The single most important job in the world .... one that is laced with responsibility.
Of course we as mothers are bombarded with the daily tasks and duties - making meals, changing diapers, preparing bottles, helping button pants and shirts, giving baths, wiping bottoms, washing little hands ... all while interacting with and teaching our children. Handling these responsibilities comes natural. Your instincts kick in and you just do what needs to be done without really thinking about it.
There's a dirty diaper? You change it.
A cup of spilled milk? Mop it up.
Crying over a boo-boo? Scoop them up and smother them with kisses.
These are the easy responsibilities. Effortless when you weigh them against the responsibility of the influence you have in your children's lives. Simple when you compare feeding your babies pureed peas to feeding them spiritually. A cinch when you contrast pouring your child some juice after playing outside to instilling in them an unquenchable thirst for the Lord.
The role that I have in my boys lives is monumental. I am the one that is with them every single moment of every single day, and though I try to teach them to be gentle, kind, well-mannered little boys, my greatest obligation is to the Lord. To pave their way, to teach them His Word, to instill in them His promises ... and the toughest part of all, to live out a life of Christ before them. I can't teach these boys to live a certain way if I'm not doing it myself. It's hard. I fail. But I try.
I am so honored and beyond blessed to be these babies' Mommy, and every single day I pray for God to grant me wisdom. To lead our paths. To give me grace.
My heart is burdened for these babies to know Him. I do the best that I can to point them to Christ, and naturally, some days I'm better at it than others. (I realized I wasn't doing so well the other day when, in the car, Levi asked, "Mommy, why did you just call that guy a moron?") But, I feel so fortunate to be able to stay home with my boys and have life experiences with them. There are so many opportunities to teach not only solid life lessons, but spiritual ones, too...
Like the other day when I loaded up my groceries, put Ezra in the car, and then realized a jar of peanut butter was wedged underneath Ezra's carrier in the cart and I hadn't paid for it. The boys were loaded up and the thought of getting everyone back out and bringing it back in seemed nightmarish. I thought about sitting it in an empty cart, but then thought someone might take it and then they stole because of me. So, I kept everyone in the car, jumped in myself and drove to the front of the store where I found a couple of employees taking a break. I explained to them what had happened and I'm telling you, I never had such strange stares in my life! But, I handed them the peanut butter and I was able to sit down with Levi and explain that we never take things without paying for them - even if it's an accident. We talked all through lunch about the importance of being honest and verses in the Bible that support that.
Or the time in Walgreens when Levi walked down the Halloween aisle and became disturbed by some of the scary masks he saw. He kept on trudging down the aisle and shouted along the way, "WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN GOD," over and over until we went to a new aisle.
These are mere examples of little moments I have and cherish because I am able to be with them and teach them along the way. And, to be around to see them recall scripture and watch it comfort them! How wonderful!
Typical, every day circumstances turn into great lessons and I love there to show them. This is my greatest duty as their Mommy. And, when I mess up myself (daily!), they're able to see and watch how I respond. They're like two little Holy Spirits walking and crawling around. If my attitude is sour and I'm taking it out on the world, just one glance at their little faces and I'm convicted royally. Oh how my children refine me!
Levi is three, but to sit and talk with him you would think he's much older. He is a very mature, very wise little soul. He is tender to the things of God and loves Bible stories and talking about the Lord. He truly wants to do the right thing. He wants to know more. He's always asking questions. His faith challenges me. His excitement and his hunger challenge me. Though I try my absolute hardest to challenge and encourage him daily, he and his childlike innocent faith turns around and blesses me even more.
We are starting to see in Levi a real sensitivity to the Word and a prodding in his life by the Holy Spirit. He's asking very mature questions and often talks about Jesus coming into his heart. We want to know that we know that we KNOW that our children have a true and real understanding of salvation before they make such a decision. We don't want him to pray a prayer because he thinks it's "the right thing to do," because Levi will always do what he thinks is right. That's just his nature. We want him to be at the point where he is overwhelmingly burdened to make Christ the King of his life. To know what living for Him truly looks like. To understand sin and repentance. To surrender to the Lord. We know that he's thinking about it. It's on his heart. He wants to understand, and with time, he will.
In the meantime we are praying for wisdom and answering his questions. We are praying for opportunities to talk with him so often that he will understand the cause and effect of sin and righteousness. This is where parenting gets tough. The things that seemed so huge and hard when Levi was an infant - like getting him to sleep through the night or getting him to eat his vegetables, now seem like a cakewalk. The responsibility of shepherding his heart toward righteousness .... it's enormous.
These babies are not mine. They are simply borrowed for our time on Earth.
God has given me them to show them Him.
Prayerfully, I'm trying.