In the 1800’s, song writer William Wallace said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world.” As a mother, I can see how that can be true. So many of our seemingly insignificant tasks translate into the character of our children, the value they feel and the faith they embrace. When you really look at our job as a mother, there are no small tasks, only seeds of love, faith and hope.
When my third son was born, joy abounded. I was so excited to now have three sons. In fact, I was accused by the nurse or the hospital of being a “first time” mom because of the way I held and rocked him. Shortly after bringing him home during a stolen moment with the Lord, I felt I received some specific instructions regarding my little boy. In the quietness of my heart, I heard the soft whispers, “Smile, light up when you see him. Show him every day, the love in your heart you have for him.”
A mother has a huge influence in setting the tone of the home. The old adage, “If mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy,” has some serious truth to it. If mom is not responding in grace, then most likely no one else will be responding in grace. If mom is pleasant and polite, then others in the home will also respond with pleasantness and politeness.
My little boy was a very happy baby, a real joy. I took to heart God’ instructions so every time I opened his bedroom door or picked him up, I didn’t just smile, I lit up. Each time I smiled, it felt like a flood gate of love from my heart to his just poured out. My other sons also received the benefit of this new lesson the Lord was teaching me.
Our faith walk is not a one time act of great obedience that will be heralded by all but it is rather a series of small acts of obedience that no one ever sees. It takes place behind the closed doors of our homes and in the secret places of our heart. This is where true faith is lived out.
For the next three years my little boy suffered one ear infection after another. His baby hood was frequently spent lying on the couch and playing quietly with only occasional bursts of energy of a normal growing baby. It wasn’t until he was three years of age that the doctors told me he had profound hearing loss. By God’s miracle and a third surgery, he was able to hear. God knew that my baby would not hear my songs or my words of love. He knew that my baby needed to see my love. God’s simple instruction to demonstrate my love for him through a lit up smile that he could see proved to be huge in my child’s life.
Oh how I long to permanently learn this lesson of faith. So many times, rather than obeying God’s instructions I question, I rationalize; I reason away His plan for me. If I would just take Him at His word in every area of my life, I would satisfy the true desires of my heart and receive all the blessings my loving Father has for me.
There was a time in my life, when in faith; I had to lay on the altar my desire to home school. Circumstances forced me to return to work. As a single mom, the very life I did not want for my children was now our reality. Dropping my children off at day care broke my heart every day, but despite the weight of my own trials, a habit of loving each child with a lit up smile had already been established. And I thank God that this habit was established years ago. I am not sure in my hour of darkness if I would have been able to obey God’s instruction for my life.
Many times when things are going well, we sit back and relax not realizing that the lessons God wants to teach us and the habits that He wants to form in us become the very keys of survival for the next set of trials or challenges.
Years later, the teenage years to be exact, our son, as all of us do, went through his own dark time. As a mother, one on the most difficult things to see is your child going through the maze of confusion. Prayers, support and grace are invaluable. One day, I arrived via our maxi van to pick him up from a high school event. I sat and waited for his coming. When I saw him, I lit up and smiled as always. Without getting in the car he asked, “Why do you do that?”
“Do what?” I asked
“You always smile when you see me,” he said.
“I love you. I always have and I always will,” I replied
“You do it every time,” he noted.
“I know,” I said smiling.
He climbed into the car and we went home. It was the beginning of a turning point for him. It was such a small thing to demonstrate my love for my children in this small way. But when a big God is behind a small act of obedience it has eternal results.
The flood gates of love still open each time I smile when I see any one of my children. I am grateful to God that he taught me this special way of showing my children the love I have for them. I think I appreciate it even more now that I am older.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world only when she is willing to be rocked by a wonderful grace-filled loving God.
From Our House to Yours,