My family recently watched the movie Courageous. My husband was so impressed by it that the very next day he went and bought the DVD! Of course, I cried through a good portion of the movie. Our daughter Elizabeth is eight years old, so it was very easy for us to relate to the characters and to think about the heartache we would experience if she died. One of my favorite Christian artists, Steven Curtis Chapman, has a song entitled Cinderella that is very similar to the dance scene in the movie. A friend sent me the lyrics and a video of the song with Chapman explaining the inspiration for the song. It was especially heartbreaking to watch because just a few years after the song was recorded his young daughter (also adopted from China like our daughter) died.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life that we don’t give our children the attention and care they need and desire. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said, “I can’t play right now honey, I’m too busy.” I see the disappointed look on her face as she turns and walks away, but I somehow justify my response by thinking that clean clothes do need to be put away and meals do need to be fixed and so on. But then what will Elizabeth’s memories of me be when she grows up? That the clothes were always put away and meals were always on time?
While keeping house is something I want her to learn from me, it isn’t nearly as valuable as her remembering this: “Mom showed me what it means to love your children. That you always make time with them a high priority even if it means the laundry stays in the basket for a day or two and dinner is served an hour late.” And I do try really hard to play school, house, explorer and whatever else my little one can dream up. Since she’s an only child, I’m a mother and a playmate!
I want Elizabeth to see the gospel lived out in my parenting. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son for us (John 3:16). I want to show sacrificial love for her whether it means sacrificing my time, energy, money, or even my life if necessary.
I hope as you read the words to this song that it will impact you as it did me and it will make you think carefully about your answer to these three simple words: “Mommy [or Daddy] can you…?”
CinderellaKeep fighting the good fight of the faith!
By: Steven Curtis Chapman
She spins and she sways To whatever song plays Without a care in the world And I'm sitting here wearing The weight of the world on my shoulders
It's been a long day And there's still work to do She's pulling at me Saying "Dad, I need you There's a ball at the castle And I've been invited And I need to practice my dancing Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
Chorus: So I will dance with Cinderella While she is here in my arms 'Cause I know something the prince never knew Oh, I will dance with Cinderella I don't want to miss even one song 'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight And she'll be gone...
She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed She wants to know if I approve of the dress She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away And I need to practice my dancing Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand Just glowing and telling us all they had planned She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away But I need to practice my dancing Oh, please, Daddy, please?"