It’s so quiet here tonight.
We watched an entire movie without interruption.
I read part of a book (that didn’t have pictures).
I ate dinner without cutting anyone else’s meat or cleaning up any spilled milk.
There are no toys to pick up, no paper sticking to the glue on the counter, no books to gather, no missing hand towels, no bedtime stories, no misplaced pajamas, no last minute drinks.
And there are no little giggles and sweet goodnights.
That’s because our granddaughters went home this morning. Their mama and papa came back from a well-deserved, week-long vacation, and took them home.
Six days ago I thought I’d never make it for a whole week. Almost every night I thought I would never get up again when I finally sat down for dinner. The needs were constant. The souls were always there, needing love and help and encouragement and instruction.
But every morning there was a new load of grace waiting to take us through another day.
I have a renewed respect for all you ladies who love and care for your children everyday, every week, every month, all year long, year after year. Don’t ever apologize for what you do. It’s a challenging role you’ve accepted, and one that will profoundly affect the lives of those God has entrusted to your care.
As I staggered my way through a week of “mothering” my precious granddaughters, I saw the role from a different viewpoint than I did when I was deep in the trenches with my own children. Mothering requires a constant laying down of our own desires, a continual dying to ourselves, a never-ending consideration of what is good for someone besides ourselves. Many times we are asked to lay down our lives for several little people with varied needs and desires, all at the same time.
Now I can see a bit more clearly how impossible it is to do that in our own strength, and how essential it is to keep our eyes on Jesus. He laid down His life for us. He loves us. He died for us. And because He loved us, we can love others.
He is the one who will show us how to lay down our lives for our children. He will show us through His example. He will show us through His Word. He will show us through the example and words of His children.
He is the one who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
He is the one who now intercedes on our behalf before His Father’s throne (Romans 8:34).
He is the one we worship with every act of service, every sacrifice, every expression of love, every denial of ourselves, as we care for our children (Romans 12:1).
He is the one who will give us joy as we love our children in response to His love..
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40b, ESV).
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters . . .” (1 John 3:16, NIV).
He loved us; now we can love others.