As I think on the things which I hope my children will remember me by, and even more so what they will actually pass on to their children, there are a few core words that come to mind. Many of them have been spoken of here so beautifully over the last month. Yet, as I have read, I have come to ‘see’ more clearly the uniqueness I bring as Mama Bear to Josh, Jed, Abby & Lydia. I see that although I didn’t set out to leave a legacy of awe of God’s greatness, His holy wonders on this earth, His artistic grandeur in creation and His faithful touches of himself, that is exactly what I am doing as I ‘do life’ along side my children.
Last Sunday my youngest little girl turned three. As her feet pitter pattered down the hallway early in the morning towards my chair in the den, I felt a lump in my throat. Soft blond messy hair and unmatched PJ’s met my eyes and I ran to whisk her up in my love, whispering in her ear, “It’s your BIRTHDAY!” She grinned and my heart leapt with thankfulness for this child. People say looks like me and my Mom says, she loves like me. Where has the time gone? A salty tear fell between our kisses that morning. Our day was focused on celebrating her, affirming her place in our family, her favorite foods and giving gifts. After church we drove deep into the forest up a windy curvy mountain to Lake Logan where we picnicked, chased butterflies, threw a softball, splashed in the lake and even rowed in a canoe. Several hours of just being together with no real agenda. Glorious!
As I sat in the grass, exhaling, the children happily playing I ‘saw’ so clearly the legacy of awe and wonder of God that I have and am daily passing onto my children. We are born worshipers. We all worship something or someone. I can see that in each stage of childrearing it is important that we as Mothers point our children to God again and again and again because “self” so easily tends to go toward me. It is our fleshly, selfish nature. Therefore, this time of putting my children in touch with this incredible world God made, with color galore, textures and taste and sounds that move the heart, is teaching them a deep reverence of their Maker. It is telling them they are part of a larger story begun long before they were here. It is showing them there truly is Someone greater to worship than themselves.
Rachel Carson says it well, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
My oldest is now 10 and turning into a young man before my eyes. With this culture screaming “Me, me, me” and already I see him becoming self-aware and conscientious. Consistent opportunities of gently taking his eyes off of himself and focus on a mammoth rock waterfall seems good for his soul. This standing in awe of our great God who created such beauty, speaks of strength, and of courage to a young boy’s heart.
When I first saw this Mama bird at our house, I put down the plants I was working with, ran inside & said, “Come outside guys, hurry, you’re not going to believe this!”
Within minutes all my troops were beside me gazing at this beautiful bird sitting so still, doing what God made it to do. Our world stopped for a bit that day as I drew my kids into an awe of birds and how they care for their young, make a nest, find shelter in storms and migrate. Who knows how much they remembered from all that flowed out of my heart & mind that day, but I know these moments matter.
Psalm 33:8 says it well, “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
When a rainbow occurred on New Year’s Day this year, my husband had his camera, in two seconds and I had all the kids around me, “wowing” at the glory in a rainbow. We stood in awe together. It matters that we stop. That I make a big deal of this God we worship. I am passing on a legacy of how they will see the world. As I look back on my 10 short years of motherhood, I revel over sunrises & sets, over the moon & sky. The moom whispers of Father’s deep love for me and woos me like nothing else.
I am reminded of God’s deep passionate love that is for and with me always through these colors and contrast, through this world of astronomy that I don’t totally understand yet, I am so thankful for. And somehow as I bathe deeply in this love that God has for me, I am freed up to raise my kiddos in his love as well.
On our way home from Lake Logan on Lydia’s 3rd birthday, we took the time to stop at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lydia nestled into me holding her new baby doll. As I remember the scene, I am thankful beyond words to live in such a beautiful area, and that God has opened my eyes over the years to “see” the wonders of his great big world. Interestingly enough, the beginnings of this ‘seeing’ came from my own parents who took me rafting and camping in my childhood. So…the legacy continues!