Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Can See The Writing On The Wall...

I've been thinking a lot about how the things I say and do to and with my children today will impact their lives in the future. It's so much to consider and every single day presents many challenges and things that are potentially guilt-inducing.

I know that's probably not the best thing to carry around because I know that sense of failure and guilt is something that I can easily pass on to my children. So, in an effort to turn my worries into prayers and positive thoughts, I've gone back to a book I read a lot while I was nursing my's called "Praying the Scriptures For Your Children" by Jodie Berndt. I really adore this book and it's been a literal lifesaver to me recently. Two days ago, for whatever reason, Mitchell woke up in a grumpy mood and was unable to shake that mindset for the rest of the day...just one of those tough days.

It made for a very long day in this full of arguing, sassy talk, and tears. Finally, at about 3:00, I turned on a video for the kids, plopped myself onto the couch and got out my book. It was just what I needed, and the rest of the day was much easier for me, even though nothing really changed as far as how Mitchell was acting. For instance, here are the two that I probably spent 20 minutes praying, over and over.

"Let us learn to see discipline as a gift. Let Mitchell recognize that when we discipline him, it means that we love him and that he belongs to our family -- just as you discipline those you love, those you accept as your sons and daughters. Let Mitchell respect us when we discipline him, realizing that we are doing our best and that we ourselves are submitting to your discipline, which is for our good." (Hebrews 12: 5-10)


"Teach Mitchell to obey us in everything, for this pleases you, Lord. Do not let us do or say anything that would embitter or discourage him." (Colossians 3: 20-21)

It just met me where I was, and took my mind to where it needed to be. I really can't recommend this book any more highly, especially if you find that praying for your children is an overwhelming task. Sometimes, the scope of what I want for them is so big that I don't know where to start...this book has really given me the gift of having specific prayers to start with and then continue on my own from there. I have had much more clarity and focus in my prayers for my children than I did before.

The other thing this book does is prompt me more and more to pray for things that are in my children's distant future. Things like their purposes in life, their future marriages, etc. As much as I enjoy saying those types of prayers, it also opens my eyes up to the fact that my time with them is just going so quickly. As much as I look forward to the many wonderful memories we'll make in the future, it's difficult for me not to grieve the loss of many of the things that we're leaving behind. It's not that I don't want my children to grow up, not at all.

It's that the "lasts" in my life as a Mommy are somewhat painful. They're memories now, and I fear that they will fade with time.

As I was driving into our neighborhood for my lunch hour (I'm working today), a song that I'd never heard before came on the radio. Before it was over, I was in tears because it really touched my heart. It just seemed to capture so much of what I've been feeling lately, so I thought I'd share the lyrics.

Artist: Mark Harris
Title: Writing On The Wall
Album: Windows & Walls

I came home from work
She was waiting at the door
Had that bad day look in her eye
Then I heard the sound of little feet across the hardwood floor
And I knelt down with my arms open wide
When I asked her what had happened
She pointed to our son
And said why don't you show your daddy
What you've done

And I could see the writing on the wall
The evidence of little hands
Picasso with a purple crayon
I tried to act upset but I was smiling through it all
I could see the writing on the wall

It was the first day of school
Standing by the laundry door
Wondering how third grade came so fast
Took a ruler and a sharpie pen and drew the line once more
So amazed at how time had passed
With a backpack full of promise
And wonder in his eyes
I turned my head just so he wouldn't
See me cry

Chorus 2:
Cause I could see the writing on the wall
It seems no matter how I tried
To stop the roller coaster ride
The pages just kept turning
Even though deep in my heart I knew we had it all
I could see the writing on the wall

Somewhere in the mystery
Of all that lies ahead
I hope and pray that you will see
I tried to do my best


Earen said...

Thank you for the sweet reminders Tara & the beautiful song. I LOVE the idea of praying the Word over our kids & need to start doing it again. Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration!

Emily said...

I have so much to say :) First of all, I love that new siggy, it's so much better than the first one. Very you! And I would know. Ha ha!

I have never heard of that book but I am reading the Power of a Praying Parent and love it. I think it's so good to be reminded of specific prayers to pray for our children for the present and for their future.

And I have never heard that song but I am sure I would be in tears if I heard it too, it's a mom thing I guess :)

LOVE the recipe corner :)

Mari said...

Tara - that was a beautiful post and I love the picture you posted. I also really like that Mark Harris song - just gets you doesn't it?

Renee said...


I just want to hug you! I wish my arms were that long!

I just found that book in my drawer of 'need to read for inspiration' books. (I got it the same time as yours, thanks to your recommendation back then). I was thinking I should probably start going through it. Thank you for the nudge. It's so important to pray for our little ones, and like you's so hard to focus those prayers. This book is a fantastic place to start.

Thanks for sharing the words to that song, too. Sure puts things into perspective. Dang...this mothering journey is sure an emotional one, isn't it?

Love you!

Sarah Markley said...

Renee is right...its such a journey. I am glad that I can read the struggles and triumphs of other mothers and know I am not alone. =)

Janelle said...

Tara, thank you so much for the book recommendation. I will check that out. I think that praying for our kids is one of the most important things we can do for them.

Love the pictures of your sweet kids.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will be reading more of yours.

I'm Tara. said...

Em - I'll have to check that book out, too.

Renee -- did you forget that you gave me this copy? I mentioned to you that I checked it out from the library and needed to renew it and the next thing I knew you had it sent to my house. *hugs* You blessed me immeasurably with that one, girlfriend.

Thanks for the sweet words, girls. I'm so bad at responding to comments!!

I'm Tara. said...

Oh, and that last picture -- they were sitting on the kitchen counter sipping milk and watching Daddy leave for work. It's one of my faves of them together.

Short Stop said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Wanna hear something funny...and strange? So, my husband brings home Praying the Scriptures For Your Children for me a couple of weeks ago, and it's been sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to finish another book. I picked it up today, just started it, added it to the sidebar on my blog, and now I'm sitting here reading this post...AND here you are writing about it!! Now I'm even more excited to dive into it!!

I'm so glad you shared this post, Tara...I can relate to every word!