written by: Danielle Noonan
Hearers and Doers Matthew 7:24-27
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn't not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it".
I'd like to preface this post by saying that I'm not a doctor or a psychologist. When it comes to life in general I rely heavily on grace, mercy, massive amounts of caffeine, belly laughs (usually at my own expense) and sometimes a good ugly cry. I'd like to say that my life experience gave me the tools I needed to be a parent and a wife but honestly that's something I have to work on continually. In fact, I sent a text to a girlfriend last night with a big SOS because I need a crash course in middle school boys. I'm still working on being a good wife, mother and musician... but the harder I work, the more I pray, and the more I work on being a better wife and mother, the more I am incredibly thankful for God's provision in my life. In all of those things of course, I fail miserably sometimes. But, God created me as a stubborn, passionate wilding so I'm just going to keep on keepin' on.
With that said, we hit the jackpot with our kiddos. Three boys, each one of them with their own personality and all very different. Being their mother has been the most exhilarating thing I've ever witnessed. It's almost overwhelming to think about the amount of love you're given, only to give it to someone else. I've been peed on, pooped on, heard three unique hilarious voices and giggles grow louder and louder. I've caught glimpses of myself and my husband and thought, "oh man, here we go". They love babies. They love to dance. They love to laugh, really laugh, and they tell me every day that they love me. My oldest is in middle school, in the throws of waiting independence but still wanting to hold on to so many of the little things that kept him content as a little kid. He's genuinely artistic, smart as a whip and was a born leader. Our nine year old memorized facts about everything under the sun and enjoys quizzing us, making us feel like we literally know nothing. One day he told us that he wanted to be pope and a baseball player and he was concerned he couldn't be both. That's gonna be a disappointing day for that kid when he realizes neither are probable. All their hearts are so big and I'm so thankful that I'm theirs.
When I was pregnant with our third son Henry, I could tell even in utero that he was going to be an extremely active kiddo. He moved constantly, poking at my ribs, bouncing on my bladder and at night there would be the inevitable kidney jab. When he was born, sure enough...he didn't stop. Nothing stopped Henry, even when he nursed, he'd rub his tiny little feet together and kick the whole time. By the time Henry was 18 months old he was able to crawl on furniture and once his vantage point changed, he began jumping off of things. He'd look at you, see the terror in your eyes and jump. This terrified me but with two other kiddos who needed me there were countless times when I barreled downstairs to catch him crawling out of his playpen, curling his little toes around the edges and getting on his favorite chair to jump off of.
I called my mother, who after parenting 14 kids should have all of the answers to my problems, and I told her how scared I was. At this point in my parenting experience, I felt like I had everything under control. I was at the end of the baby learning curve, or so I thought. How hard can a baby be? I've had two! I was clueless and needed some serious mama help. My mom has a handful of answers for problems. The first one, go sit in the sun, it cures everything. "Oh go sit in the sun, you need some vitamin D". I knew it wasn't that answer. The answer she gave me definitely wasn't what I was expecting. "He sounds like his mama", she said. "Just let him jump off, of course don't let him hurt himself but if he wants to jump, let him do it, and stop worrying about it." I guess it made sense right? I mean, the kid, no matter what you tell him is going to jump off the chair. I'm pretty sure I hadn't ever seen, "What To Do When You're Baby Won't Stop Making Dangerous Decisions" as a chapter in any parenting book. So, I piled pillows around his chair, made sure he would tumble off of them once he plummeted to the floor and just let him jump. He jumped off that chair probably thousands of times. He jumped off that chair so many times that it gave me time to put all of the locks on the cabinets that he was after also. I had to make sure that he had a firm, but giving foundation for him to fall to. He trusted me, he knew that I would catch him if I were there. But if I wasn't there, those pillows were his safety net. He finally got that he needed them to jump freely, happily and most importantly without injury and when they weren't there, he wouldn't jump off the chair anymore. Who knew? God sure does and he tells us that in Matthew, that when we have a foundation on the rock, no storm, no rain, nothing can harm us. He calls us to build everything we have upon His word and when we do that, we won't be shaken, we'll be safe in His arms.
Being a parent of all boys is one of the toughest jobs in the world. For one, I'm not a man, so it's my husband's role in our family to teach them what that means. I can support that, and direct them to strong, Godly mentors, but I can't father. The pressure to raise kind, generous, holy boys, who love The Lord, and who are gentlemen is very VERY hard. With that said, it's by no means impossible. It takes patience, diligence and prayer, all those things my husband and I try to work on every day. It takes making hard decisions, decisions that may make schedules and day to day activities a little more challenging. It also takes us remembering that in this season of our life, we are not our children's friends. We enjoy them, we adore them but we're here to teach them and help build their character so they become wonderful fathers or priests. We continually pray for patience, and have faith that God is going to do amazing miracles and works within their hearts and minds. We know that one day, we won't be there when they jump. But, when they do, they'll have a strong, firm foundation that was given to them. Will they make poor choices? Yes. Have we as parents made poor choices? Definitely. Are mercy and grace bigger than either of those? Without a doubt. There is no break when it comes to parenting. There are no gold stars, your kids do crazy things that make you question your entire strategies as parents but then you remember what your house is built on. We can't forget to let His promises echo in our homes so we can see the little victories that we claim for His glory. We're still building. Slow and steady wins the race.
Henry, who's six now, got a new devotional and we read it together before bed every night. Last week, probably through exhaustion, I forgot about his devotional. I tucked all the boys in, kissed them goodnight and around 9 I went up to check on them to make sure everyone was asleep. Henry was still awake, tossing and turning. "Mommy come snuggle with me", he said. Can I really say no to that? I crawled in bed with him and he rolled over and whispered in my ear, "mommy, I forgot to do my devotional tonight, will you read it to me?". So, while everyone else slept, we snuggled down, read our scripture together and reminded each other of how much God loved us, what our family is founded upon and blessed that child. Lord, when they jump, let them always remember what their lives were founded on.
written by: Danielle Noonan (www.daniellenoonanmusic.com)
S U P P O R T D A N I E L L E ' S M U S I C + M I S S I O N
We just finished up recording Danielle's debut EP titled "Undone" and are excited to share it with you!