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My mom screamed when I told her, my father-in-law let out a “whooo-hooo-hooo” at the joyful news.  The information caused my nephew to say, “Awesome”, my mother-in-law praised the Lord repeatedly, and my brothers are still in disbelief.

When I told my mentor the news, I heard the excitement in his voice.  Unlike the happy squeal of excitement that I usually offer at the sound of good news, his voice had a masculine peace, slowly emphasizing each word as he expressed joy about what he had just heard.  It isn’t often that you can find a professional mentor who also offers great spiritual advice regarding personal matters.

The announcement of a new life brings about joyful responses from all who hear about it.  But it brings about even more advice – whether solicited or unsolicited.  People all of a sudden feel entitled to give you advice.  I must say, however, that my mentor had the best advice of all.

As he continued to slowly emphasize his joy for us after he heard that Byron and I are expecting a baby, he said that “motherhood is a promotion in the Kingdom of God.”  “Wow”, I thought!

We generally think of promotions in terms of professional settings only.  You have seamlessly run a program, handling problems that arise with good judgment and efficiency, and now your supervisor entrusts you with even more responsibility.  Now they want you to oversee more people and manage more money.  You know a company trusts you when they put you in charge of hundreds of millions of dollars.  No one in their right mind would allow someone they did not trust to manage that amount of money – ensuring that all funds go where they should when they should, ensuring that all dollars are accounted for and monitored correctly.

But a baby?!

You can never put a price on a life.  As this baby develops in me, I am constantly more aware of my responsibility to shape and mold the character of this child.  In some regards, managing money is easier.  Money cannot argue with you or develop its own opinion once it reaches a certain age.  But a child – you have to invest a lot of time in developing the character of a child; you have to spend time educating a child at home; and you certainly have to make time to teach your children to pray, love God, and live a life that is pleasing to Him.

So what makes anybody ready for a promotion like this?  I don’t know the answer that, but I do know that we should seek him every step of the way.

Psalm 127:3 – “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Psalm 75:6-7 – “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

Lord, for all of those who are expecting.  Help us to be good parents.  Help us to train our child in ways that please you.  Show us how to teach our children to be compassionate, giving, and forgiving.  Let us invest the time necessary to develop healthy relationships with our children – the kind of relationships where our children feel that they can talk to us about anything.  And let there be LOTS of joy and laughter in our homes.  In Jesus name, Amen!