My eldest is days away from turning ten, which came with a loving reminder from a friend that he has less years left with us than he has spent with us. The thought of that both makes me want to hold him tighter, and resolve to be more intentional with the years we have remaining.
How does a mother make the years count for something of lasting value?
It’s a deep question, and one worth pondering over.
As I read the boys our reading this week from the life of Abigail Adams, wife of our second President and mother of our sixth, I was struck by the power of a mother’s example.
At the beginning of the revolutionary war seven year old Johnny – John Quincy Adams – watched as his mother melted down her precious pewter to make bullets.
Sixty-eight years later, upon reflecting on this memory, John Quincy Adams said;
“Do you wonder, that a boy of seven who witnessed this scene should be a patriot?”
His mother lived what she believed, and we can see the far reaching effect her sacrifical life choices had on molding a man.
But here’s what I don’t think happened: I don’t think Abigail Adam’s chose to melt down her pewter just so that little Johnny could witness it and learn from it.
She did what she did for the sake of a cause she believed in, and it so entrenched her life that her children bore witness to her passion. She involved her children in her hospitality to soliders, in her prayers for the country, in her mourning for lives lost and her children learned from her actions – which bore truth to her words.
While reflecting on this question of how does a mother make the years count, as the Lord has a way of doing, He directed my attention to this nugget of truth this morning – “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6
Always having gracious speech when addressing our children?
The New Testament is full of these exhortations that a mother who entrenches herself with His word and a passion to obey Him would find her life bearing witness to the words she wants her children to hear.
And so when it comes to how does a mother make the years count? The years are made up of the little moments, and faithfulness to Him and His words in those moments are never wasted.
And even more than that – He is faithful when we are not and it is His familiar work to extend grace.
He is ever faithful, friends.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6