Every year our children gain a year in age and maturity. This means that a family is constantly growing and changing sometimes in a whirlwind sometimes slow and steady like a lazy river. Milestones are met. Vocabularies grow and emotions sometimes spill over in giant puddles soaking into entire days.
I feel so blessed to be able to watch my children bloom. It has been a long time since I changed a diaper or even taught little hands how to tie shoe laces. My children don’t readily depend on me to spoon feed them any more and they have all long since learned to make a bed and wash the dishes. I miss those little needs sometimes, but I am becoming more accustomed to their growing independence. I now have extra hands in the kitchen when suppertime nears and laundry is much easier when I am not the only one folding it.
But I am learning that training doesn’t end when a child becomes a teenager. They aren’t suddenly and miraculously competent. Adolescents don’t learn via osmosis. I need to get my hands dirty. I need to be involved. I need to teach. It is a delicate balance between allowing them freedom and continuing their home training. I can’t speak to my teenager in the same way I did when she was ten. Then again I can’t assume she can handle an adult sized conversation either. Not completely. Not to the same degree I would another adult. She may think she can, but the truth is she hasn’t gained the experience needed to fully engage in certain topics.
I don’t mean those leg or arm pains that kids get when going through a growth spurt. What I am talking about is much deeper than that. My children grow each year and now I understand that I need to grow too in order to fulfill my role as a mother. I need to ask the LORD for wisdom and understanding. It also means that I need to find wiser, older parents who can help me along this ever changing journey. Along with this I need to realize that each child is different and needs me in their own unique way. Which means that I too am stretched and molded with the passing of time. Growing isn’t just for our children.
So, when I look at my children my thoughts aren’t always just about how much they have grown. More often than not, mingled with those bittersweet thoughts, is the realization that I too have so much to learn; because if I am to teach I must first learn.
Father, teach me and guide me. Help me to teach them Your ways above all. Help me to be an example of Godliness. Show me how to be a helpmeet and mother. Help me to grow, and help me to enjoy each moment with my children as a gift from You.
Sunday morning there was an altar call for prayer. Everyone left their seats. Everyone except for our family because Daniel has been having problems with his knee. As we sat in the back I was glad to look beside me at my three beautiful children and husband. I thought of how truly blessed we are. It was a peaceful moment.
And then I saw him.
An older gentleman from our church was sitting towards the back in his wheelchair. Someone had kindly brought him to church from the nursing home, but no one had wheeled him to the front.
He sat there alone.
Until my children saw him. One by one they went to him, the youngest one leading the way, and embraced him with love in a way that only a child could. It was a beautiful sight. An endearing site. My heart was overflowing as I stood there watching my children impart the love of Christ on a lonely soul. What a joy to see that fruit coming forth in my children! What a blessing it is to me as a mother!
There is a verse in 3John that says it best;
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3John 4
They gathered together in our room. Daniel had called the children in there to say our evening prayers, but instead of our usual 3 our room was suddenly filled with 9 pairs of hands(and their accompanying bodies.)
It was breathtaking. I looked at Daniel, and reading my thoughts, he said, “Wow! This is what it would be like to have this many! Awesome!” I agreed wholeheartedly. The Word says, “Happy is the man who has his quiver full…” (Psalms 127:5) and for a fleeting moment I understood why.
The truth is I can never give him all those children, but maybe the Lord will provide in other ways. It would be a dream come true to have a house full of children to raise in the admonition of the Lord. I am eternally grateful, however, for the three precious ones He so graciously bestowed upon our lives. Aside from His death on the cross for my salvation, I think they are the greatest gift He could have given me.
Moments later, when the prayer was over, I watched as they danced and laughed and I knew that this is the true gift of a child: to bring us joy, and to remind us of what life is all about. Life isn’t always easy, but there is always room for joy even in the bleakest of situations. It is true that at times we must do the not so fun teaching and training of our children, but even then I believe that maybe we are learning just as much as they are. (I will post more on that later.)
Enjoy your children today. Hold them, love them, play with them and most importantly pray with them.
God bless the families that have an abundance of hands to hold and to pray with.
I had not been to that auditorium in years. There are so many memories.
Then I look around and see just how much has changed. This a place where new memories are being made. New dreams are just beginning to sprout.
My beautiful sister was radiant in her white nurses uniform. All the grads were glowing with excitement. It was their pinning ceremony. Funny how you can work so hard for so long, only to receive a small gold pin with your schools emblem on it.
That same pin signifies both the end of a chapter in your life and the dream filled beginning of a new one.
I pray that all of these new nurses are blessed with the fulfillment of their dreams. I hope that they learn to love all of the patients entrusted to them with our Saviours love and to see them through our Saviours eyes. Being a nurse is being a servant. Doing for others even when you feel as if you are drained and exhausted. It takes courage and tenacity, flexibility and intuition. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. It isn’t a clean job. It is an often thankless job. You wear many hats and are stretched to the maximum on a regular basis. I guess that is what makes it so exhilaratingly worthwhile.
That must be why that auditorium means so much to me. It was the beginning of more than the fulfillment of a dream, but also the awakening of a part of me that I didn’t know existed until then. It was the door that led to a host of memories and experiences I would not have known otherwise.
I thank God for that auditorium.
For the last several hours the house was filled with sounds of laughter, half a dozen children playing and a handful of men hollering at the football players on the television screen. Food abounded and the all the children got together at one point to make cookies. The smell of coffee filled the air as the sweet smell of baked goods wafted through the house. Now it is over, and I miss it.
Granted the few women that were here(two to be exact) hardly got a word in edgewise. Our words were few, but the enjoyment was plentiful and more than made up for it. At least I think so.
Pure fellowship is what it was and I thank Yaweh for every minute of it.