Legacy

Yesterday as I spent my Mother's Day morning listening to my favorite pastor preach, I was so excited to hear what God had laid on Pastor Ben's heart. His sermon was on the impact we as mother's have on our children, whether you're a biological mother, an adoptive mother, or a surrogate mother. What a powerful concept to ponder! And what a wonderful reminder of the amazing gift we've been given as mothers. Pastor Ben talked about how as mothers/parents we often want to "turn our children in to Christians", but the reality of it is that our responsibility is to lay the foundation for our children, and the rest is between them and God. We can support them in prayer, but ultimately it's up to our children whether or not they choose to build on the foundation we've laid for them.

After we left church I kept thinking about what Pastor Ben had said and was thinking to myself "Great, my kids are going to remember me telling them 'No, we don't hit' or 'If I have to tell you again you're going to your room' - not exactly the legacy I'd like to leave". So I prayed about it and asked that God would give me more "teachable moments" with my kids - or more importantly that I would be on the look-out for situations or circumstances in which I could use to instill Christ-like qualities in my children. Sounds a bit daunting, but it's what we're called to do as moms!

Later on after we'd had a crazy adventure down to the Twins game and an afternoon spent outdoors running around with the munchkins in the yard, I was trying to round up the kids for bedtime while Chad was out finishing up some yard work. I have to admit I was slightly annoyed because selfishly I was "keeping score" in my head that this week I'll have to do bedtime FOUR nights in a row by myself because Chad's got a lot of stuff going on this week. As I was thinking about this I could sense myself getting even more annoyed and I knew this would cause me to be short with the kids, so I quickly prayed that I'd just be at peace with the fact that this week was going to be a "mini-single-parent" excursion and that I'd be able to make the most of it. The kids brushed their teeth, we read a few bible stories together and then Peyton said she wanted to go to bed. So I tucked her in and Carson and I headed to his room. He wanted to read a couple more books (prolonging bedtime as usual), so we did. As I turned out the light and began to sing him some songs he asked if we could sit and rock in the rocking chair. Normally I'd be against doing that because my mommy-radar would have wanted to put an end to the never-ending-bedtime-routine. But I decided what the heck, why not. As we sat there rocking he interrupted my singing and started asking me questions about one of the stories we'd read - David & Goliath. Our conversation went something like this:

Carson: "Mom, why'd that guy throw rocks at him?"
Me: "Because Goliath wasn't a nice man and he didn't love Jesus"
Carson: "But I love Jesus!"
Me: "I'm so happy you love Jesus! He sure does take good care of us, doesn't He?"
Carson: "Yep. I love God, too."
Me: "So do I!"
Carson: "Mom, whose big like that rock guy?"
Me: "You mean Goliath?"
Carson: "Yeah, the one that falled down"
Me: "Well Goliath was a HUGE giant...he was soooo tall that he was bigger than everyone else."
Carson: "Taller than Jesus?"
Me: "Yes, taller than Jesus. But God is bigger and stronger than everyone!"
Carson: "Bigger than Daddy?"
Me: "Yep, bigger than Daddy."
Carson: "Mom, do my friends love Jesus?"
Me: "Well you'll have to ask them. Each one of us have to decide if we love Jesus for ourselves."
Carson: "Peyton loves Jesus - she told me and we sing 'Jesus Loves Me' a lot!"
Me: "Well that's good."
Carson: "I will ask my friends "You love Jesus?" when I see them. I'll ask Brice, and Izzy, and Colin, and Ari."
Me: "That's a good idea! Isn't it sad that some people don't know about Jesus?"
Carson: "Who doesn't know about Jesus?"
Me: "Well some people don't know about Jesus and how he takes such good care of us."
Carson: "Yeah, like he gives us fruit snacks and gum."
Me: (Trying not to laugh) "Yep, he gives us so many things we don't deserve or need."
Carson: "I can tell them 'Jesus loves you!'."
Me: "Yes you can, but do you know the best way to show them about Jesus?"
Carson: "No."
Me: "You can show them about how much Jesus loves them by being a good friend and helping them."
Carson: "Okay Mom, I will help my friends and I will say 'You can have a turn with my bike when I'm done, okay?' - that's being a nice friend, right?"
Me: "Yes, that's being a very nice friend."
Carson: "Mommy, I love you! Can we snuggle in my bed now?"
Me: "Sounds good..."

When I finally left Carson's room I just had a big smile on my face. What an awesome way to end Mother's Day! I thought back to a couple years ago when I was talking to a dear lady from our church, Jan. She had stopped me as I was making my way down the hall to drop the kids off at their classes and she said, "You look like you could use a hug!". She gave me a huge hug and then asked how I was doing and if there was anything she could be praying about for me. Well for those of you who know Carson, I'm sure you remember that the kid didn't sleep for like the first 2.5 years of his life. That day Jan stopped me I had been up almost the entire night with him and it was all I could do to keep myself from breaking down in her arms crying I was so exhausted!! She walked down with me to the nursery where I dropped the kids off and then we had a chance to talk. I told her how Carson's sleep issues (on top of caring for Peyton with all of her extra needs and appointments) were killing me and I felt like bedtime especially was absolute TORTURE!! She said to me, "Oh Aimee, some of my most precious memories with my boys were laying with them at bedtime talking, praying and singing songs with them...even up until they were in middle school! It'll get easier, and you just watch - some day soon you'll find yourself wishing you could spend a few quiet moments with them talking before they drift off to sleep." At the time I was thinking to myself "Yeah right!", but Jan was right. Those moments at bedtime are now (slowly) becoming very precious times. And how fitting that I have a wonderful quiet time with Carson at bedtime on Mother's Day - the first Mother's Day Jan's boys are spending without their mom here on earth. Thank you Jan for the wonderful words of encouragement and for all the prayer support you gave me!!! You left quite a legacy both with your own children and the many surrogate children you had!

3 comments:

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Aimee!

The Stepecs said...

I appreciate that you shared this about bedtime! It was just what I needed to hear today since that is not my favorite time of the day! But now I know what I can work on.

Amber said...

Alright..now Im crying. Wayy to go. :) You are great..what a wonderful lesson and time to share.

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