Children, Praise, and God’s Love
My eighteen-year-old daughter has just now left for six weeks to help her older sister who resides in the U.S. Prior to this, this daughter had not left home and would help with cooking all the meals, taking care of all the shopping, cleaning the kitchen, and in many other ways would make my life easier. A little while ago, I suffered a mild heart attack, and I am now physically weaker. Because of her help, I was able to rest and take time with the Lord during my recovery.
However, since she is currently not here, my fifteen-year-old daughter cooks the morning meal, and I have begun to cook lunch and dinner and take care of the vegetables that my mother-in-law brings in from the field. We moved in with her a year ago, as her health has begun to decline, but she continues to grow her own food, and my teenagers are learning the art of crop cultivation, for which I am very thankful. So I have become busier than I was previously. I do enjoy cooking, though, and I continually marvel at and feel grateful for God’s grace.
God has given me 12 beautiful children—eight girls and four boys. When they were younger, I was so busy with their care; I barely had time to catch my breath. But now with all my children almost grown (the youngest is 14), I rely so much on their support and help. I spent one morning reflecting on this and feeling such gratitude for my children, and then I received a call from my third eldest. I began to relay my thankful thoughts to her when she said, “Mom, you need to tell your children these things. It would make them so happy to hear how much they mean to you.” I had just been thinking the same, and I agreed.
My 12 children have—over the last 34 years—grown up in an instant. That is contradictory but true. And I am now realizing again and again what treasures my children are to me. All I can say is Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.
I am thankful for my children, who have taught me so many of life’s important lessons.
I am thankful for the children I still have with me.
I am thankful for my children who have spread their wings and are no longer under my roof.
I am thankful for the times they remember to call.
I am thankful for how they still call me when something is troubling them.
I am thankful for my grown children who came to visit me when I was hospitalized.
I am thankful for how my children cried when I fell sick.
I am thankful for the times when my children have made me laugh when I’ve needed encouragement.
I am thankful for how not a birthday passes without one of my daughters baking a cake and serving a lovely birthday meal.
I am thankful for how my children call me when my birthday nears, asking what they should get me as a present.
I am thankful for the family photo album books that my eldest daughter prints and sends me at the end of every year.
I am thankful for how my children faithfully cut firewood for our central heating stove.
I am thankful for how my children cause me to appreciate a variety of personality traits and characteristics.
I am thankful for the grandchildren who call me grandmother, and for my children who take care of my grandchildren so well.
I am thankful for how my children listen when I am going through a trying time.
I want to say to each of my children, “You are needed. I am thankful for you. You are wonderful.”
I think there is nothing more fortunate than to feel that you are needed. But unless someone puts this into words, you might never know the place you fill in another’s life. So I decided to take a few moments to express my thankfulness for my children. And as I was doing so, my thoughts gradually turned to Jesus—the one most deserving of thanks.
I wondered if I thank Him enough. My praises may not have been as abundant of late, and I wondered if that saddened Him. Of everything in my life, I am most thankful for Him. Because of Him I am able to love others. Because of the love He has given me, I desire to love others in the same way.
And as I started to thank Him for these things and more, my feelings became more praiseful. I thought of the sister who led me to Jesus, and the brother who gave me my first Bible class, and many others who have been instrumental in my spiritual life and growth. And I thought of my friends, too many to list here. And I again felt how large and deep God’s love is.
I have heard it said that praise brings down God’s power, and I believe this to be true. And when one is tired, it is even more important to praise. The fact is, as I sat down to write this, I was feeling rather tired. But after I began to praise, I was strengthened. I started off writing about thankfulness, so naturally I can only end in praise.
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!—Psalm 117:1–2 ESV
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
—Psalm 95:1–7 NIV
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- Cultivating Generosity
- Living in God’s Word
- God’s Healing Balm in Times of Grief
- Hurry and Worry
- One Thing Before All Things
- Faith Like Gold
- Learning About God’s Mercy
- Trusting Through the Silence
- A Life Well Lived, Today and for the Future