I believe that mothers of boys should get a special reward in Heaven. Let me tell you, I love my boys but they can drive you to the brink of insanity one minute and warm your heart the next. There are no psychology books, no “what to expect as parents” books that can prepare you for mothering little boys. I should know, I had 4 of them. No it wasn’t good enough to stop at one, two, or three. I had to go and have 4 of those little boogers.
The Bible says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a reward”, Psalms 127:3. I used to think that God surely had a sense of humor by giving me 4 boys. I wanted girls. Did He not get my order? I wanted little girls to have tea parties with, to teach to sew, to be my friends. Instead He blessed me with 4 rambunctious, dirty-faced, beautiful little boys who seem to love their mama very much.
If I had waited too long after having my first before having another, he would definitely have been an only child. If you look up stubborn and strong-willed in the dictionary, you would see his picture. I love him to death, but whoa was he a faith and patience maker! His name is Jonathan which means friend of Christ. He entered life running at full speed. He would cover so much ground during the day that I could never understand why I was so fat. I should be a twig chasing him around. When he was in nursery he would go in and push every kid over in the nursery to establish his dominance. Just ask Karissa Cruse, she was one of the kids he pushed over in Sunday School nursery. No matter how much we disciplined him, he was determined to do it his way. He wanted to experience everything all at once. He had a learning disability and had some difficulty at school. Nothing will break a mother’s heart faster than to see other kids making fun of your son. He was so prayed over and still is prayed over. His youth leader at our former church told me he would never amount to anything. I am so glad God did not listen to that prophesy. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in His time.” My son took a little longer to get to his goals but He got there. My son has been all over the world working in ministry and helping others. He always sees the good in people and always keeps you laughing. “A merry heart doth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and our oldest is certainly good medicine for the soul.
Our second son, Christopher, was always a loner but when we had company come over, he was the first one to jump up and make sure they had something to eat and drink and make sure they felt at home. He has such a servant’s heart. It was difficult at times when he was growing up because he had to follow in his brother’s shadow. He preferred to work “behind the scenes” and not take any credit. He was a nice drink of quietness after the first one. He lives 1450 miles away now and I can pick up the phone and call him its as if he was here yesterday.
Our third son, Andrew, certainly made his own way in the world. He did everything His way and no one elses. He was our daredevil “hold my beer, watch this” kind of kid. Not that he had beers as a kid but he was the “I can make that more fun” type of guy. My heart was in my throat many a times watching his exploits. And that saga continues to this day. He is always scaring us with this shenanigans.
We had 4 miscarriages between our 3rd and 4th. We thought we were done and then God blessed us with Matthew. What a joy he has been. He always comes over and visits and makes sure we are all set. He has been such a nice addition to our family. He is loyal to the family better than any Mafioso movie you can watch. He is a family kind of guy.
My little boys had so much energy and they fed off of one another. What one didn’t think of the other did. Nothing can rock your world more than having 4 active little boys conspiring together to have fun. One time we were renovating the upstairs bathroom. The boys were all under the age of 6. They were all upstairs and they turned the water on where we had taken the toilet out and water was shooting up into the air. They had stripped down to their skivvies and were racing down the hall sliding in the water and running into the wall at the end of the stairs. They were just squealing with laughter. Water was running all down the stairs. At the time my brain exploded, but looking back on it now, it was kind of funny. Learn to find the joy in each and every circumstance. It’s so easy to say that now when at the time my head was literally exploding.
Another time we went to the dog pound with a friend. I rode along to show the boys the dogs. While we were looking at the dogs the boys let all the dogs out. They crawled into the cages and under the half wall that led outside. The attendant came running in crying, “Who let the dogs out?” I was the only one standing in there. I am sure whoever wrote that song stole that line from my kids. They were so unconcerned about the “rules”. They were living for the moment.
We used to discipline so much but it was hard to see the fruits of our work at times. One night I had spanked the kids for something they had done and put them to bed. I went upstairs to check on them and there was Chris crying but singing Jesus Loves Me. He may have thought that no one else loved him at that moment but He knew God loved him. Talking about a heart crushing moment.
If there is anything that having 4 boys has taught me it is to enjoy every little moment and minute. While I was going through the struggle of making sure they survived another day without killing themselves with all of their exploits, I did not think it would be over so quickly. They are all grown up and moved out of our house now. I am the type of mother that never wanted them to grow up and move on. I am selfish, I suppose, but they were so entertaining and kept the heart racing which in turn keeps you young. Psalms 90:12 asks the Lord to teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. I am not sure how much “wisdom” I obtained from raising 4 boys except to say I wish I had it to do all over again. If you are a young mother, treasure each and every moment. One day the house will stay clean and neat. One day you will have a minute to yourself, a quiet, orderly life. It won’t be near as much fun though. Enjoy the insanity while it lasts. Raise them up in the nurture and admiration of the Lord and then when the grandkids come along, your battery will be recharged, and by then you can do it all over again. Only this time you can wind them up and send them home. Don’t forget to find joy in each moment.
I Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you.” Even though I am going through the empty nest syndrome kicking and screaming inside, I will give thanks for all things. When I miss my boys so much I cant stand it, I will give thanks that He allowed me to have them for my children. And I will give thanks for my beautiful grandchildren and seek joy in all things.