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 well remember 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, LORD, 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, which each person must do, 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. Ask God to take every seed planted and make it fruitful in their lives; to forgive our error and show us what we need to do, by His transforming grace, but then trust that same grace to do the good work in them that He intends!
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.
Open the Word of God and bathe both your soul and soul of your child with His unchanging Truth.
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. Remind them that the Lord “disciplines those He loves” (Hebrews 12:6) and will not turn a blind eye to our self-rule and willful disobedience. 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 same grace of God by extending to them that same forgiveness. Then we point to the grace-filled discipline to turn their hearts and our own to what is true and not just what we and they feel or 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 redeeming 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.