Just last week, my favorite actress of all time, Doris Day, celebrated her 96th birthday. Not only am I a fan, but also I raised some diehard Doris Day fans. You see, on rainy days, Abby and Ally and I would pop popcorn—the real buttery kind—put on our favorite jammies, and have classic movie marathons on my big bed. Sometimes Jeffrey even joined us.
On one such rainy afternoon, we enjoyed a Doris Day/James Garner double feature, watching “The Thrill of It All” and “Move Over, Darling.” As the second movie ended, Abby and Allyson retreated to their playroom for some serious playtime before “lights out” while I picked up stray popcorn pieces.
Since it was a weekend, Jeff and I agreed to let the girls sleep in the playroom. That way, they could fall asleep watching a movie, which is always a special treat. The rest of the evening seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, the hour was 11 p.m. I crawled into bed and drifted off to sleep.
After only a few zzzs, I felt hot breath on my cheek. It was Abby. I opened one eye to see her standing right over me.
“What do you want, Ab?” I mumbled.
Have I exposed my girls to God’s Word enough that they would know His voice that quickly?
“I want to tell you something,” she said with great excitement. “I just heard Doris Day at the end of that movie we rented. The ‘Antz’ movie, Mommy! She’s singing some song about trouble tree plants and tight ropes.”
Trouble tree plants and tight ropes, I pondered. Hmmmm.
“Oh, you mean, rubber tree plants and high hopes!” I said, quite pleased with myself for figuring out that one.
“Yeah, that’s it,” she beamed. “C’mon Mommy, you’ve got to hear it.”
So, I rolled out of bed, stumbled down the hallway, and poked my head into the playroom long enough to hear Doris Day’s beautiful voice singing, “High Hopes.”
“Yep, that’s her!” I assured Abby. “Good ear. I can’t believe you knew it was her without even seeing her.”
“I know her voice,” Abby said, quite proudly.
I kissed Abby on the forehead and covered up Allyson (who was already in dreamland) before returning to bed. As I lay there trying to get to sleep again, I thought about what Abby had said —“I know her voice.”
At the time, Abby was only 6 years old, yet I had exposed her to so many Doris Day movies that it took her only seconds to identify Miss Day’s voice. She knew it was Doris without even seeing her.
I smiled, realizing I had raised a serious Doris Day fan. But, then I wondered, Have I exposed my girls to God’s Word enough that they would know His voice that quickly?
Sure, I had taken them to church from the time they were born, but had I really encouraged them to meditate on God’s promises? Had I talked about his Word and his blessings as enthusiastically as I had talked about Doris Day’s career and her movie credits? Could Abby recite scriptures as well as she could recite the words to “The Thrill of it All”?
I wasn’t sure.
Certainly, there was nothing wrong with our Doris Day movie marathons. I had no guilt over that. But, I realized that night that I needed to spend more time encouraging my girls in the Word of God. I knew that if I showed excitement and adoration for God, then they would, too—just like they had followed my lead with Doris Day.
After that night, I made a conscious effort to show my enthusiasm for God. I didn’t refer to my devotion time as a “have to” obligation anymore. Instead, I let the girls know that Mommy was retreating to her room to have an exciting conversation with the Lord. And, I no longer found excuses to get out of going to Wednesday night church services. Instead, I’d pick up the girls from school on Wednesdays and start talking about how much fun we were going to have that night at church. Lastly, we started piling onto Abby’s bed every night and reading from a children’s devotional book. Then, we’d all join hands and pray together. That special time became another family tradition in our home, and I’m so thankful.
Today, I am happy to report that my girls have come to know God’s voice just as well as they know Doris Day’s. Knowing that has given me “High Hopes” for my daughters’ futures.
How well do you know God’s voice? How well do your children know His voice? Even if your answer today is, “not very well,” then pray with me.
“Father, I want to know Your voice. I want to be able to identify it immediately. I want to hear it over all of the other voices in my day-to-day life. Help me to know You more. And, Father, help me to show my enthusiasm for You and Your Word. Let others see that excitement in me and long for it, too. Amen.”
This post is an excerpt from my book, When Chocolate Isn’t Enough, available on Amazon and other retailers.