Nathan and me, at a talent competition, in Florida, when he was 18
Nathan had graduated from high school and was working at a landscaping job. My life was busy, demanding, I was tired and frazzled, in my 50's and still raising a 12 year old who was beginning to have hormones. I had two "olders" searching for themselves, with late night talks, (why does everything come out after 11 pm for older kids?) an almost full time job working side by side with Clay in our ministry and writing a daily blog and at least one book a year. But most of all I was mama.
The house was in a constant state of mess, straighten up, mess, straighten up. We ate more often on paper plates. I had to control my grumpy more often.
"Mama, I really think God wants me to go into the entertainment industry--be an actor or musician. Will you pray with me about this?"
"Mom, if an athlete trains and never gets to get into the ring, his training will be for nothing!"
Really? I thought. That is like asking to be the quarterback of the Denver Broncos or like planning to be president. It is not realistic and is it really possible to make money at such a job? And do I want my teenager in New York or Hollywood? REALLY?
But God whispered to my heart, "You need to allow him to live by faith as you have taught your children to do!"
BUT, I didn't say what I thought. I said, "You know that I will always pray with you for the things God puts on your heart." And so we prayed. and prayed. And prayed.
Then one day a radio commercial came on the Christian station and advertised a talent competition. "Mom, maybe we should go to this! Let's just see what it is about."
But I had an agenda to accomplish and was already overwhelmed. I got no less than 7 phone calls from friends who said, "Sally, have you heard the commercial......." And so I called, and we went to try out. Clay and I thought it must be a scam. it was expensive to fly Nathan to Florida and to stay in the hotel where he would be competing with others, and we did not have extra money that had been planned for this, but God whispered.....
"Mom, please! Please?"
And so I prayed, and prayed and God wouldn't let it go. We scrimped and saved and worked and flew there. As Nathan was competing before the judges, I sat alone in the coffee shop with Bible and journal in hand. "God, he really needs some encouragement in life, but what are we doing here? Please be with him now and help him not to get too discouraged. Please help him and give him favor. Please help me not to worry.............."
And so the beating on the doors of heaven, again, when I had no control, was a familiar place to be. God, only you can help and answer now.......
And so the process began, a mama and her "little boy become big" thousands of miles away from home, there to cheer and scream for him as he performed, and to pray and say, "You will do just fine!" when in my heart, I hoped, I wondered, then to lose more sleep, again, to pray and cheer and love and dress him well.
And that was the beginning--then there was New York City when he was 19 and then there was Hollywood when he was 21, and then.......
"Superman in a dark world to bring redemption--you know that has always been my dream.... You are the one who taught us to live by faith....."
Now, producing his first movie, Confessions of a Prodigal Son, and what next? Still on my knees, still believing in his dreams,
It is the beauty of mamas. We do it imperfectly and we sometimes stumble on the path. No mom is perfect--not even one. All of us become weary, yell at our children, do not keep a perfectly clean house, (because we have a constantly full house with people who want to eat and wear clothes on a fairly consistent basis.) We lose sleep, lose our muscle mass, lose keys, toys, receipts and library books. Sometimes we wonder if we are accomplishing anything, as we scan the horizon of our home.
Yet, mamas are truly the heroes of the world. What would a generation of kids do without that mama who believed in her child's dreams? If there were no one to dry their tears? or make birthday cakes? Or teach them how to be warriors in a very fallen and very tough world.
Would the world have heroes if mamas weren't there teaching about courage? Would marriages stay strong if mamas weren't there to train their children to love? Would faith be vibrant and strong if a mama wasn't on her knees asking for heaven to bend down and give her strength, wisdom, unconditional love and patience just one more day?
Mamas do not have to be performers, or perfect, or have a certain personality, but they have to have heart--a heart for Jesus, a heart for her very own children, a heart for righteousness and for the destiny of the next generation. And the heart is what drives the work--to keep going, to keep loving, teaching, encouraging, listening, one day of patience after the other and another.
Today, no matter where you are, no matter what circumstances, your sweet children are just waiting and hoping that they will see what it looks like to be a hero by watching the one who is living right in front of them in their very own home. You are God's best idea of bringing life and beauty, of being a gatekeeper for a pure heart of your sweet ones, of building character muscle and teaching them how to celebrate life. You are truly Amazing.
Tonight, (Monday night) Sarah and I will be hosting a live e-conference and I hope many of you will join us. It is the last one I plan to do for a while, as i am pulling back to breathe and focus on the heart of God's plans for me in the next year. I need to fill my heart, celebrate my own family, and be fully engaged in life here so I can have strength and wisdom to give out in a new season of giving out.
Teens--some ideas of what to do! How did my children learn to do so well in college? How to get scholarships? How to be initiators and engaged in their lives, character and education instead of being passive in life--how to develop a love for learning.
Our hearts are filled with inspiration, ideas, challenges and practical information for you. I will address some issues of foundations for home and for children so that they will be able to learn and grow strong mentally, academically, and in initiative and character. Mental muscles, my daily schedule with my children and everything I can fit into a 45 minute talk.
Sarah, by the request of many at our conferences, will be speaking about why is it important to fill your children's minds with beauty, inspiration and truth so that they will draw on it in years to come--and they will remember what the heroes did. (What place imagination, moral training, and discipline plays in this role.)
Please help me by sharing about this conference on fb, twitter, and to your support groups, as I am not great at marketing, but want to help so many moms out there who need to be encouraged. Thanks for taking the time to help!
TONIGHT: 7:00 MOUNTAIN, 8 CENTRAL, 9 EASTERN, (6 MOUNTAIN)
WHEN YOU SIGN UP, YOU WILL RECEIVE AN OUTLINE AND A SOME BOOK LISTS, AND A CONNECTION TO THE PLACE WE WILL BE SPEAKING. WE HAVE BACK-UPS THIS TIME SO THAT IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG, WE WILL GET A GREAT TAPE!
YOU CAN WATCH THIS LATER AFTER THE LIVE CONFERENCE IS RECORDED, BUT THE PRICE WILL INCREASE. If we reach our maximum, you can buy it after tomorrow on my blog.
WE WILL HOST A live QUESTION AND ANSWER TIME FOR 30 MINUTES FOLLOWING FROM SARAH AND ME FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO PICK OUR BRAINS! REGISTER HERE.
THANKS FOR SHARING AND FOR BEING A PART OF ITAKEJOY.COM! You are partners with me in a ministry to mamas and to generations to come. a Rafflecopter giveaway