There are seasons in life. I’m beginning to accept that there are times when I am flooded with ideas and topics that I want to write about, but there are also crazy-busy times when it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. It has been driving me crazy that I haven’t had the time or energy to update this blog in recent months! Then this past week hit – and I can’t stop thinking of things I want to write about and share! Every day is different, so I don’t dare sit here and promise that I will continue to update as regularly as I’d like over the next few weeks. But for today, here’s one of the biggest issues on my heart. I hope you’ll take a moment to read and consider it…
I almost slugged a group of college-age kids this week. In church. Not my proudest moment, but the momma bear inside of me just almost took a few girls out right in the middle of a selection of worship songs.
We were at the back of the room, and my kiddos were singing right along with “10,000 Reasons.” They both love to sing, they both love this song, and I have always encouraged them to praise the Lord with everything they’ve got. Monkey #2 is 5 years old, and that boy loves to sing. Not only that, he’s pretty good at it! As he is praising the Lord with all of his precious heart, I notice that big sister is trying to quiet him down. She’s getting visibly upset, and I end up having to call her over so she will leave him alone. When I ask her what’s wrong, this sweet 7-year-old informs me that her brother is singing too loud. The “cool college girls” in front of them are turning around, pointing, and laughing. She’s getting embarrassed.
Let me take a moment to assure you that I know this is not the first or only time big sis will be embarrassed by little brother. I expect it will happen frequently, and I am sure it will often be justified. This was not one of those times.
I calmly let sister know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way her brother is singing, and that they should always praise God as boldly and as loudly as they want. We should never be embarrassed to sing praises, and I am sorry that those girls made her feel that way. I went on to let her know that I am so proud of her and her brother when I hear them singing these songs. She was still a bit reluctant, but she at least went back to her seat and left little man alone.
But then I notice that my sweet boy isn’t singing anymore. He’s looking at those ridiculous girls with the saddest expression on his face.
Y’all, I nearly lost it.
I pulled my sweet boy close to ask what is wrong and why he stopped singing. He says, “Mommy, I don’t think I want to sing anymore. Those girls are laughing and pointing at me. I don’t think I sound very good.” So after I reminded myself that we were in church and got right with Jesus so as not to attack anyone, I gave him the same speech his sister had just received. I let him know that his singing is beautiful to God, and he should never stop singing songs to Him. Jesus loves to hear us sing, and I’m sure those girls were just smiling because his singing was so lovely that they just couldn’t help but turn around and see where it was coming from. Thankfully, that was enough to soothe his precious heart, and he went right back to singing.
So there it was. My innocent baby learned what it means to get embarrassed. To feel shame in the presence of others. He was so confident as he praised God with every ounce of his being… until someone looked at him in a way that made him doubt himself. And how many of us get to that point? When does it begin? That moment when you start to be more concerned with how you are viewed by others instead of how openly and honestly you can worship your Creator…
I hope to always be in a place where I can encourage my children to give their all to the Lord, both with my words and my actions. And if you see a sweet child singing songs of praise and worship, please offer a word of encouragement or a quick thumbs up. Because other momma bears might not have as much self-control as I do. 😉
“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)