“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 attempts 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?