10.30.2011

To hear my child walk in truth.

{This picture of Noah was taken after church today...oh my goodness, where does the time go, he is looking so much older to me these days...boo-hoo!!}




"While few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy. Surely no more important work is to be done in this world than preparing our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable, and productive. Parents will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have their children honor them and their teachings. It is the glory of parenthood."

- James E. Faust


When I read this amazing parenting talk a few years ago, I was especially touched by the counsel that was shared on how to be a better parent and the role we play as parents in teaching our children Gospel principles.  No matter how many children you have, whether it be a van full or just one, we as parents are all too familiar with the weight of responsibility that is often felt as we try our best to raise our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable and productive.  It is no easy task--it requires daily teaching by word and deed and then, of course, a whole lot of patience on our part, yet today, I was reminded that it is often in the simple joys and moments of parenting where we see the fruits of our labor.

This morning, as I was helping Noah get dressed for church (which historically for me, is a battle on most Sunday mornings...one that I sometimes just dread)--he was surprisingly happy about getting his nice, Sunday dress clothes on.  After clipping on his tie and as I was tying the shoelaces of his black dress shoes, he out of the blue said to me...

"Mommy....
  I love Jesus.
I love God.
And, I love Santa Claus."

I stopped what I was doing and just looked at him and said, "Noah, that is so sweet.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you and the sweet testimony that is growing in your heart."  

I then told him, "I'm sure Jesus, Heavenly Father and Santa Claus are all smiling right now after hearing you say that.  They love you very much, son."   He smiled and hugged me.

After our discussion and finishing getting dressed, we hopped in the car and headed on to church.  Our first meeting on Sundays is always the Sacrament meeting.  This meeting is typically the most difficult one for Noah (and me) to sit through.  You can read more about that here.  But today, I caught glimpses of him actually listening to the speakers....brief moments, indeed, yet, I could clearly tell that my son had heard something that made sense to his little spirit.  A light had been turned on and it seemed to radiate from him.  I felt it.

And then he leaned over and said, "Mommy, this is Jesus' house isn't it?"  I looked down at him and said, "Yes, baby....it sure is and he is so happy that you are here today."  And then he responded,"But he doesn't live here anymore, does he?"  I said, "Well, baby...he isn't physically here, but He is here in spirit."  "Remember, he now lives in heaven with God, but He is watching over you and is so very proud of you."  

Noah just smiled the biggest smile and then quickly returned to flying his airplane down the aisle and out into the foyer of our church.  I just sighed and grinned...while our little spiritual moment was brief and fleeting, I felt so much joy as a mother and parent at that moment.  I also felt a renewing sense of hope in my efforts as I strive to teach my dear son all that my Father in Heaven expects me to teach him.  My heart swelled with love and gratitude for this precious son of mine. I felt humbled to know that, at the tender age of 5, he really is listening to what we are teaching him about the Savior Jesus Christ and his Heavenly Father.  

I must echo today what James E. Faust described in his message... you will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have your children honor you and your teachings.  There is no question, our children are listening to us, they are watching us, and they are learning from us.  And despite all our shortcomings and the mistakes we inevitably will make as parents, we must keep on trying earnestly to be the best teachers and parents we can be to our kids.  We have the ability to impact our children for a lifetime (and the eternities) by all that we say and do while they are young.  And for me, my constant prayer is that my impact on my son will be one for good.  This truly is the glory of parenthood. 

The simple joys of parenting, ones like I had today, are priceless.

 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 
~ 3 John 1:4

XOXO....

Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. Every single one of your posts is so inspiring to me! I truly enjoy reading each and every one :) The getting-ready-for-church battle is alive and well over here in these parts, and man, it can just be downright discouraging on some Saturday nights! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I love your thoughts!

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  2. At one point in my life I questioned why I even bothered to get ready for church at all...today my oldest son spoke in sacrament and I realized that there are blessings to those who are obedient and endure. The blessings may be slightly visible at the moment, but with time the blessings are oh, so much more sweeter! Hang in there sister....there will be more sweet moments to come!
    -Abby Espinoza

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