“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath a quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:3-5 KJV
Right now it is Saturday evening and my house is quiet except for the praise music drifting down from my daughter’s room. My little one has joined her in peaceful slumber, my older boys are out enjoying the company of friends (and Daddy). How blessed I am! Really, I don’t think I fully grasp the gravity of my blessings and the brevity with which God has entrusted four precious souls to our care. Tonight, as I sat stroking my daughter’s soft blonde hair as she was curled up half in my lap, I was reminded of how quickly it will be over. She will be grown and no longer fit so neatly into my arms or so willingly let me play with her hair. This morning, I listened as my friends shared their joy and sadness over seeing their teenagers grow up to become young men and women who will graduate and pursue the life God has for them. I knew that all too soon that would be me.
Yet, this week, what has struck me the most comes from another beloved friend of mine. She asked me to do her one favor: “kiss my kids, look at them and know that they are one of the best blessings God can give.” You see, she lost her dear, sweet, precious seven-year-old boy in a tragic accident almost three years ago. When I look into the face of my energetic, fun-loving, crazy, beautiful (uh, I mean handsome J) boys, and when they wrap their arms around me, I am reminded of what a gift just that moment is. One day, I believe my friend will hold her son tight once again. One day, I believe they will be reunited forever in glory. Still, it stands to reason, what am I doing with today?
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
Psalm 139:13-14, 16
Long before, I even had a thought of having children, each of my four babies were rooted deeply in the thoughts and heart of our Heavenly Father. He knew them by name. He knew their personalities and every detail of their lives. Although, I cannot even fathom a fraction of His love, I know that He loves them even more than I do. Wow. That makes this next part a little easier to say . . . Because Austin, Tyler, Addy and Trenton do not belong to me, they belong to Him.He has entrusted them to my care. Every day is a gift; every moment an opportunity. As a homeschool mom, I could go on and on about all the clever and creative things we do together. I have read tons of parenting books and articles, and I am sure I will read more. The thing is, it isn’t about a list of to-do’s and not to-do’s. How hard it has been for me to learn that! I wish there was some formula that worked for all my children. Do this plus this and everything work out fine. Life is too messy for that. And God wants us to dig so much deeper. He is continually teaching me my own lessons through being their Mommy! So thankful that He has given me that privilege, and I am so sorry for all those times I did not value my role as a mom!
“Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” Go ahead, read that verse one more time. It is worth repeating. The psalmist reminds us that happy is the man that is blessed with children! Whether you are a parent-to-be, a new mom, a seasoned parent, an empty-nester or have never had children, you can be a blessing in a child’s life! You too can be happy! I am so, so thankful for the countless people that have invested in my children’s lives. I think of a couple from my home church, unable to have kids of their own, who have “adopted” a class full of kids at church! Praise God for them! I also think of our quirky and ever-loving summer intern. Although he only stayed a few short months, he left a lasting impression on my kids. Our churches need more people like him!! In fact, I am praying that God will call someone to Flagship Church that has a passion for ankle-biters like my kids! J May God draw someone to the work here that truly thrives in a children’s ministry! Tonight, I am also praying that I will remember how blessed I truly am! I hope never again undervalue the role of a mother and seek to cherish those little moments that will make forever memories!
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant . . . for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”