Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

When Dreams For My Kids Fall Short

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” That quote used to bring me comfort, on the days when I didn’t feel like much, rocking babies in my comfy pants and t-shirt. The idea of influencing a generation and changing the world for the better took the sting out of the late night feedings and spit up on my shoulder.

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In the early years of motherhood, despite exhaustion and repetition, I had dreams for my kids. I wanted them to be better than I was. I wanted them to be well rounded, happy, healthy, and I wanted to give them the tools and education they needed to change their own little corner of the world for better.

All good things, but my dreams were shallow and fell short and missed the grand goal of them savoring and cherishing Christ.

Oh, I wanted them to know Christ. I taught them to fold their little hands and say grace, we learned portions of scripture together, prayed for missionaries, sang songs, and went to all the church services. From the outside looking in, you would have called me ultra-faithful in the training department, but when Christ is not the “end all” in your own life, the truth is He’s just an “add on” –and that is always a confusing, strange, unstable mix. (You’ll know He’s an “add on” when your true god is rivaled or taken away. You still have Christ, but you’re pining away after the reigning god at the moment.)

Thank God that dreams change. When Christ is all-in-all, everything else is a nice add on, but not mandatory.

Now, I just want them to be whole in Christ.

I want them to be happy in the present, no matter where life that finds them. I want them to be able to look through the hardship and see the Source and count it a blessing.

I no longer try to keep things neat and safe for them, because I’ve learned that I can’t pass my faith on to them through my experiences or via a sterile environment. I can point them to Christ and trust the Holy Spirit to do a work in them. They have to walk the life of faith on their own, and without adversity, hardships, temptations, and trials, there would be no need for faith.

I want them to be content in the midst of crisis, because our happiness is not dependent on our circumstances and I want them to know first hand that God is more than enough comfort when trials come.

I want them to cultivate confidence in their own relationship with God, and I want them to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit when He prompts them to pray or abstain from sin, or to evangelize.

When life is unmanageable and uncontrollable, I want them to grasp God’s promises with their own two hands and never let go. And they can’t do that void of trouble.

I’m not wishing hardship on them, don’t get me wrong. But if hardship is necessary to bring them closer and nearer to Christ, then that is okay, because this world is not the end all.

Christ is the end all, and He desires for His kids to see and know Him more than I do.

What can a mom do? You can faithfully teach and look for opportunities to point them to the good news of the gospel.

And you can pray along with Jesus for them–

John 17:9,15,17::  I pray for them… for they are thine. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

 “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.” 
― Jonathan Edwards,