Mothers are chosen by God as His first gift to each child.
Yes, I believe I was specifically chosen for the life of my child. Let me explain.
Having a child is miraculous – from the moment you wonder to the moment you know, from the moment you conceive to the moment you believe. I loved Rabbi Eric’s article this week, and I just came back from my youngest son’s high school graduation trip, so I let me share what God showed me about His heart for mothers.
The Bible Project
When I started the Bible project, Simeon was only 6 years old. I had been writing Golden Apples Children’s Curriculum for years and, as that blossomed into the Tree of Life Children’s Bible project, I was increasingly alarmed that my travel schedule would end up hurting my relationship with him. One day, when I gave Sim the FIRST printed copy of the entire text with a heartfelt note, he said something to me I will never forget.
“Mom, you don’t have to worry. You were away making the Bible FOR me not instead of me.”
I burst into tears and hugged him until my sobs turned into laughter. Sim has always been wiser than his years.
So now, five years later, he is graduating high school and he surprised me all over again. I asked him if we could take a trip together – just the two of us – to celebrate his graduation. I wanted to take him back to our home state of New York – right back to where I was born – Bellevue Hospital in NYC. I wanted to take him along this Jewish route back home to where we began.
Here are a few special highlights:
We flew into Laguardia airport and stayed in a Brownstone near Central Park. We’re Italian, so we started with a real New York Pizza. We talked about his hopes and dreams for the future.
We’re Natives, so we took a tour bus to spy out all the ways the Big Apple is growing and changing. We counted hearing over 18 different languages just walking through Central Park! We’re Jewish, so we shopped and visited the theater district and just enjoyed being surrounded by so many different cultures and languages. We marveled at how magnificent the messaging and technology made the buildings almost alive.
Sim’s favorite moment was seeing this:
From the City, we went to Upstate New York where my husband and I were married and began our life together. I took Sim to see my old college campus in Buffalo and to meet the people that introduced me to the Bible – and my Messiah! Then we went to Rochester, where Sim spent time with my brother and his cousins. We brought a celebration offering to Congregation Shema Yisrael where his father and brother and sister all found Messiah in our early years as a young family. I even brought Sim to Sacred Heart Cathedral, where I first FELT THE PRESENCE OF GOD as a six-year-old girl.
That was the first time Sim ever attended a Catholic Mass, so I treated him to a trip to the Senaca Park zoo to see his favorites – the Penguins! That was my mother’s favorite place to take my older children – over 20 years ago now. It was so special to show Simeon where I grew up, where he came from, and how beautiful and fragile life is when you have each other.
Then, before we left, we made two more stops. We had the pleasure of visiting Pastor David and Charla Domina at Bethel Community Church where we have been invited to share about the TLV Bible Journey App for the June 15th launch! They are the most delightful and family-focused leaders we have met in Rochester and since Congregations Shema Yisrael started in their building with Jonathan Bernis over 31 years ago – that is the perfect place to have our party – and on FATHER’S DAY! What a great day to celebrate God’s Goodness! Halleluyah.
On the way back down to Laguardia, we stopped at dear Miss Anna’s house. Anna is Simeon’s adopted Grandmother. This beloved lady is the only Matriarch our family has ever known since my Italian Grandmother died over a decade ago now. Sim walked around her house saying, “This is so small, I remember this house used to be so enormous!”
“Oh Sim, you’re the one who’s enormous,” I laughed. Anna kept exclaiming, “Gosh, he got so big! Simeon, you were such a cute little boy! Look at you!” We all just kept hugging and crying.
This was the lady that prayed on her knees on that horrible day years ago when my husband needed a heart bypass. This is the lady who came week after week when our congregations consisted of our family and two random visitors each week. This is the lady that never missed a prayer meeting. This is the lady that made me lemon frosted cookies on holidays. This is that lady who gave us the first love offering that started the TLV Bible Project over 12 years ago. This lady was always “other” witness to the prayers I was too afraid to ask anyone else to have faith for. And, this lady adopted our family after raising a whole family of her own and so much more.
Mothers are a gift from God to show us how to love. When I had time to spend with my son, and a window of time for a God adventure, I chose to take him to see GOD touching our lives again and again over the years. Life is a spectacular faith journey that we all share together as part of one another’s stories. Human’s enjoy life as they feel alive together, finding each other along life’s path – like echolocation for dolphins – because we NEED EACH other. Please take the time to RELOCATE your loved ones in your everyday life. The milestones of life are there for a reason!
Much love, Daniah