The snow is falling gently this morning. Some snows can be harsh, but this one seems to be a gift from God, falling delicately on our world to cover up some of the harsher edges. Some days it can be tricky to turn off the voices of the world around us. The voices online are jaded and angry right now. This world is so broken, lashing out like a wounded animal. And my job has been to protect my kids from a lot of the words and accusations around them while maintaining a global perspective.
Their hearts are treasure chests. I’ve never realized this more than this season I’m in right now. Our newest son was exposed to a lot of television viewing in his orphanage. Because the television was constantly playing, he viewed many things that were not appropriate for children. His treasure chest has been filled with some bad things.
I can mourn that his life has not been what it should have been. And I do mourn that. But because I cannot take out what has already been placed in his treasure chest, it is my ambition and aim to fill his heart with beautiful and good and kind things. I will teach him a love of good words, an adoration for metamorphosis, the joy of flowers, and the crisp smell of a forest. I will harness beauty and goodness and ride them rampant through this wild life.
I will not look over my shoulders at what other parents are doing, because I do not have time to waste. I am making up for lost time with some of my kids. God has gifted me with four children who I am confident will literally change the world in 10 to 20 years, and I need to imbue them with all that will be necessary for them to work goodness and to knead God’s character into the world.
My oldest learned this morning that Langston Hughes had written one of my favorite poems, so he pulled off our book from the shelf. (It had a spider’s egg sac attached to the bottom of the pages, and that was exciting for him but not for me… gross.)
He read it to me. And I cried.
The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes
Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all your
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
Isn’t that just motherhood?
There are never moments that I regret our choice to homeschool, but there are days when I wonder if I’m enough. If I’m giving my children the best that I can.
There have been days (or weeks, if I’m honest) where I don’t even know that I’m in need of encouragement. Invariably, my kids will do or say something that will provide that little heart that I needed to press on and continue. Because I’m so grateful for these moments, I just wanted to share a few today, so I remember in the future. This is not to brag about my kids, just to remind myself that their hearts are being filled with beauty and truth.
- Our just 2-year-old sings folk songs to her babies, like “All the Pretty Little Horses” and has about five verses from the 23rd Psalm memorized in her sweet little toddler pronunciation. She also likes to sing the melody from the Overture to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at the breakfast table.
- Yesterday morning, our 4-year-old began a sentence with “I perceive.” Both Michael and I cracked up. He’s such a wise old man trapped in a little boy’s body.
- Our 6-year-old is turning into a deep-souled boy. We’ve been talking a lot about cultural priorities because we’re studying the Vikings who valued bravery and soldiers. We’ve been able to use this conversation about cultural priorities to talk about governmental budgeting, environmental issues, abortion, refugees, and foster care. Last week, he told me he wished the world would listen to more Beethoven because Beethoven could change the world.
- Our 3-year-old is picking up words. He’s also memorizing the 23rd Psalm, but because English is his second language, he’s a little behind our youngest.
Moms, today I want to encourage you: fill your children’s treasure chests. Give your children beauty and truth. Don’t settle for second rate. It’s a struggle and a challenge, but it’s so worth it.