Generation Cedar

Tears came when I read the excerpt below by Ann Voskamp. What a deep reality.  How very differently we would parent if we grasped it!  How very differently an entire culture would view children!  We would never again hear the exaggerated words, “You’re having another one?!” Because we would be able to look past the temporal work of the day, and persevere for the lasting work of eternity.

“Seeds and dirt. Isn’t that what we are, really?

Seeds planted deep into loam, growing, living, dying, dust returning to dust, new seeds planted.
I reach down and touch her silken hair, touch all the children within her to come, and think of Abraham and Levi before Levi even yet was… and yet he was:

Because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor,” reads Hebrews 7:10.

The New Living Translation offers,“For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body…”

Inside the frames, the bodies, the souls of our children, reside the children still to come. And the children then still to come.

Like nestled dolls, future generations dwell within the child whose eyes I now look into, whose hands I now touch.
Every day we parent not one child, or even a few children, but every day we parent innumerable, countless children.
When I raise my voice, frustrated with a child, I speak to generations of children. When I wipe away a tear, comfort, listen, I honor centuries of children.

When we meet our children, children we will not live to meet on this earth, are, in very real ways, met, shaped, formed. Parented.”


Holy Experience:  How We Parent Thousands of Children


By the way, I’m pretty sure this will be my new, favorite response…

“I may appear to be the mother of eight children, but I’m really the mother of thousands.”


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18 Responses

  1. How beautiful!! You’re right, if we could only get a grasp of just how important and far reaching this
    motherhood blessing really is.
    Thank you for reminding us.

  2. “When I raise my voice, frustrated with a child, I speak to generations of children. When I wipe away a tear, comfort, listen, I honor centuries of children.”

    Thank you… I needed that today. I think I am going to write that down on a note-card and put it on my refrigerator as a reminder.

  3. Sure, motherhood’s a blessing. But so is personhood–if we use our time on earth to honor others. Where is it written that we can only find our true vocation through mothering our own physical children? That’s rather darwinist, really, the priviliging of genetic ties over social or cultural ones. If we are lucky we have been priviliged to feel the love and receive the outstretched hand of so many wonderful people–teachers, doctors, police officers, soldiers, historical figures who have influenced us. Motherhood is only one way we can have an effect on thousands and thousands of people. The question isn’t *how* we get to that effect–its whether we ever do. I love my little girls and I hope I have a good influence on them–and I hope they will go forth and do wonderful things in the world. But surely my responsibility as a human being doesn’t end with my mere blood relations, does it? I’ve got two adopted nieces, shouldn’t I love them? I’ve got friends–shouldn’t I be working with and helping them, too? I see that you’ve all pitched your tents on motherhood, and on a style of motherhood that pretty much prevents you from being much of a neighbor, a friend, or a citizen because you are rightly too busy. But please, stop projecting all your anxieties about motherhood onto the rest of the world. Most of us can manage to both be mothers and be helpful, loving, outgoing human beings.


  4. wow! mind boggling. if only we could view life more often with this sort of eternal perspective… how very different life would be. Lord, give us your eyes.

  5. (Revised)

    You amaze me….I write an uplifting post about motherhood and you distort it into something ridiculously absurd, projecting things I’ve not even hinted…

    “I see that you’ve all pitched your tents on motherhood, and on a style of motherhood that pretty much prevents you from being much of a neighbor, a friend, or a citizen because you are rightly too busy.”

    No, we emphasize motherhood PRECISELY so our children will be the kind of loving outreaching people of which our society has a complete dearth. (Have you looked around lately?)

    And then…

    “I’ve got two adopted nieces, shouldn’t I love them?”

    What? Where in this post is the assertion that we shouldn’t love anyone besides our own children? Absurd.

    News flash:

    OUR CULTURE REALLY DOESN’T VALUE MOTHERHOOD OR CHILDREN and we’re all paying dearly for it…look around. That’s why I post so often on this topic. (It’s kind of a “motherhood” blog, you know…and I am afforded the right to blog about my areas of interest.)

