Last Wednesday evening, my oldest son and I got to tag along with my parents to a Lenten event at our church, while my husband stayed home with two sick toddlers. It made me feel like a kid again, sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car; and having my little boy next to me, feeling more like he was my brother than my son, made me relaxed and happy. We talked, mostly in giggly whispers, the whole way to church. And hours later (long after bedtime), he held my hand in the backseat while he fell asleep. Before he fell asleep though, he asked my dad, “so Grandpapa, your birthday is tomorrow: what would you like to do special with me for your birthday?” What an adorable grandchildlike question. So it was decided that the next morning, Gabriel would take Grandpapa out for breakfast, before one went to work & the other went to a fire station on a fieldtrip. Well, the breakfast happened on Grandpapa’s birthday, and I swung by to pick up my little boy on our way to the fieldtrip, and as he climbed into the backseat (where he feels more like my son and less like my brother), he said, “Mommy I bought you a present!” At first, I thought maybe he meant the last sip of 7Up in the shiny green can he clutched against his chest. But then he held out a precious little wooden sign with a cheesy saying and a wire hanger, complete with a red gingham ribbon tied on. He spent his very own five dollar bill on it for me, for no other reason than he saw it, he thought of me, and he wanted to make me smile. I held it together, but I kind of wanted to cry. This little man-in-the-making is both tender and strong. And he leaves me speechless, at the foot of the throne of grace in thankfulness.
The memories my children carry with them into adulthood are largely up to me.
In the everyday routines of life,
I have the power to provide my children
with countless loving memories of human connection.
I also have the ability to leave my children
with a scarce supply of meaningful moments together.
~Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama, p57~
Freedom to love and enjoy our children
flows out of the knowledge that
God saves them in spite of our best efforts,
not because of them.
Salvation is of the Lord.
~Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson, Give Them Grace, p53~
God started to show me how to see my son.
Not with a magnifying glass, but with a mirror.
~Lisa-Jo Baker, Surprised By Motherhood, p141~