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{Our Children}… Will we tell them?

He tip-toed down the stairs a little too early a few mornings ago, with sleep still in his eyes as he stumbled and squinted his way into my bathroom.

No “Good Morning” greeting. No drama. No frills.

He just walked up to me and matter-of-factly whispered into my ear, “I think I want to be a missionary when I grow up.”  I believe that boy meant it, and I just knew it was going to be a great day.

And then he promptly put his little sister into a headlock.  Haha.

This is how my days go in the midst of this parenting gig.  One step forward and two steps back.  I’m constantly celebrating, and then taking my pride and humility to the foot of the cross. Let’s just be honest, I’d do better if I just permanently set up camp there.

They’re humans.  Real, live humans that somehow God figured it would be okay to entrust into my care for this short time on earth.  And most days that makes me break out into a hot sweat.  Literally.  They’re energetic and live life louder than most of my friends’ kids, and I just know they’ll channel their hard-core passion into great leadership qualities one day (please, Jesus, let it be so).  But until then, these four have me on my knees.

It’s times like these that make me appreciate my own mother the way that I should have a long, long time ago.  She raised four herself -a few years as a struggling single mom – and I don’t remember her being sweaty even once. Heh.

1984

{My sweet momma and the four of us ~ feathered 80′s hair and all…}

I don’t remember a lot of things, actually.

I don’t remember a big house or trendy clothes.

I don’t remember gourmet foods or fancy cars.

I don’t remember over-the-top family vacations or frequent trips to the mall for the latest gadget.

I don’t remember extravagant birthday parties or permission to do all kinds of irresponsible things fun stuff that I wanted to do.

Because those things didn’t always happen. And I’m thankful. 

Because the way to impact our children for Jesus doesn’t include the long list of things we can acquire, our social statuses, or our constant obsession with self-gratification.

What do I remember?

A soft, soft voice that was rarely raised. Hope spoken in uncertain times.  Her Bible marked up and visited often. Desperate prayers in the quiet corners. Encouraging notes, picnics on the driveway, hymns sung off-key, fingers worked to the bone until the late-night hours, and a countenance that revealed such peace in her heart.  Consistent, faithful, selfless love, often unsung and unrecognized until years much later.

And I remember the name of Jesus on her lips.  We had that, and we knew that we were the richest children in the world. 

And I wonder… will I tell them?

Will my children hear the truth of who Jesus is, day in and day out, even when the girl is in a headlock and dinner is burning on the stove?

Will they hear me gently whisper His name when I’m tempted to whine and criticize and lose it for the 100th time in the same day?

Will they hear me speak Life and Light in the safe haven of our home, or will I give in to this crowded, loud world that’s making me just plain sweaty and tired?

I haven’t been called to a village in Africa, but I have been called to be a missionary in my own home for this critical, fleeting season.  And by the grace of God, this missionary will raise another missionary, and then he’ll raise another, and this – THIS, tired momma – is the Kingdom of God, and is worth every single sweaty sacrifice.

There’s so much to tell them, and so little time.  The greatest gift we can give our children?

Tell them.  And then tell them again.

 “We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.”

“…so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God.”

~ Psalm 78:4, 6-7

At His feet,

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Comments

  1. I pray this prayer daily too, Whitney. What will my children remember about me? what will they tell their children about their mother? I pray daily that they will remember that I always try to put Jesus first and cover them with His love.

    Blessing on you and all you do.

  2. Good post Whitney.

  3. Louann DeWitt says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  4. Excellent. Love your words, Whitney!

  5. My husband and I have one son. He is 30 years old and is married to a wonderful Christian woman. We are so happy for them. We look forward to sharing God’s word and love with any grandchildren they may have in the future. We will continue to share our love for God with our family and the family to come. :-)

  6. I was thinking on this yesterday on my own blog…such a weighty thing to raise children. Sometimes I think the most important jobs happen in the places that no one sees…like the home. My own mom certainly shaped me infinitely more than any famous evangelist or even youth minister. I’m so grateful she showed Jesus to my sisters and me.

  7. Catalina friesen says:

    I am so discouraged this week…and it’s only Wednesday! My kids have been acting up more this week and I have found myself making them feel guilty in a way that I shouldn’t! I ask for prayer that the enemy doesn’t take over me while studying how to direct my kids! Thank you!

    • You’re not alone! I have three boys and they drive me crazy! But what bothers me more is not how they act, but how I respond to them. The guilt is sometimes overwhelming. This morning I thanked Jesus for His blood that covers me as I confessed and then i declared to the enemy that I wasn’t held down by him because of what Jesus did for me. It’s hard, because sometimes I don’t really believe it, or at least feel it, but I’m learning that if I declare it in the prayer I then find peace. His grace is sufficient!

