Goodnight Sweetheart

Book - Love you forever

Love You Forever

 

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Theresa R  reminded me of something in her post today…it touched my heart.  The little conversations we have with our children as they grow up.  I remember  consciously wanting my children to know that I liked them as much as I loved them.  They were born during a time when the psychology of the day was “I’m Ok, Your OK”.  Self Esteem issues came on the scene in the guise of us ‘making friends with ourselves.’  My generation ( I think) started this “we have to like ourselves” thing.  It was during this time that I came to know Christ (late 80’s early 90’s).  So I was beginning to discover that it was not all about me but about Him.  The thing was, as a young Christian, I was filtering much of what I learned through the things I had experienced growing up (60’s early 70’s) and the world’s way of looking at things.  You know love yourself…. Eye-rolling

I am grateful that God’s grace is sufficient for young, new Christians learning to walk in His principles and truths.  I found a book that was published in 1986 but did not discover it until my first child was a toddler.  It was called “LOVE YOU FOREVER.”  It was a children’s book, it had a profound effect on me as a mother of a son.  It made me kind of sad to realize my children would be growing up and leaving me.  Even then I was thinking way too far ahead.Crying  Another thing that the book did was cause me to consider the type of mother I would be.  How was I going to show my children I loved them on a daily basis, how was I going to teach them this consistently?  

As a young woman and mother, I was still dealing with all the “self esteem” issues of my childhood.  My parents loved me, I knew that, but their divorce tore a hole in my heart and life that would come to effect everything in my future.  I am certain many who come from broken homes can attest to this. It is one of the truths that many of the world refuses to accept, the consequenses of divorce.  Of all the issues that plagued me, the one that deeply affected me was one particular question:  Was I loved or liked, for that matter?  It would take many paragraphs to go into the reasons why that question was behind every action and motive I had in my young adulthood but that is for another time….  So here I was a single divorced mother myself who had taken another blow to my ego when my first husband left me for another woman. Broken heart  My son was 2 yrs old and my daughter was 2 mos from being born when he left. 

So it was in reading this book that I had determined, as a single mother, that the few things I could give me children was

  1. a certainty in they would know they were indeed loved and liked, not only by God but by me
  2. and that no matter what happened in their life that God and I would be there for them

I was determined to fill the hole in their lives (even though they were yet aware)  and the book inspired me to pass this on to them as well as the new things the Heavenly Father was teaching me.  Forgiveness, patience and hope for our futures.  I wish I could tell you that all of that made up for the loss they would later understand but as with all disappointments in our life God has to be the one to do the healing and restoring. And once again His grace is sufficient. Rainbow 

This memory took me back to the day I had read the book for the first time to little Ben (Benji, when he was little).  I wanted him to remember what I read to him so I  made up a tune to go along with the words in the book.  After reading the story I would then sing the song while kissing him goodnight and turning out the lights. 

I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. Note

Of course then I had to make up another song to say goodnight.

Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight sweetheart, good night to you, goodnight, sweet dreams, I love you.  Good night sweet baby.Note

Then I would close the door to a crack.  Later I would sing it to my daughter and then all my children as I put each one to bed. 

I don’t remember when I stopped singing it but I do remember singing it to my grandson once when visiting him last year about this time.  It struck me as funny, I still remembered the tune… 

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Brodie – my grandson Easter 2009 in California

I know my children know I love them, I know they know I like them and I do believe they are learning that God loves them more than I.  Two of my children are adults now and two are teenagers, but as the years go by I keep looking back on the days when I held them and sang to them…just as the mother does in the book.  It makes me cry some times knowing that I will be alone soon for these years go by so very fast.  Even now the emotion of letting go is overwhelming.

I won’t spoil the end of the book for those of you who have not read it but I will tell you this…I pray that I loved and liked my children enough that one day when I am old and can not get around that they will be the ones singing to me, kissing me goodnight and hearing them say, “Goodnight sweetheart!”
Sleeping half-moon

 

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Luke 7:47

Grace to you all,
Red heart

shell

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Goodnight Sweetheart

  1. nita says:

    oh shell, life can be so tough at times, empty nest syndrome is not easy to cope with. many tears are shed. I found it very diffficult and then I became a full time hands on grandmother, and now they are growing up all too fast also and my nest is becoming empty again. do you ever feel that you dont have the on/off switch that some others seem to have. hmm guess I best stop here and count my blessings – take care – hugs – nita.

  2. Wanna says:

    Father knows how much we can handle. And, thankfully, you don\’t have to handle both of your boys leaving the nest today. And I believe He has very good things for you in the days leading up to that and most certainly well beyond!Love you!!! 🙂

  3. Theresa says:

    That was a wonderful post! I really like what you said, "but as with all disappointments in our life God has to be the one to do the healing and restoring. And once again His grace is sufficient."Well worded!I had forgotten about that book. It is a great book I discovered when I was a new mother, but instead of reading it to my children, I bought a hardback copy and gave it to my Mom for Mother\’s Day.I know some day I will look back on these conversations with my children and miss those tender moments. I just hope, like you, that I able to point them to God\’s love.

  4. wendy says:

    Hey Michelle, Great Blog. I also love that book still have it and still read it at times. I also remember those times and loved seeing the pictures. You bring back good memories to me. I loved you then and love you now. Thanks Wendy

  5. Zeynep says:

    Hi Shell,Yes, when parents divorced, children are going on their lives with a broken hearth more than the parents. I like the entry as always. And thanks for stopping by. No no, I didn\’t go and replace the smoking with the sweets or chocolate. That is my routine. I sometimes eat like an elephant always. I always did, even while I was skinny. I spoil myself with some delivcious foods, because I eat two times in a day; morning and evening… Thanks, you pointed to a good thing. I don\’t want to give a wrong message. Have a great weekend, love and peace, Zeynep xxhttp://www.jazzycomments.com/comments/images/weekend/weekend6.gif

  6. Gerry says:

    Hi Shell,I love that book. A friend gave it to us when our son was a baby. He\’s now almost nine. I think I\’ll try to find it so I can read it to our daughter who\’s now four. I\’m glad you wrote this post. I\’m sorry you\’ve had to endure so much pain in your life. Praying for good things for your future.Gerry 🙂

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