Real Life Mama: Mothers often ask, ‘What were you thinking?’

As a mother, I cannot tell you how many times I have questioned an action of one of my kids. Why did you write all over yourself with permanent marker? Why did you lick the mirror? (Reagan – age 2)

Oftentimes, I question what they were thinking – what motivated them to make certain decisions. Sometimes, I question my parenting abilities at the decisions they make – or I try to stop them before they make a not-so-smart decision – let’s not hit the softball with this many people around – and no, you cannot practice shotput in my basement. What were you thinking?

Then, there are times as a mother, when you have to let them make decisions and just pray that they make the right one. Whew. This one is the hardest for me – the letting go and letting them figure it out. But I was reminded, just this week, how important this part is. And how trusting themselves – and listening to God – can be so rewarding.

You see, at our church, if you have a song or testimony on your heart, you are not only welcome, but encouraged, to go up and share it. Oftentimes, this is my favorite part of the service. I love hearing God inspired songs by some amazing voices – so many times the words are exactly what I need to hear and I can feel the spirit moving.

A month or so ago, one of our favorite singers, Shayla, got up and sang a song that I had never heard before, called “His Blood Still Amazes Me.” I thought it was sung beautifully and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but Reagan, she fell completely in love with it. As soon as we hit the car after church, she asked me to find the song and add it to our playlist (we listen to music all the time together).

After searching all over the internet for the lyrics, I finally asked Shayla who let us take a picture of the words out of the book at church. So Reagan had the song and the words and a request to play it every chance we got! It didn’t take long for all of us to join in and sing with her at the house – especially Maylie and Preston. Shayla is Preston’s aunt – so he already knew the song from her and his Mama.

After a few weeks of singing in the shower, and in the car, and in the basement and in the kitchen, Reagan approached me at church and said she wanted to go sing it up in front of everyone. To say I was a little nervous for her is an understatement. You see, I have only actually seen one kid ever get up and sing at church – and he blows it away. It is rare but he grew up there – like, in my head, he was “allowed” to go up and sing. I know, sounds dumb huh?

Also, this isn’t like karaoke night for kids! It’s not like they just take turns on the mic up there – who has the next request? No, it is thoughtful and God-driven, prayerful melodies that are sung up there. I told her to pray about it. She did and decided God wanted her to do this, but she didn’t want to do it alone.

She asked Shayla to sing it with her. Shayla said she would pray about it. I got even more nervous. Maybe she shouldn’t have even asked? But God wasn’t going away in her heart, and neither was she with her persistent self. Finally, she asked Preston and Maylie to sing it with her, and they said they would. All she needed now was a piano player. Ah, Shayla’s dad played it for her – he could play it for them as well.

But still, I was skeptical. Reagan was not. After a few services of feeling called to sing it but trying to get up enough nerve (and waiting – but not fully getting the go-ahead from me), she finally marched back to Shayla and her dad and asked again. This time, Shayla could see it weighing on Reagan’s heart and she took Reagan, Preston and Maylie up there to sing.

Listen, to the common ear, it was just a couple of kids singing a church song, but it was actually so much more than that! It was my baby girl listening to God speak to her about sharing a song that He put on her heart. It was Reagan making a decision – one that I ultimately left completely up to her. One that I was unsure of and, quite honestly, almost got in the way of, but one that I am so thankful that I let play out.

Because I am not sure that there is a better Mother’s day gift that I could have received than watching my baby listen and follow Jesus.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.