift.

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