    If you want the world to be a better place, stop working against those who promote the value of investing in the lives of future citizens.

    Furthermore, stop commenting on the blog if you insist on distorting the message…this apparently isn’t the blog for you–go find one more suited to your philosophies.

  6. Good idea Kim M.! I’ll have t do that too.

    I appreciate you bringing attention to her post Kelly. My entire extended family has been following the teachings of Family Radio who says that the world is ending on May 21, 2001. We have always been very close and so I am unable to carry on a conversation with them where anything extends beyond that time point. If I try, they tell me that we won’t be here or my kids won’t live that long, etc..

    My daughter (6) was asking about it just last night and my husband said, “Oh Hannah, You’re going to grow to be an old woman married to a man that you love just as much as the day you were married and have lots of children.” I burst out into tears. I feel like I haven’t had the luxury of even thinking of raising my children beyond the next two years. I hadn’t dared to think it. I’ve felt like I just wanted to get past the next few years so that I can get on with my life after that. I realize now what a waste of time that would be! Those years of training lost. I really should forge ahead regardless of the perception of whether or not it would be honoring to my parents. It would be a disservice to my posterity.

    Thank you!

  7. Kim–I had the VERY same idea! We do forget so easily, I think daily reminding (transforming our minds) is crucial!

    Quinn–good for you! That must be difficult.

  8. Aimai, I don’t understand. Why are you in such an attack mode here? This was a positive post about the beauty of motherhood.

    You said,

    “I see that you’ve all pitched your tents on motherhood, and on a style of motherhood that pretty much prevents you from being much of a neighbor, a friend, or a citizen because you are rightly too busy.”

    Oh my goodness! I just have to ask you aimai…

    Were you with me last week when my children and I took balloons and gifts to the area nursing homes? Were you there when my son offered to get the mail for our elderly neighbor in the wintertime so she wouldn’t slip and hurt herself? Were you there baking a cake with me for the lonely single mom?

    Because you know… I have my children help me do these things so they can learn to reach out to others.
    I know these are the same things my friends here do for others. We just do not normally display our works on our blogs for the world to pat us on the back. Those things are for God’s glory. And that is why I am commenting anonymously. Please do not make such wrong assumptions. I am not angry, just sorry for you because it seems you have embraced a huge deception.

  9. This post is why I daily keep coming back to your blog- for depth, for perspective, to remind myself that we are living for eternity. I had never read those verses mentioning the future generations before. It is amazing to think of how God knows life, values life, even before conception- generations before. I am reminded to take my work of mothering much more serious. Thank you.

  10. this is a wonderful thought!

    Okay now the reason why I came out of my lurkdom to comment, A while ago…maybe A long time ago, I think it was you anyway, you had a post with a poem entitled “you were all worth it” or something to that effect. I have been trying like crazy to find it again and I cannot. It is a poem about having many children and them all being worth the effort. I would be so grateful if you cold point me in the right direction!

  11. Kate,

    Hmmm…the “worth it” part isn’t ringing a bell…but I’ll point you to the few I can remember that I’ve posted. It may take a little while 😉

  12. Kate:

    There is:

    “Wash Their Feet”

    Could that be it? (You can type the title in the search box.)

  13. For such a strong Christian, you sure do send out nasty responses. I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Animai wrote. You DO have a lot of children. You are pretty busy.

  14. Lisa,

    To tell someone to “stop commenting on this blog” doesn’t qualify as a nasty response. (BTW, Christians can speak strong words if need be–being a Christian doesn’t mean we walk around mealy-mouthed over everything)…

    Aimai has a long record of insulting comments here. Furthermore, with a little Googling, I have found even worse things. She is not a presence I appreciate on the blog, and I don’t apologize for saying so. It is my job to moderate, and sometimes that means speaking a little more strongly to some.

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