Protect & Love
The company I work for, Thirty-One, acquired a jewelry line a couple of years ago.
There was one piece that I really fell in love with.
A pendant necklace engraved with the words “Protect & Love.”
I was so moved by the piece that I reached out to the designer, Janet Kinkade, and ask her if she would share the story behind it. I knew it was a long shot, but I found her on Facebook and sent her a message. I was pretty thrilled when she responded quickly!! Janet told me that she created the necklace to be a reminder for those “hard days” of motherhood. She shared that she’s a single mom of 5 kids and the reason she is driven to work so hard is to protect, provide and love her children.
I loved the necklace so much more when I knew why it was created because I understood her mama heart. Completely.
That’s what I do for my boys. I love and protect them. I enjoy it.
But I’m no superwoman. And it’s not getting easier as they get older.
When I drop the cape it feels kinda awkward, Lord.
I like being in control of their little lives. Or at least feeling like I have control. And part of that, for me, is protecting them.
That role has definitely changed over the years.
There was a season when protecting them was a full time job. I held their delicate little newborn heads up before their neck muscles could do it. All day long. It was a pleasure. They were so fragile. Then as they grew and learned to crawl and walk I had to give them clear boundaries. There were areas in the house that were safe for them, and other areas that weren’t. Off limits. And then the front yard...I remember really wishing we had a fence. For their protection. So we used our neighbor’s driveways as the boundary line and they began to enjoy more freedom with their little scooters and tricycles. That was such a fun age. Then I taught them about the dangers of strangers and who they could trust. We went over what to do if there is a fire. Stop drop and roll. I made sure they knew who and how to ask for help if they ever sensed danger. The full-time protection job was exhausting.
But they’re older now. What does it look like now? Tracking them on their cell phones?
They’re easy to love but hard to protect at this age.
You protect in prayer.
Wow. I love that, Lord.
I go with them to all the places you can’t.
Into the schools and onto the baseball field and the bleachers…
Prayer is where you find your peace.
Prayer is where you cease striving and know that I am with those boys wherever they go, Shea.
Prayer is where you’re safe to drop your cape.
I’ve got this.
I guess it’s natural to turn to ourselves and try to make a plan of protection.
It is wise to give them boundaries.
That’s what I have been doing since day one. I don’t delight in watching them fall….or fail. It’s so hard to stand back and not fix everything for them. I don’t want them to get hurt.
As they get older, I’ve learned to share authority in their lives with others. I don’t like it. Sometimes teachers I don’t see eye to eye with. Sometimes coaches who get super irritated because I REALLY think I know what I’m talking about. But I don’t. I just know my kid. And I’m having a hard time learning how to protect during this stage where they’re learning to exercise their freedom.
Also, Lord, the government. I want it at a safe distance. And I like the laws that line up with my worldview. The ones I believe are best to protect my kids from this scary world.
It reminds me of the Target bathrooms. My gosh - what an uproar. Us mamas, we kinda freaked out. We acted as if the walls around the bathroom and the signs on them created safe places for our children while we shopped at the dollar spot.
You turn to a lot of things to protect you.
But you need Me.
You alone create safe places for our children.
They are safe with You. Safe to succeed and safe to stumble. Safe to fall and safe to soar.
Safe to screw up. Those are the opportunities to point them to You.
I surrender. Again. It gives me great relief to know that You go with them.
You’re with them when they’re with us - when we FEEL in control. And You’re with them when they’re at school, on the field, in the bathroom, in the locker rooms, driving (OMG)….
I often cling to the truth that I am not alone, but I need to remember that they are not alone either. You are with them.
You love and protect them better than I ever could.
I am. I do. I will.
We have the privilege of praying to the King of Kings.
Petitioning the protection that comes from the heavens.
From the One who loves and protects them in ways we could never ask for, understand or imagine.
Lord, we surrender. Again. You are the One who protects our children. You are the One who loves them. Yes, you use us to love and protect them and you give us wisdom to know how to be stewards of their little lives but no one is more committed to them than You are.
That truth brings such peace.
We acknowledge that You are in complete control. We will do our best as mamas but in all our failures you are sufficient. For us and for them. We can’t do this love and protect thing alone.
Be near, Lord God. To us and to them. Show us how to love and protect them well - to raise up a generation that knows to turn to You. We want them to know that we look to You for all these things. They know who loves and protects their mama.
It’s You, Lord.