Megan and I are very excited about today's post!
In recent years, as we have pursued the call of this book, we have gained an enormous amount of support and encouragement from the discussions and conversations that have followed our posts, both here and at SortaCrunchy. Your comments and e-mails have made us laugh, moved us to tears, reminded us that we aren't alone, and blessed us beyond belief. Community is so very important as we follow God and discern the direction of the Holy Spirit, and we've found that to be especially true in parenting. In those days when you can't see through the haze to the road He has set before you, a word of encouragement or been-there-done-that testimony of grace is like fresh air. In Spirit-Led Parenting, we want to offer a lifeline to new parents by sharing our own journeys through heartache and disillusionment to redemption and peace.
But we aren't the only ones who have been there. And that's where YOU come in!
We would love to include your voices in the pages of Spirit-Led Parenting. As we explore some subjects that loom large during baby's first year, we would be honored to share your stories as well. Your own lessons learned, difficult struggles, and moments of clarity. The ways God has revealed Himself to you as you've cared for your babies. Wisdom, both practical and spiritual, for getting through.
We have several topics that we want to offer for your input. The first half are listed below, and the next half will be posted next Monday. See the bottom of this post for submission instructions.
Tell us how the issue of infant sleep affected your parenting choices. If your baby did not sleep through the night by six or eight weeks, tell how that affected your opinion of yourself as an effective parent and/or how that influenced your conversations with others about how your baby was sleeping at night.
If you practice nighttime parenting (you attend to baby's needs throughout the night just the way you would throughout the day), tell about how you have experienced God's presence or comfort or hope during those times.
If you practice nighttime parenting, tell about the practical measures you take to take care of yourself to balance the physical toll of lack of sleep.
Have you experienced co-sleeping to be a taboo topic in Christian parenting circles? If so, what factors caused you to feel like this was something you couldn't talk to other Christian parents about?
Tell about how co-sleeping had a positive, healthy, or helpful impact on your marriage or on your family in general. Share special moments or memories of sharing sleep with your baby.
Tell about practical ways you made co-sleeping work for your family: i.e., how you made time and space for intimacy; the physical space you created for sleep; part-time co-sleeping, etc.
Tell how trying to adhere to a schedule with set times for feeding and/or sleeping caused anxiety or stress for you as a new parent.
Tell about how routine plays a role in life with a new baby. Did the routine evolve naturally? Did you guide it? What does routine look like in your family in the new baby season of life?
Tell about the fears you had for your marriage as you anticipated parenthood, and where those worries came from. Did you feel pressure to care for your baby in a particular way because you were under the impression that it would protect your marriage?
Talk about how your marriage has grown stronger and your connection deeper since adding children to your home. Share examples of how God has expanded your understanding of love, commitment, and servanthood as you’ve parented together by following the lead of His Spirit.
Yep, we're going there! Tell about how you approached sex in the midst of life with a baby. Share any creative solutions you discovered as well as what helped you to be in the right mindset to be open to sex and intimacy throughout the first year of baby's life.
* * * *
As you submit your stories, feel free to tell us as much as you'd like! As a general rule, we will probably use portions that would be the length and scope of a typical blog comment. However, we definitely welcome more detail.
Instructions for submission:
1. Send responses via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Use the subject line to tell which topic you are responding to; for example, subject line should read: SLEEP or CO-SLEEP, etc.
3. Send a separate email for each topic.
4. Responses must be typed into email directly. DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS.
5. You will receive an automatic response to confirm your story has been received. As much as we would love to respond to each story personally, there is no way we can practically do so. However, please know that every response will be read by us.
6. We reserve the right to edit all submissions for clarity, format, brevity, readability, and grammatical choices.
7. Please include the name/info you would be comfortable with for reference in the book. (i.e. "Laura, Indiana")
We would love to have the stories collected by October 10th.
Thank you so much for joining with us! Words cannot express our appreciation and excitement!