Notes in his pocket. That is what I found this morning while plowing through the mountain of laundry that had accumulated on the basement floor. How ironic, as I am feeling a little bit melancholy today; my first-born went to take his SAT test for college entrance….as I sipped my coffee in the wee hours of the morning I mourned over the fact that he is growing up so fast.
Both my guys are teenagers now and my one-on-one impact on them has diminished. I am frequently only catching them long enough to demand a good hug and kiss on the cheek and a passing “thank you for being my son, I believe in you” call as they walk out the door.
Then I found the notes. These are little messages I have always tucked into the lunch boxes, back packs or notebooks belonging to my children. They are notes of encouragement, often including scripture, but never lacking in a reminder of how much they are loved…by Jesus and by their parents. I had wondered that maybe they were “too old” for “mommy” to be doing this anymore – and I have not done it as frequently this year. But there I was, holding the 3 notes in my hand, reviewing them and reveling in the fact that they were important enough to my son that he secured them into his pants pocket.
It blessed me. My heart burst with joy and my eyes filled with tears. I have always thought that we have only one window of opportunity and time to raise children; to pour into them all the goodness of life and point to the greatest in their life – their relationship with God. Statistics tell us that for the majority of us, by the time a child is a teen the foundation for their moral and belief system has been forged. As parents, I am certain we agonize over the decisions we make – good and bad – and how they affect our offspring.
For me, I can see that the opening to the window is growing smaller, my son’s are becoming men – with life decisions to make of their own. This may be the toughest part of parenting yet, to learn to let them fly. Last year, a friend of mine went through this with her only son, he graduated from high school and is now a freshman at an excellent state university. With a mixture of pride and sorrow she watched him move onto the next stage of his life. She remarked to me that the experience was “as rich as a fudge brownie.” Hah, I laughed – thinking only my darling southern friend could come up with an analogy like that….but it is true – that is what raising children is to me – sweet and rich and fulfilling. I am so thankful that God saw fit to choose me to be their mother – it is humbling to know He trusted me enough for this role.
So back to the notes in the pocket – one of them quoted the apostle Paul who reminded us to press on, and finish the race well … so now I wish to share that same word of encouragement to us all, as we too press on to parent as best as we can in the 21st century. It can be tiring, it can be overwhelming at times, and even a battle to raise God-centered children in the midst of a world of apostasy…but it is worth it – so go ahead… write the note. 🙂
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.