The following post was written by my friend, Toni Leverett. What a blessing it is! Enjoy!
“Though the music changes, and the songs we sing, we still lift our praises to our loving God and King. Though the seasons change, Your Love remains.” – United Pursuit, Seasons Change
Music. It brings memories, prompts introspection, tugs at heart strings, stirs and warms the soul. It was this song that flooded over me one early morning as I spent time with the Lord. Playing softly in the background, unobtrusive, a quiet accompaniment to my whispered prayers.
I was praying for my children that morning. My children are now men. At 21 and 18, my little boys have grown taller than I am; deep-voiced, hairy versions of the babies I once rocked and held close to my heart. This song interrupted my prayers, and sent my mind racing backwards with memories of my tow-headed little boys. The lyrics, while not really about raising children, sent my thoughts tumbling in that direction.
Though the music changes, and the songs we sing…..memories of lullabies, spontaneous songs of love, crooned against a downy head as I listened to sweet sighs, and felt my precious little one relax against me, drifting to sleep. Memories of laughing living room dances with a toddler in one arm, an infant in the other. Memories of an emergency room visit where the only thing that calmed my injured child was my voice, singing a tune from Veggie Tales – “Don’t cry, Daniel. Fear not, Daniel. Don’t you know you’re not alone? There is One Who is watching you. He listens when you pray. And though it seems this time you won’t get through, God has made a way.” Over and over I sang it into his ear until he grew calm. Music, like a score accenting our lives, swelling and falling as the years passed.
Over time, our music changed. Lullabies gave way to contemporary Christian songs, worship songs, and a few silly songs that stood the test of time. As my boys grew, our songs changed, and with the songs, our seasons. Preschool gave way to Kindergarten, to Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. At some point I was no longer needed at bedtime. My lullabies fell silent as my boys grew older.
“Lord, You’ve been faithful to plant the seed, and You will be faithful to always send Your rain. Though the seasons change, Your Love remains.”
Our songs were seeds planted in their hearts and memories. Always, always, our music pointed toward God. Songs of faith, songs of hope, songs of worship, and songs of joy, deliverance, promise and peace – we sang our devotion to our Father. Singing the words of love prompted stories of God and His people, life-lessons pointing my boys toward Jesus. God has been faithful to take the seeds that were planted in their childhood and use them to grow my boys into men of faith, each with God-given giftings, fleshing out this life lived for the Kingdom.
Time passed too quickly, and I find myself longing for the sleepless nights and busy days of young motherhood. When Tasha asked me to write a guest blog for “My Graceful Life”, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with something for such a Grace-filled blog. Tasha oozes Grace. What on earth did I have to offer? It occurred to me during my reverie on that early morning that many of Tasha’s readers are likely young Mommies. I’m not a young mommy anymore. Somewhere along the way, “Mommy” was replaced by “Mom”, and occasionally “Mother” (complete with eye roll). Our seasons have changed. I didn’t always do things right. I wasn’t always a Grace-filled Mommy. But as I said, God is faithful to water the seeds that have been planted.
So, I want to encourage you, young Mommy. You won’t be perfect – don’t try to be. They don’t need you to be perfect; they need you to be present. This time with your little ones is too short to focus too much on perfection. You will make mistakes, you will have regrets, but those will never outweigh the memories and lessons that you are teaching your children. With every hug, every dance, every song, you are pouring life into your children. It is these special moments that they will remember. It is the tender moments, the teaching moments that build the foundation of faith, and ultimately will shape your children into followers of God. We set our children’s feet on the path that God laid out for them; it is their job to walk it. And they will, young Mommy. They will.
“When we were far apart, you came running with open arms.”
Someone once said, “There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots; the other is wings.” My children have grown into men striving toward and gaining increasing independence. My older son, now a full adult, is building a life that is often separate from our family. New friends, new places, new experiences. He is spreading his wings and soaring into his destiny. I don’t see him as much as I’d like. Sometimes, I have to send a text asking, “Hi! Are you alive?” But he knows that Mom is here, home is here, welcoming arms wide open whenever he needs us.
Young Mommy, you are providing your children with roots as you nurture them and help them to grow – roots of home and safety, roots of love, faith, and self-confidence. Your love, encouragement, and yes, even discipline, are giving them the roots that they need in order to be strong, and when the time comes for them to spread their wings and fly, you can rest knowing that you’ve given them the foundation that they need to weather whatever winds blow their way.
I know sometimes you’re tired. I know sometimes you’re frustrated, or worried, or unsure, or a myriad of other emotions. I want you to know that you’re doing a great job. There are miracles in the midst of the mundane – don’t miss them. You’re amazing at raising world changers! Enjoy it, don’t sweat the small stuff, and trust God – you can’t mess up bigger than His ability to fix. (Have you MET my children? Those jokers are not perfect, but at least they get it honest – I’m not either, and God is faithful.)
As for me – my season is changing, and I’m having to learn to mother men. Now, THAT is scary stuff.
I think I want a do over. 🙂