Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Mother's Prayers

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all of my life." -Abraham Lincoln

I posted this quote in my status several days ago. Since that time, my mind has replayed that quote over and over again until it has become like a flashing light of caution throughout my days. "I remember my mother's prayers," I hear again and again. I wonder when this stage of child rearing is long passed, when our children's growing years are over and they have moved on to adulthood, will it be my prayers that they remember? And will they cling to them?

A mother wears many hats. In a day, she is a chef, a laundress, a teacher, a nurse, a decorator, a chauffeur, a comforter, an encourager, a disciplinarian, a puppy trainer, and the list goes on and on. Many women are breadwinners, too. And yet in the midst of all these responsibilities, there is a window of time that is slowly closing and will eventually be forever shut. Like sand through an hour-glass, time is passing. And we are only given a finite amount of time to share our hearts with our children, a blip in the time line of eternity to communicate the burning passion of our hearts.

And so, by necessity, we are sifters, too, of all that clammers for our time and our children's time. After school activities, sports, dancing, music lessons, friends, play dates, birthdays, Dr.'s appointments, shopping, phone calls, emails, pets, laundry, demand our time and attention, and we find ourselves quickly sorting and prioritizing each one. We have a set of standards by which we evaluate every urgency that crosses our path. Is this good for our children? Do they need it? Is is worthwhile? Is is best? And beyond these, we ask ourselves, will this prepare our children for adulthood? All worthy goals and standards, indeed.

However, as I have reflected on Abraham Lincoln's words, I am struck by another standard that must override all other worthy goals. Are we preparing our children for eternity? Do the activities of our days reflect that most pressing and urgent desire of our hearts? Do we have time to pray with our children?

Childhood will quickly pass, as will adulthood. In what seems like meer moments our lives will move from this natural physical world to the permanent, steadfast spiritual world that is our forever home. Our time here on earth is only worthwhile in that it is preparing us for eternity with our Heavenly Father.

So, as a mother, we have the awesome responsibility of prioritizing our lives in such a way as to allow time for prayer with our children. Our children need to hear us pour out our hearts to our Heavenly Father. Are we praying about their days, their school, their country, their futures, their someday spouses, their children, their gifts and abilities? Do they hear us ask God to use them for His glory? And do they hear us ask our Heavenly Father to forgive our mistakes and mend the pieces of our sometimes feeble attemps to parent? Do they know that every accomplishment in their physical lives pales when compared to the importance of their relationship with Jesus, their savior?

When time has forever shut it's window on our days of mothering our children, will it be our prayers that they remember?


Mark said...

Whew!! I’m exhausted just READING about all of those activities! You forgot one more role that you play: the love of my life, my only reason for living! Diane said that to Sam on the show Cheers, and it’s stuck with me : )

On a serious note, I absolutely believe that your (our) children will cling to your prayers. You make it a priority to pray with each of them every night, no matter how hard your day has been or how tired you are. I am so proud of you and admire you when I overhear you praying with the children. And it does impact them; even our older children ask that we pray with them before they go to bed. You live out your faith daily, and they see that. There are no questions as to your priorities, and the kids fully understand that (as do I). You’re doing a fabulous job, and there is no one else I can think of that could do all that you do.

I love you!

- Mark

Diane said...

Well, I’m glad that you said that to me in real life on my blog! :)

And thank you for seeing the good in the midst of our busy days. You are a blessing to me. Your words are a blessing. I’m so thankful for the privilege of being your wife and the mother of your children.

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

So well said, Diane. I do hope my sweet Bebe will remember my prayers. It was amazing too...last night at dinner we rushed to get everything outside onto the table on the deck....and finally started serving the food. All of a sudden from little Bebe we hear "We have to pray to GOD!"

I am reminded that she is listening even when I think she isn't. (And she's only two) I am sure your children are as well!

PS. Your comments back and forth to each other made me tear up! (As well as your writing)