Musings of a Mum
Early this week, as I sat with my morning cup of tea, pondering life, the amazing gratitude I feel to those doing this journey of life with me overwhelmed my thinking.
My eldest son has just turned 17 (it doesn’t seem like 17 years ago he was a newborn). Today he is a lot taller than me, amazing, talented, funny, hardworking, confident…
Ed and I have 2 other children, also similarly amazing, talented, helpful… and not a little strong-willed!
Of all the things we have given them as parents (and that’s a lot of things—if you are reading this as a parent you know what I am talking about… food, clothes, a home, a million lifts to school, clubs, friends houses, searching out the best schools, spent hours and hours encouraging them and helping them… you get my drift) there is one thing that has been a gift beyond measure, something that has given them so much more than we could ever have given them.
It was this, that I sat this morning considering…
I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that my children are who they are today because they have been brought up in the house of God and it is the place they love to be. The Psalmist says in Psalm 92:13 “those who are planted in the house of God will flourish”. It is not talking about a place, it’s not about the building; it is about belonging to the church, the people of God, the family of God.
Our children have been part of this family all their lives, and they have been part of Valley Church since we began … This I know is the best gift we have given to them…
We see in church they have so much…
They are surrounded by people cheering them on.
They have great leaders who talk with them, encourage them, believe in them and pray for them.
They are taught how to live life well, basing their lives on the Bible (you can’t beat the Creator’s handbook… funny how life seems to work when we follow it) with great values and so many promises.
They have been brought up expecting God to answer their prayers.
They have been given opportunities to have a go, and encouraged to keep going.
They have been encouraged to bring their friends and let others become part of this incredible life too.
They are surrounded by people who are looking for the best in each other and everything.
They are told they can make a difference.
They have great friends.
They have fantastic role models.
They have fantastic people they can talk to (even when they don’t get on with their parents!)
They know their lives matter, God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of them.
They have hope.
They have a relationship with God, their Heavenly Father who even when we get it wrong he is always there.
As I think back and recall times when we have said no to parties, missed sports activities and chosen to go to church rather than head off to the beach on a sunny day, or just stay at home because it’s been a busy week. Do you think for one moment I regret those decisions?
No, I am glad that even though at times it seemed hard to help people understand why we did what we did (and still do it today), I can look at my children, (I know they are not perfect, I am not deluded in thinking this) I can see them flourishing in so many areas of life, and I know they have a great future as well as fantastic lives today. I am so encouraged that many of you reading this have already chosen to build this into your lives, and are already seeing the impact in the lives of your children. I am cheering you on and I know your children in years to come will thank you for your love, passion and commitment to them and to the house of God.
If you are a parent today struggling with these decisions I want to encourage you: put God first, find a great church, one like Valley (there are many throughout this land, and by the way you will never find a perfect one), and look ahead to the future you are building for your child. If you feel like it’s too late, know it’s never too late to pray for your son or daughter, it’s never too late to start making great decisions and it’s never too late to give yourself to the house of God.
There will always be another party, another sports fixture, another invitation, another day to take it easy… but we only get one go at being great parents.
Praying for you as you do the journey of parenting!
By the way, if you don’t already belong to a great church we would love to see you on a Sunday at any of our services. We meet in Preston and Blackpool and have services starting in Lancaster and the North East of England.
We also run a parenting course and a marriage course, both starting next month if you are interested in any of these please get in touch, we would also love to hear from you if you need someone to talk to and other mums to do life with.