Preston Party of Six

Preston Party of Six

Friday, May 2, 2014

Roots and Wings

Lately I've been struggling more than I usually do with my children growing up. 

I recently registered Jenna for preschool and earlier this week I registered Andrew for "big school" kindergarten.  Nathan will be 10 later this year and Shelby is getting so tall I feel like I can see her growing with each new day.

And to be honest, I often wish I could make the ticking of the clock just STOP.

I vividly remember so many milestones with Nathan, Shelby and Andrew--their first smile, their last night of nursing, their first steps, their first days of preschool, and so many other significant moments. 

And even though I wasn't able to experience most of these milestones with Jenna, just in the last 5 1/2 months there have been so many "firsts"--her first taste of Chick-fil-A, her first time sleeping without me in her room, her first time to go to church, her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and her first mommy & me program (just to name a few). 

All of these milestones are cherished memories that I hope my brain will always remember.  But at the same time, holding on to these memories often makes me sad because time goes by so quickly and children grow up so fast.

But this week I was reminded that it is GOOD for my children to grow...that is what they are created to do. 

And it was this tree that God used to remind me of this truth.

We planted this tree three years ago in front of our house.  Nathan got it from his kindergarten teacher at Elm Street Elementary School on Arbor Day.  It was just a seed three years ago and now it stands tall, strong, healthy and beautiful. 

Yesterday I read this quote by one of my favorite pastors:

"Everything great begins with a tiny, fragile seed. Every seed takes time. Plant well. Stay faithful. This is the way of God." —Louie Giglio

WOW!  I love this and it was a clear reminder to me to stay faithful in taking time to give my children the roots they need to GROW.

My greatest desire, my greatest prayer, is for my children to love God and love people.  Or as we often say at home, "LGLP."  The kids know what those four letters mean.  Nothing else truly matters in this life.  If they grow up loving God and loving people, my mission as their mom will be complete.  And this isn't something I dreamt's straight out of God's word.  When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answered:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:36-39).

But my children don't just need strong roots (and I'm obviously NOT referring to genetic roots here) but rather roots of faith, love, compassion, and grace. 

They also need wings to become all that God wants them to become in order to love Him and love people.

This is often where my struggle my children wings.  Birds have wings so they can fly...or should I say, most birds use the wings God gave them for that specific purpose (some are too heavy to fly, but this definitely isn't a scientific blog, ha!)  Wings allow birds to fly away and fly wherever they want. 

As a mom of four precious "birds", I want to keep them safe in the nest.  Do I enjoy watching them thrive and experience new things?  Of course I do!  But at the same time, there are days I just want time to slow down or completely stop so they don't keep growing and can't fly away. 

But that day will come.  In fact, last September when Nathan turned 9, he started singing the line to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer," song that says "Oh, oh, I'm halfway there..." (yes, that is the one Bon Jovi song my kids have heard because it's on an '80s mix CD that we all have fun singing to in the car).  I asked Nathan why he was singing that and his answer: "I'm halfway to going to college."  OUCH!

The day my four children leave the nest is coming sooner than I'd like to admit.  And since I don't want to keep them from becoming all God created them to be, I need to give them strong ROOTS but also strong WINGS...not simply to fly but to soar!

So back to this amazing truth by Pastor Giglio:

"Everything great begins with a tiny, fragile seed. Every seed takes time. Plant well. Stay faithful. This is the way of God." —Louie Giglio

I want my children to be great...great in God's eyes.  They start out as tiny, fragile seeds that require lots of time and nurturing...sometimes more than I think I have to give and that's why I have to rely on the Lord.  And if I'm faithful, they will grow and become all God intends them to become. 

Roots AND wings...this, too, is the way of God.

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