In four years of blogging, I have never used my forum to speak to my children. However, this morning I felt this nudge to say something to all four of them publicly that I believe has a lesson in it for all of us. So, I write this not so much for the “retainer” lesson but more for the “spiritual lesson” entwined within it. Honestly, teeth are such a small issue on the scale of life………but our soul……………..that is no small issue.

So, bear with me for just a few minutes as I write as a desperate mom. Smile

Erich, Evan, Todd, and Olivia,

I know that you have grown weary of me asking you if you are wearing your retainers. I know that many times your answer is “no,” and I tend to seem a little ruffled and disappointed. I also know that in the scheme of life, wearing your retainers isn’t the most important aspect of successful living. Believe me, I would much rather know you are reading your Bible, sharing your heart with God, and putting Him first in every decision you make.

However, I do feel a sense of passion about your retainers and here is why:

Your dad and I made monthly payments for YEARS so that you could have straight teeth. We could have chosen a new car, a driveway that isn’t crumbling, a fence without termites, but we chose YOUR TEETH instead and we are happy with our decision…….until we hear you’re not wearing your retainers!

Your dad and I spent hours on the road driving back and forth to the dentist, sitting in waiting rooms so that you would not miss any of your every 6-week appointments. We took days off of work to keep these appointments, and we are thankful for every minute with you……..until we hear you’re not wearing your retainers!

But the biggest reason I am begging you is this:

I have met too many adults who have said to me, “I wish I would have listened to my parents and dentist and worn my retainers, because my teeth have moved and now I can’t get my retainers on anymore.”

So, after I call each of you and for the first time ever ask you to read my blog, I am officially done asking (I hope I can keep this promise.). You are on your own to live with the consequences of choosing NOT to wear the simple device that keeps your teeth aligned. I hope that every night as you crawl into bed there will be a nagging voice (mine) somewhere in the recesses of your memory asking you the question for me, “Are you wearing your retainers?” I hope the voice haunts you; and if you forget to wear your retainers for just two or three nights, I hope it hurts a bit when you put them back on so that you will realize how quickly your teeth can move out of line. I hope this pain is a warning not to forget again. I love you all so much. More than words could ever express. I’m proud of you. I pray for you every single day more than once. I want you all to live FULL God-filled lives where you bring Him glory in everything you do. I want you to feel a purpose every morning when you wake up, and I want you to feel God’s presence on the good days and the bad. But, as a shallow mom, I also want you to wear your retainers. Please.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I want to say this to my kids and to all of you who stop by to read today.

God, as our Father, left us with retainers.

His Words and the Holy Spirit.

He left them so that we would have a guide, something and Someone to keep us on the straight and narrow.

If we keep our Bible on a shelf or nightstand, it is just as effective as my kids’ retainers are in their case.

We have to open it, read it, apply it, pray over it, love it, live by it………..

God sacrificed so much so that we could have the message of Hope that comes from His Word.

I think it has to hurt Him when we don’t choose to spend time learning more about Him and turning to Him for guidance and direction.

I am guilty often, and, believe me, I have felt the pain of trying to live without Him as my daily guide.

I don’t want that for any of you.

Today, we may not need physical retainers in our life, but I do believe we all need spiritual retainers.

Please don’t forget to wear them!

Proverbs 4:11-12

I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Praying for all of you today,