At the End of the Day


He gets in my lap and I give him a hug;

Safe in my arms, quite secure and loved.

The day has been busy as has the child;

I will remember well the laughter and smiles.

I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight,

I trip over toys as I turn off the light.

Reminders that childhood will escape all too fast,

Wanting most to impart the things that will last.

So, I say a prayer that he’ll know what is true;

I talk to God and say, “Make him steadfast for You!”

I’ve got to admit I’ve got so far to go –

The good work He began, He will finish I know.

But I fail oh so often in the way that I teach

Not numbers and letters but with my life, do I reach?

With thankful heart, I lay him down

At the foot of the cross where grace abounds.

Grace to redeem him and grace to transform,

Grace to give wisdom, his choices inform.

Grace to repent and grace to forgive,

Grace to take hold of the LIFE You do give.

So, sleep now my child, Your Savior is near;

Tomorrow is new, full of mercies, my dear.

Each day is a gift, give it back to Him.

Embrace His heart, run your race and then

Know that one day, when you leave our home

You will leave my arms, but you’re never alone.

Recently I came across this poem I wrote many years ago.  As I read and thought through what was on my heart at that time as a young mom of, then, just one (with two more to come later) time has, indeed, been swift.

Now, as each one of them are adults – walking out their own relationships with Christ in different  places, it is no less true. They are never alone.

Whether they walk on mountain tops or in the midst of valleys.  They are never alone.

When they can “see” what is ahead and when they simply must “walk by faith and not by sight.”  (2 Corinthians 5:7)  They are never alone.

As they walk unhindered and when they have to lay down their self-rule at the foot of the cross, it is the presence of their Savior that holds them fast.  It is the grace of God by which they are saved and in which they must now live.

“Therefore…as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13

As with every adult son or daughter, their dad and I no longer train and transfer the truth of God day in and day out; but we are there to boldly take them to the throne of grace every day, throughout each.  And we are there, now as brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage, challenge, and cheer them on in that walk, just in a different role.

That time passes quickly and our time, as parents, to instill the truths of God from His Word is in each minute of laughter or tears and each moment of discipline is shorter than we think.

Our season to give them a hunger for His Word and a delight in His presence is precious but, in light of eternity, not long.

Our opportunities to teach them of His holiness and justice but also His mercy and love with words and actions are limitless as we “walk along the way” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19) but also momentary.

Our treasured times to instill in them that it is our God who gives us true joy and who loves our laughter and who will give us discernment and desire, even the courage, to walk with Him when the world calls us away is now as we delight in Him.

So take those moments and enjoy them. Don’t allow the enemy of our souls to tell you what you are doing wrong and how you aren’t enough.

Take these little ones to Jesus and lay their very lives at His feet.

Enjoy the ordinary moments with them without continually looking to next big thing.

Take them on your lap or to your side and just be still.

Let them see your tears and watch you take them to the throne of grace.

Grab the moments of silliness and laugh together, even at the little annoyances.

But discipline the defiance, then wrap them up and remind them of their need, as well as your own, for the Savior!

Remind them over and over that it is our God who first gave His grace to us so that we can display and lead them to that grace of God by extending to them that grace that forgives. Then we point to the grace-filled discipline to turn their hearts to what is true and not just what they feel or what they desire in that instant.

Remind them of your love when they feel unlovely or when the world feels like it is crashing down around them.  But remind them, even more, that though you will not always be there in person as the years go by, our God will never leave them and that Jesus will walk with them through every joy and every sorrow, even redeem each of those sorrows for “those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!” (Romans 8:28)

The time to stop in those crazy moments, to savor them and ponder them in your heart, is now.

Caretaker for the King

Sometimes glimpses into the past give us a renewed vision for the present; sometimes they are reminders of what we know is true.

Over the past months, I have been culling through a multitude of papers and journals in an attempt at reorganizing.  As I have read quotes from the mouths of my little ones, now grown, I have laughed and cried at the memories.  Reading journal entries of my own, I am reminded of the joy and the struggle that came from being a new mom and from later years when it was a new phase in the role which I had grown to love and cherish and for which God’s grace was much needed.

In the midst of the cleaning, I found this piece, “Caretaker for the King,” which I wrote 21 years ago when we had just two…a third would come along a year and a half later.   I post it on my blog as it is my heart’s desire for it to encourage those yet in the trenches and remind those of us with children now grown (and still growing), that these things remain true.

“I am no one extraordinary per se.  Whatever my children become, whoever they be – they are the Lord’s and I am a caretaker for the King.

That’s not to say that being a caretaker is not challenging or unimportant.  On the contrary, it is probably one of the most monumental and fulfilling challenges I could ever face.  But in the moments when I hold on too tightly or allow my children to become “idols,” I must stop, step back, and refocus.   A caretaker needs care as well.  For when my heart and eyes are on the King, I am a more effective caretaker in all ways. 

God has equipped them, provided each one with talents, gifts, and unique personalities.  Our job is to nurture that which He alone has instilled and is still unfolding in their lives.  We seek to direct and guide based on the infallible guidance we have received in God’s Word but which will always come through fallible hands – our own.  We are to model the King for our children so they will believe what they hear because of what they see. 

Mistaken at times.  Failing too often.  Yes.  Living between the now and the not yet, the frustration of my failures is, at times, overwhelming.  But God’s grace covers so much!  And through our foibles we are able to point the way to a forgiving Savior – the only perfection – and His power to grow us and make us more like Him.

Our two children have been given to us but for a time which oh so rapidly speeds by.  I want to redeem the moments, each small in and of themselves, but the multitude of which make up life and are immense.  Tyrannized by what “must be done” or by what the world says I deserve to do for myself, I often miss a teachable moment – for them or for myself  (sometimes, they are my “teachers”). To use these moments for God’s glory and their good or against God’s will and to their detriment — that decision is important and is made daily.  The task is rich and made possible only in Christ’s strength.

How will God use them – their talents, abilities, gifts, personalities, understanding?   Will they live them out for His honor?   However He may choose, may we be caretakers who encourage them to seek that goal, to press towards it, long for it, strive after it, and achieve all for the glory of the King and for the souls of men!  May we teach them well, taking great pleasure and joy in being caretakers of these little lives for the King!”