I will never forget the day I wrote these four little words in a card for my sister. It was just after she'd had her first baby girl. I sat with a blank card in front of me, pen in hand, when a wave of emotions came flooding over me as a million thoughts filled my mind.
What do you say to your little sister who's on the brink of a new journey...she was stepping into one of the most beautiful, rewarding, exhausting, and challenging roles she will ever have the honor of walking in? I could have said a lot of things. But these four words are all I could get out...
"You can do this."
That was it.
Because sometimes all we really need is a big sister to step up and be our cheerleader. There are moments in our lives that we don't really need a list of do's and don'ts. We don't need advice or a three step plan. We just need someone to stand by our side and say, "You can do this."
Mamas, let me be your big sister today. Let me be your cheerleader.
YOU can do this.
This incredibly hard job of motherhood - You can do this.
We spent last weekend in Washington D.C. It was a much needed family get-away! We saw monuments, went to museums, saw a hockey and a baseball game, visited Mount Vernon, had a tour of the Capitol...we had three crazy awesome jam-packed days! (Homeschool Mama's dream!)
As we walked around looking at monuments and the incredible relics and treasures in the museums, I would remind myself that these were real people...living real lives...just like us.
We stood looking at the sword George Washington used in battle, the desk that Thomas Jefferson used to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, and the hat Abraham Lincoln wore the day he was assassinated.
We walked the plantation grounds of Mount Vernon where Washington lived. We saw the bedroom and the very bed he took his last breath in. We saw the "broad stripes and bright stars" of the American Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write, what is now, our National Anthem.
We were up close and personal with our nations history, and it was both beautiful and solemn.
I kept thinking about the fact that these incredible men and women who made history were once just young boys and girls. They had no idea that one day there would be statues in their honor.
They laughed, cried, played games, and probably said, "I'm hungry" just like our kids do. Do you think they dreamed of adventures, never realizing they would grow up to be history makers?
Did their moms and dads have a clue where their sons and daughters were headed? Do you think they knew they were kissing the scraped knees and wiping the tears of future Presidents? Did they know they were raising children who would, literally, change the world?
Do you think their parents knew who they were raising?
I don't think George Washington's mother knew the little boy she tucked in every night was going to be the first President of a new nation. I don't think Abraham Lincoln's parents knew he was headed for greatness or surely they would have given him more than one year of "proper education."
They didn't have the ability to see what the future held, but they had enough wisdom and insight to raise men of character.
What about the people who changed the world, and we don't even know their names?
We stood at war memorials and honored the many men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. I thought of the women who's husbands never returned home, the children who never saw their fathers again...they are heroes too. We don't know their names or their whole story, but their place in history is just as significant.
We are left with the question, "Do we know who we're raising?"
Just like the parents of so many who have gone before, we don't know where our kids are headed. Someone, right now, is raising a future president. Someone is raising the next Billy Graham or the next Thomas Edison. Someone is raising another Jim Elliot and Amy Carmichael. It's happening in their homes right now, and they don't even know it.
I am raising the mothers of my grandchildren, and that means I'm raising women who will change the world.
I don't know what the future holds for my daughters, but I know they are headed for greatness...not because of what they will do but because of who they will be.
Let us be diligent as we raise our sons and daughters to become men and women with strength of character: men and women who will stand resolute on truth.
We need to raise children with a sense of significance. We are a part of something bigger than today.
"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." - Andy Stanley