The words just wouldn’t come. I agreed to write five devotions on motherhood and the deadline was fast approaching. But I couldn’t seem to wrap my thoughts around what I was trying to say. The more I typed, the more flustered I became. They were due Monday morning and I could feel the pressure mounting. I pleaded with the children to play outside in hopes of finishing just one complete thought.
Minutes later I heard their laughter and strategic plans to venture to the creek. First they’d stop deep in the woods at the barn that still lingers of tobacco. And then with BB guns in tow, they’d trek up the hill and past the deer tracks.
I pecked at the computer about the privilege of motherhood and the importance of building a solid foundation. And I lingered as I read:
Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)
With a sigh, I turned the computer off and pushed my chair under the desk. It would have to wait. The words came later, they always do. But in that moment, motherhood was about playing. It didn’t require deep theology or over thinking or imaginative alliterations, it didn’t even require lip gloss. It just required time. Time to explore acres of old farmland, skip rocks in a muddy creek and collect leaves in the deep woods of our backyard.
And being a mother in that moment was far better than writing about it.
My kids love music. It resonates from room to room in our home. Recently J took Gracie and Garrett to a couple of concerts to hear their favorite musicians … Meredith Andrews, Britt Nichole, Mike’s Chair and some others.
They saw the faces of the people that echo through their Ipods on a daily basis. In their world, it’s a big deal.
Voices are powerful. Whether they’re sung, said, whispered or shouted. Whether they come from parents, friendships, strangers or people you’ve just met.
Gracie and Garrett heard Meredith Andrews sing these lyrics:
And this is the new song we sing
To the King of Heaven
This is the new song we bring
After all you’ve given
We stand before you redeemed
As your children,
This is the new song we sing
I hope those words are tattooed on their hearts far longer than an afternoon at a summer concert.
He’s beginning to play the guitar. He knows the chords. He picks at each one.
He’s not playing a song yet, but it will come. He practices every day. Usually Luke sits content, staring, mesmerized by his brother.
Sometimes he plays the guitar with such precision, careful to only hold down one string, that it leaves marks on his fingers.
Other times, he plays it like an 80’s rock star, his head flailing up and down.
I watch him often, much like Luke, mesmerized. I wonder what he’ll grow up to become, how God will use his life and if the next nine years will go by as fast as the first.
He often doesn’t understand the words his favorite artists sing about …
of love and failure and regrets.
I’m so glad.
The lyrics of his life are yet to be sung, but if today is any indication, one day they’re going to be beautiful.
The words were scribbled on the back of Sunday’s bulletin. I saw him slip it into my bedroom as I put dishes away at the sink. He had been asked to pick up his toys and hours later they remained untouched.
My dad always told the story at bedtime, “If there were hundreds of kids lined up; I’d choose you.”
And for years, J and I have said the same thing to our little ones. They know every word by now; syllable by syllable they listen as if hearing it for the first time.
“If there were hundreds of children lined up one by one, I’d choose you.”
Always on cue they ask, “Why?”
“Because you’re mine and I love you.”
No matter what you do, mistakes you make, paths you choose; I’ll always love you (even when your room looks like a tornado touched down and spit out every Hot Wheels you’ve ever owned)
I admire him. He looks out for the underdog. He stands up for what’s right. He opens the door for ladies and carries in more groceries than Gracie and I put together.
Last week he played five all star baseball tournaments. He did well with a home run hit, a great pop fly catch and made several outs on second base. He also pitched for the first time during three of those games. He was nervous and so was I.
As his mom, I want him to be successful at every thing he does. I don’t want him to strike out, walk a batter, miss a ball or skin his knee. But that’s not very realistic. We all have moments of defeat. Some in the quiet of our own home and others in the center of a ballfield.
When all was said and done, Garrett did just fine. The season ended with trophies being handed out and muddy uniforms retired. And I plan on breathing a sigh of relief until next month when he suits up for football.