Stand up and sing... Proud to be an American...

Sometimes... as a mom, you just do something spur of the moment and a little bit silly, but for some reason, it just sticks...  I'm not sure the exact day or time that it first happened.  I know there were at least three of my children in the car.  :)

We were on our way somewhere, and the song, "God Bless the USA", by Lee Greenwood began playing on the radio.  I didn't really think about or plan it, I just felt an overwhelming sense of respect and honor that required an action.  As I strain my brain even now to remember that moment, my thoughts quickly go to 9/11.  Wondering now if the time frame was just after that tragic event in our country's history because we were all so deeply affected.  Without much of a thought, I pulled the van off the road and into a parking lot.  Turning up the radio as if we were shouting to the heavens, I turned to the kids and said, "stand up and sing!"  Yes, I think maybe they thought I was just crazy enough to really mean it, so they joined me outside the car... and we SANG - at the top of our lungs with all the van doors open.  When the song ended, we all got back in the car and headed on our way.  Not really much conversation or debrief, just a quick reminder of the prayer in that song... that God would bless our country and how thankful we were for those who serve our country so faithfully in our military.

Likely a week or two later, in the car, the song was played again.  I think the kids may have held their breath with perplexed thoughts like... "surely she won't do that again..."  Well, she did it again.  I pulled the car over and encourage them to stand.  You really can't just sing that song... I played it myself just now shaking the house with shouts of "and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free..."  Just in case you need to stop reading and stand...  here is the link.

That began one of our many "silly, little traditions".  Just yesterday, Mollie sent an iMovie group text from her car to all of us with the song playing on the radio.  (I'm not sure she actually stopped, stood, and sang, but she certainly acknowledged the respectful moment.)

My kids would tell you that this is one of MANY silly, little traditions we created.  Did the stopping the car to stand and sing (or shout, as we often did) teach our children the importance of patriotism and respect that would be ingrained in them forever?  Not necessarily, but what I know is that those silly, little ideas and traditions left lasting impressions on our children of important truths and ideals.  

Most intentionally some of our other silly, little traditions centered around a verse of scripture, a Biblical truth or a specific character trait.  Using every resource we found available from Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey to Gerbert (a funny little guy who talked about character) to Little House on the Prairie books and episodes to American Girl books to Rescue heroes to cds with books of the Bible songs to dinner conversations... to bedtime prayers.  You get the idea!?!

As moms, as parents, as any role that offers us influence over others, we have such rich opportunities to instill important ideals into others.  Always pointing to the importance of the Bible and God's love for us....

So... won't you stand and sing with me now!?

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music!  Psalm 98:4

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