"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her." -JR MillerThere was a distinct moment, with each and every one of my newborn babies, that will forever be ingrained in my mind. It was a moment that occurred after we brought each one home from the hospital, and after all the family went home, and after my husband returned to work. In the quietness of that first morning alone, as I held that little warm bundle in my arms, I would be suddenly overcome by the sheer magnitude of my responsibility as a parent. My husband and I had the monumental charge of helping these little souls navigate through life with all of it's endless possibilities. We alone would someday have to stand before God and be held accountable for the rearing of the children he had entrusted us with. In that solitary moment, the scope of our duties was so vast and so weighty that I was driven to my knees with the realization that the only possible way that we could accomplish it was with our total reliance on the Lord.
It's a bit like moving a mountain. The task is impossible to carry out all at once, but rock by rock, bucket by bucket, we can chisel away at it. God grants us a new morning every 24 hours. We are charged with teaching our children what they need to know for that day. Every day the lesson is new, and the opportunity is fresh. I'm so relieved that I can break up my mountain into small pieces. Yet, many a wise older person has told me that "time flies". It's an ever important reminder not to misuse the years that we have to mold our children. We cannot squander our time with them. It's over in the blink of an eye. They'll be grown and gone, and we will no longer have that precious daily interaction with them. If we are going to equip them, we must be present with them, not just in the physical sense of the word, but we must continually engage their hearts and minds as well.
When we're in the trenches, in the midst of character training, and potty training, and teaching cursive, and times tables, and tee ball, we can sometimes get discouraged by the daily grind of parenting. We wonder if we're going in the right direction, and if it's all going to work out in the end. We'd like to take a peek at the final chapter of the story, and see how it's all going to finish up. Life doesn't work that way,but I'm so thankful that the Lord does occasionally give us small glimpses of the fruit of our labor. When my son offers to help an older couple with their yard work, or my daughters make a card for a sick person at church, I catch a glimpse of their character forming. When my children do the right thing even when they think no one is looking, it gives us encouragement to press on toward the goal. After all, no one loves my children as much as we do, and no one cares about their well being, their character, and their souls, as much as their own parents. Therefore, there is no one more qualified to walk through this life hand-in-hand with our children, than my husband and I.
Women of our generation search outside of our homes for significance, for purpose, and for credibility. As if our self worth is somehow tied to our status in the world. Yet, it is noble and valiant to focus our heart and our efforts on the little beings within the four walls of our own home. Nothing is more important than sharing life with my husband and three children. These years are but a fleeting moment in the scope of my life, and it is OK to say no to anything that would avert my attention away from my task of parenting. I'll have plenty of years to impact the world when my children are grown. But, perhaps I'll look back and see that in the end, the most important thing I accomplished in life WAS the rearing of my offspring. Training our children up in the Lord is a high calling, and worthy of great sacrifice on our part. I'm so thankful for the task at hand. There is nothing more challenging, and more gratifying than being a mother.