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….
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. 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. 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
a certainty in they would know they were indeed loved and liked, not only by God but by me
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!”
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,