All trees have roots.
Pine trees, lemon trees, apple trees; good trees and corrupt trees.
They all have roots; roots that go down deep below the surface; roots that have been growing since before that tree ever broke through the earth into this world.
They are the lifelines of a tree. Through them the tree pulls from its source of energy and existence; its livelihood. So where a seed is planted is of the utmost importance, and as it grows, the deeper the roots go down; the more anchored it is; the harder it is to move.
Our children are trees, and as mothers we decide where they set their roots. This is a job that we cannot, must not, do half-heartedly; the rest of their lives depend on it.
As I begin to truly raise my children, as opposed to merely growing them for the past two years, I have begun to see the enormity of this calling, and the richness and blessing it brings when done right.
Praying with them before bed, and before meals, and after they’ve punched their sister in the face – and when I’m scared – grounds them in the importance of ceaseless communication with our Father.
Allowing them to see that I am only human, as much in need of His grace as anyone else, will allow them to accept their own humanity and see that no one can truly fulfill all of our needs but Him.
Instituting bed-time traditions of song singing and story reading will solidify their joy in family times.
Holding them to standards of grace and selflessness from a young age will enable them to be naturally more willingly gracious and giving adults.
Spending quality time talking to them and searching to know their hearts will result in a trusting bond that will withstand the trials of pre-teen and teenage years.
Teaching them the Truths and Ways of Yahweh now will ensure that they grow up to be trees who are not easily swayed – who will stand the test of life.
It all takes such careful guiding and direction, and to fail to do so reaps its own production – children who feel disconnected, aimless, and out of control.
Neglecting to intentionally plant roots in life-giving soil leaves our children looking for that life elsewhere, and we do them a great, and grave, disservice.
Praise Yahweh that His son, Jesus, saves. Thank Him that He never loses sight of our children. There are many who are not planted in His Word, who have been rooted in the shallow soil of the world, who must be transplanted to the banks of the river of life – but it is so often a hardship. Those trees must be plucked up, unearthed; the roots will tear and break, and the healing is often slow, as new roots find their way back down. The process is not without damage, and precious time is wasted.
The tree planted in His garden, though, will never want for sustenance. The children brought up knowing their Savior are blessed.
The thing is, moms, it’s not enough to send them to church or Sunday school once a week, say a gimmicky prayer before dinner, and read from the bible on Christmas and Easter, and think that’s what it takes.
Jesus is not an American Holiday. He is not a special occasion.
He is daily bread. He is eternal living water. He is the beginning and the end. He is every second of every minute of every day of every life.
These roots – they will build a foundation that will always keep them grounded. It will be their way home. It will be what they fall back on when things are hard. We can give them that safe place, that sure place, the place where they have come from and can return to again and again as storms pull them to and fro.
Intentional mothering is hard. I know that because I fail at it so many times, but we have to keep looking ahead – we have to keep pushing forward. We have to show our children that it’s ok if we fall because we fall on grace, but then we have to show them how to take His hand and rise back out of our sinking waves. We cannot win our children’s hearts for Yeshua by commanding them to do as we say and not as we do. We just can’t. Children are fantastic mimickers, and while they still think you’re the greatest thing since peanut butter and jelly, they will do as you do – so show them. Guide them. Every day give this mission all of you’ve got. Purpose in your heart where you want their roots to grow; to faith, hope, purity, joy, truth; lovlieness. Fix your eyes on it and make a plan to get them there. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, but He will give us the strength to see it through.
Forget the iphones and the ipads and the ps3s and the stuff. One day soon that will be just another piece of junk collecting dust in a scrap metal lot somewhere. Don’t ask someone else – or things – to hold their attention so that you don’t have to. This is what you were made to do, and He has given you all of the resources you need in His spirit, you just need to ask and seek.
At the end of her child-rearing days the Proverbs 31 woman – the woman who is so hard to find, whose worth is invaluable – her children rise up and call her blessed. This is not the wide easy road, this road is hard, and few have the courage to walk it, but we have to realize that it’s not our souls at stake – it’s theirs. And that’s worth working for.
So take up your shovel and your watering can and carefully tend to your sprout every day. Pull the weeds of influence, nourish with the Son’s light, breathe and speak life into your sapling, and one day they will be strong enough to provide your heart rest. Eyes up, mama. With Him on your side, you’ve got this – and we’ve got each other too.
“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.” – Psalm 1:2&3
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7&8
In His love,