I can’t believe that 16 Mother’s Day celebrations have already passed for me. For this Mother’s Day, my children blessed me with the gift of words, along with a beautiful orchid. My sons (yes, sons!) each wrote a poem, and my daughter wrote some sweet words for me.
Each Mother’s Day has been a reminder of the joys and challenges of being a mom. I’m still learning how to trust and depend on God through prayer as I struggle with inadequacies and uncertainties as a mom. When they were younger, I would sometimes wish they would hurry up and grow up. Now that they are older, with my oldest going off to college in a couple of years, I sometimes wish they would stop growing up so fast. I have gotten into a routine of checking in on my kids before going to bed. These days, when I check in on them, my heart gets a bit sad knowing that his bed (and my other children’s beds) will be empty one day.
I found these videos very touching and encouraging (get ready with some tissue). They are reminders that our labor investing in our children is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)!
Baby monitors are a funny thing. As parents, we essentially spy on our kids as they sleep, and there isn’t a single move that goes unnoticed. It’s hilarious watching my son, Joshua, in the baby monitor. He has no idea I’m watching him, whether he’s sleeping peacefully or, in the case of this video, doing his toddler version of yoga.
As a parent who often watches my sleeping or not-sleeping child, I catch just a small glimpse of God’s parent heart for us. Especially when I sneak into my son’s room at night and watch him sleep, I have a hard time fathoming how it’s possible that God feels even more love for me than I feel for Joshua. I’m reminded of Psalm 121:
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm —
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
My son’s current favorite toys are kid-sized vehicles: scooters, walkers, cars. He received an array of vehicles for his birthday, so he’s been pushing them around the house, laughing gleefully as he whizzes around. The problem with this, however, is that he doesn’t want to walk on his own because he is afraid to let go of the vehicles. So, it was a heart-wrenching decision, but my husband and I decided to hide all the toy vehicles so that he can learn to take steps without them.
The funny thing is, I feel really really bad now. I wonder if he’s thinking to himself, ‘Where did all my favorite toys go?” The most sad part to me is that I know how much joy it brings him when he can push the vehicles around, so it breaks my heart that he can’t experience that joy now. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but I really do feel that bad!
As I thought about this, it suddenly hit me – this is how it must feel when God has to take things away from us, for our own good. Sometimes there are things in our lives that are not inherently bad, but they may be inhibiting our spiritual development, so He needs to strip them from us for a period of time. Once our son starts walking, my husband and I will bring the vehicles back because he’ll have learned to walk without them. We’ve only taken them away temporarily, but we had to in order to help him grow the courage to walk without them.
For the first time, it really hit me how much it must sadden God when He has to take things away from us, even temporarily, because it delights Him when we enjoy His gifts. I’m learning about God’s father heart for his children, and perhaps next time He has to remove things from my life, I’ll remember the words from Matt Redman song: ‘You give and take away / my heart will choose to say / Lord blessed be Your name.”