Tag Archives: thoughts on parenting

A Letter To My Parents on Their 43rd Anniversary

11 Jun

Frost Family

My brothers and I with my parents (May 2014).

My parents are celebrating their 43rd Anniversary today. I am forever indebted to them for their love, discipline, encouragement, support, selflessness, and faithfulness to not hide the things of God from me (Psalm 78:1-8). This is the second year in a row on their anniversary that they have kept our sons for my husband and me due to commitments that we’ve had. (Thanks, guys!!!) Again, they are selfless and love us well. Six years ago, my husband and I had almost 3 year old and almost 1 year old sons, and I believe that only after becoming a parent myself did I truly begin to appreciate what a gift God gave me in my Mother and Father. I wrote them a letter that day on the occasion of their 37th Anniversary, and six years later, the words still ring true. I love you, Mom and Dad! Thank you for demonstrating God’s love and grace to me as a child and continuing to do so as an adult. I pray that these same words can be written by our sons to my husband and me when we’ve been married 43 years; it will only be by God’s grace, if so! To those of you who are moms or dads, aunts or uncles, or godparents reading this post, never underestimate the impact that you can have on the life of a child! Praying that each of us will be faithful to the words of Psalm 78:1-8 …that the next generation might know the ways of God. Mimi & Pop and Mosley boys

My parents with my 3 sons. Thankful for their investment, now, in my own children!

Happy 37th Anniversary! What a wonderful blessing, as a child, to know that my parents still love each other and have kept their marriage vows. Now that I have children and know the stresses and bumps in the road that come along with life, I have even more respect for what you both did for Phillip, Carl, and me as you raised us. Thank you for investing in & being steadfast in your marriage and honoring your vows during your childbearing/childrearing years. I see the temptation of investing too much in your children and sacrificing your marriage, and I know of the physical and emotional energy required to nurture and to strengthen a marriage with young children underfoot. The easy road would have been to not go the extra mile in your marriage and to be selfish and lazy with the minimal excess energy you had during those years. However, you were not and did not and for that I am grateful. As Jamie and I, too, have made the decision for me to stay home with our boys, I recognize the sacrifices that you made, Mom, to give us what we needed most–love, nurturing, and instruction from our Mother. I know what it’s like to be with small children all day and extended family hours away. I know, Dad, the pressures placed on you as the sole financial provider. I am grateful that you both valued us–not material possessions–and were willing to sacrifice the financial gain that accompanies a double-income household. As an adult, I now understand the ‘shoestring budget’ that the five us lived–and thrived–on! I never knew that we were living on a ‘shoestring budget.’ I never felt that I missed out on anything; we were rich in my eyes. You were creative with what we had, and it is amazing to relive memories of family vacations and youth camps and to know that those memories were a gift from you. You both did without certain things in order for those memories to be made. We, as children, did without things that you would have liked to have given us, but I can’t even begin to think of what we had to “do without.” I have no memories of every lacking anything! With all of the external pressures of life weighing down on our family, I never felt the pressure, stress, uncertainty that was possibly there. This is where the greatest gift you gave me was evidenced. The faith that you both have in Christ obviously carried you through those days. That same faith was passed on to us. You instructed us in the ways of God and His Word. You loved and valued His bride, the church, by your actions. You cultivated that in me. You did not teach us to fret and to worry about life. For if you had done so, I would remember that. Instead, you taught us to love the Church and to trust Him as our Sustainer and Provider. That was evident because that’s what I remember. Oh, and did He provide! What a wonderful blessing to be able to look back on His gracious provision to our family! These same things that you valued–God, our family–are what we long to pass on to our boys. We feel the weight of the task before us. However, it is a gift of God’s grace that we have such a wonderful example from you both to reflect on and to learn from. We are thankful that even as Grandparents you are investing in our boys the same way that you invested in Phillip, Carl, and me. Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” As parents, you gave me a graceful garland for my head and a beautiful pendant for my neck through your instruction and teaching. Both of which were both rooted in the wisdom of God’s Word. I wear them today as a testimony and fruit of your labor. This is what I celebrate today on your anniversary.

