“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Have you heard that expression? It’s from a poem by William Ross Wallace. I wrote a song along those same lines some years ago. The chorus goes like this: “What you sing to the cradle echoes down eternity and you can’t stop the song once it’s begun. For the light of the song has a life of its own and the strength to bring every child home.” I believe those words with all my heart.
I Samuel 1:27 says: “For this child I prayed and The Lord has granted me my petition…” I was twenty-six when I got married and twenty-nine when I had my first child. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want children. After a very trying pregnancy, the Lord gave me the desires of my heart. So you see, that child is so very precious to me. I also received my special wish – a little boy. When he was a small baby, I would rock him in the chair and sing him to sleep. I sang all my favorite hymns: This is My Song (Finlandia,) Song of Joy, Be Thou My Vision, and Above the Hills (a hymn to the tune of Danny Boy.) He fell asleep and I was so full of sweet bliss, I sang on and on.
Those songs, dear Mothers, are deep in his spirit. They’re in his mind and in his heart. Wherever he goes, the song goes, too.
When my second child came along, I was absolutely certain that I could not love this new baby as much as the first. My mother said I could, and as the second child of my family, I knew she could, but I had my doubts. Once he was in my arms, (another boy, oh happy day!), I was in love all over again. I laughed at myself. How silly of me and how wise of God to know what He was doing when He created a mother’s heart. My songs went on to this child and he got daytime songs and new Charismatic songs such as “Bullfrogs and Butterflies.”
Later, my husband and I were blessed with a girl. It was with much happiness that we received my daughter, Dawn, into the world – on my birthday! Happiness and sorrow because she had to be sent out into the night in an ambulance (like Madeline in the Ludwig Bemelmans’ children’s books.)
Oh course, I loved her so. Though she was thirty miles away in an N.I.C.U. in the hospital, we visited her about every other day for a month. When I couldn’t see her or didn’t know how things would turn out, I felt an ache I had never known. I was losing her infancy and there was no way to ever get it back. And though I barely know her, I missed her terribly.
When Dawn was a teenager, she told me she had a dream where she was in a big white castle and she was alone and then I came and took her home. For you see, when we visited her there, after the nurse took the gavage feeding tube out, I held her and loved her and sang to her. I sang hymns and “Delta Dawn”. The song tells about a “mansion in the sky.”
My children are now out of their teens. Dr. James Dobson, in “Coming Home,” said about the teen years: “Get them through it.” We did, by God’s grace, get them all through it. I loved all the life stages: infancy, babies, toddlers, school age, teens and now young adults. My children aren’t perfect, for they are human. We did try to “train (them) up in the way (they) should go,” Prov. 22:6 and take them to church. I believe God will fulfill that other part of the Proverb, “when (they) are old (they) will not depart from it.” We have had sicknesses, an accident, rocky places, beautiful weddings, and tons of good times. I still look forward to what my children will be.
My heart is for my children, my family, and being a mother. For me, Mother’s Day isn’t about the dinner, the gifts, or the flowers, even though I’m delighted that these lovely traditions are still being observed here, in the 21st century, to honor mothers. Mother’s Day is about my children and how much I love them.
Never underestimate the importance of your role in your children's lives. Susanna Wesley stopped every day, threw her apron over her head and prayed. It was her way to get a quiet time. She had 19 children. One of them, Charles, became a great hymn writer and another, John, became a preacher of the Great Awakening. When people ask what woman you admire, my answer is Susanna Wesley. Really, ladies, you don’t know what great person lives right in your playroom. Even your problem teen could grow up to be a Saint Augustine. Don’t listen to contrary trends that diminish your value. To put it bluntly, You matter. The things of God you put into your children are valuable beyond all knowing. The song you sang to the cradle will go on and on and bless countless generations. And if you didn’t sing to those babies, sing out now. Sing the Song, loud and strong!
Be joyful, and have a wonderful Mothers’ Day.
Scripture references: NKJ