  8. I am so grateful for the teachings and scriptures this week!
    As someone who wants children very much and is waiting for God to unleash that blessing, these verses are stirring my heart and speaking to me so fervently as to what I want to teach my children. I understand that the most important thing for them to have is a relationship with Jesus, and what a huge and amazing responsibility God has already given me to show them His ways!! What an honor :)) So even though my little blessings aren’t here yet, this week is impressing on me the magnitude of my role as a mother, and the delight it will be to share the Lord with them and teach them in the way they should go. It has been so special because God has been leading me to pray for my babies. It’s such a sweet glimpse of what motherhood will be like. So even for those whose children aren’t born yet, there is value in this week’s teaching!! Thanks, girls! Love, Nicole

    • Since just last night I stayed up too late trying to get things done (something i struggle with) these verses really spoke to me. And then my footnote in my Bible says this regarding verse three “…instead of striving without trusting in the Lord we should simply be a good father producing children. We cannot gain much by our toil, but we can produce spiritual children. In addition to his caring for us, God blesses us with increase, with children. Increase does not depend on what we do; It depends on how much God gives. Both the care and the blessing come from Him.”

  9. Oh Whitney, thank you for this word. Some days it is so hard to maintain sanity among the spilled milk and screaming toddler and crying baby and seemingly endless supply of tiny toys across the floor. This is where God has called me for this moment. And I so want to lead my children down the right path.

    Thanks again.

  10. Oh this was beautiful and really shook my soul! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Yes!! hit the core this morning, thank you for not only an encouraging word but strength to not give up even when I’m worn out. I LOVE being a MOM! Thank the Lord I don’t have to be in it alone. :)

  11. Thank you so much for this encouraging post. Sharing it with all the moms in my Bible study this morning!

  12. On a week were I am ready to pull my hair out this comes at a timely reminder. Thank you so much. I am going to share this on my Weekly Wrap up on Saturday.

    God bless.

  13. Even as a newly adoptive mom, I have experienced the one step forward and two steps back. I agree with the statement “There’s so much to tell them, and so little time.”

  14. Good Morning Girls! Whitney, Love it! And you look so much like your beautiful momma!–Jeni

  15. Someone shared this on my fb page today. What a blessing and encouragement. I so needed this. God bless you and THANK YOU~!

  16. Thank you for such encouraging words, Whintey! I desperately needed to hear them this week. It’s also such a blessing to read through the comments and remember that so many other mamas are in the same difficult but rewarding season of life. Raising little ones is hard work, and often times it is showing them the love of Jesus in every part of our day that is the hardest… but how sweet it is to know that we are not alone! :)

  17. Beautiful.

  18. Donna McCalla says:

    I’m almost speechless Whit…..and tears are streaming down my eyes reading this. So beautiful and eloquently written. I love reading about your mom because you are so right and she has always been such a great inspiration to me and I know she has been (and continues to be) a great source of inspiration to you and your brother & sisters. Beautiful tribute!

  19. Jamie ward says:

    What a wonderfully written, beautifully shared, story. So many times I forget to thank my parents and to think of my childhood when days are hard. When I was young things seemed perfect in my little world, without a quarter of the “stuff” my children have today. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to be thankful for my childhood, the life my children are able to have, the gift of being a mother, my parents, and most of all The Lord who made all of it possible.

  20. cindy Clemons says:

    So beautifully said, hard when they get older and don’t want to hear about the Lord. But with the Lord’s help I still keep trying to tell them, with out Jesus you have nothing.

    God Bless you work!

  21. Thank you Jesus for women who encourage other women:)

  22. Hardest job in the world when done properly. By the grace of God went I. Nice post

  23. I’m guessing your mom and I would have been great friends. I am so very thankful for that time in the doorway last week. Much love, Pam

  24. Love this post! I love the comment about our home being our mission field. I told someone that the other day. I would love to go help on a mission field in another country but that is not where God has me. He has me and wants me to be with my kids teaching them His ways and word. Thank you Whitney. I always enjoy your posts!

  25. It’s awesoke to pay a visit this website and reading thhe
    views of all colleagues concerning this piece of
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  26. hi
    I came across yr website yesterday night. iam a mom raising toddlers in Africa. I always think why God brought me here in Africa ….in this post you have mentioned.God didn’t call you to a village in Africa.I think Iam blessed to be here and I think God wants to do something here which I didn’t realize. yr post about yr mom is a blessing to read. I wish God helps me to be one like her.

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