Your VERY grateful daughter,
Suzanne June 11, 2008 (and 2014!)

One generation: Judges and a renewed vision as a parent

18 Feb

mosley 40

“One generation. One generation. One generation.” If you could get into my brain and eavesdrop on my thoughts, you would hear this refrain repeated frequently throughout my day. It’s my attempt at being my own cheerleader as I move forward second by second, minute by minute with motherhood and parenting.

Why am I shaking proverbial pompoms in my brain, pepping myself up and repeating these two words again and again and again? Well, it all started when I decided that I needed a “refresher” on some Old Testament history. I feel like once the children of Israel make their exodus from Egypt, my brain gets a little foggy. I jumped in and started reading the book of Joshua and have made it to Judges. As I’ve been reading through Judges the past several weeks, I am taken aback at how quickly Israel turned away from God.

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth…Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.”(Judges 2:11-15, 17 ESV)

The children of those who had entered the Promised Land turned away from the One, True God and pursued the false gods around them. It only took one generation before Israel turned away. They turned away from the One who had faithfully kept His promise to give their parents the land of Canaan.

This story keeps running through my head. Many of this first generation Promise Land dwellers would have been young children when they entered the Promised Land. They probably understood some of what was going on, but clearly not all of it nor its significance. Whose job was it to instruct them in the significance of the events? Whose job was it to remind them that God kept His promise to them? Whose job was it to acknowledge to their children that it was Yahweh who was allowing Israel to defeat each tribe living in Canaan? It was the parents.

I pray that I would have been faithful to have done those things if I had been a Promised Land Parent with my family. I can’t say what I would have done. I, also, don’t “Tisk, Tisk, Tisk” and shake my finger shaming those Promised Land Parents who, clearly, failed to do so. I know the depth of sin in my own heart, so I know I’m not any better than they were. However, I have walked away from my readings in Judges with a renewed vision as a parent. It has caused me to examine my heart and ask myself the following questions:

  • Am I being faithful to remind my children of God’s faithfulness in our family and the generations of those who’ve gone before us?
  • What am I teaching my children?
  • Do they know the beauty, richness, majesty of God? Have I shared those things with them?

It only takes one generation for a family to turn, forget God. Humbling, isn’t it? This I know–I don’t want this to be true of my family. So, I will continue walking around my house repeating “One generation, one generation, one generation” to myself. I will pray and ask for God’s grace and mercy to strengthen me to be proactive, diligent, intentional about telling my children the truths of God. I will pray often that my laziness will not be a hindrance, road block to my children’s hearing of His great and marvelous deeds. I will pray and ask the Holy Spirit to aid me in showing Christ, evidencing the fruit of the Spirit to my children and husband. I will acknowledge my weakness before God, knowing that I need His help with this weighty responsibility of instructing my children in the ways of the Lord. I pray that He will help my greatest joy to be Christ Himself so that my children can see that He is my greatest treasure. Lord, help my sons be a generation that stays with You, walks with You, worships and glorifies You. Make me, as their mother, faithful to You in the midst of parenting them.

I leave you with Psalm 78 as a prayer for you, for me, for us as we seek diligently to help our children find their greatest joy–Christ Himself. This is a beautiful, glorious passage reminding us again of our weighty responsibility as parents. Help us, O Lord not to hide your goodness to future generations.

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
(Psalm 78:1-8 ESV)

Need some next steps and ideas as you repeat “One generation, one generation, one generation” to yourself? Here are 2 ways (here and here) that we’re spending time together in the Word as a family leading up to Easter. Here are our favorite children’s Bibles. Here are our favorite cds–Scripture set to GREAT MUSIC. Lord, show us ways to creatively anchor our family in You and Your Word.