Photo Source: A Wise Woman Blog
I really wanted this blog to be about our family, but it seems like since I'm the one writing it, it's usually about me. I've decided to stop fighting this and allow it to become what it was always meant to become--a blog about our family with a focus on MOM.
That's me: Mom.
I'm Mom when I wake up in the morning and Mom when I go to bed at night. I'm Mom when I wash the dishes and Mom when I write articles and blog posts. I'm Mom when I snuggle my kids and Mom when I'm in a car all by myself driving away from them. I'm even Mom in my dreams a lot of the time (though not always--dreams are so puzzling, aren't they?).
In truth, I think I've always been a mom. I know not every mom can say this. If you're one of those moms who finds mothering unnatural and difficult, that's all right. You don't have to be called to be called. Maybe that doesn't make sense now, but I believe eventually it will.
|Oaks of Righteousness|
Photo Source: The Hugheys
Oaks of Righteousness is what the Bible calls us, but we're not all oak trees, really. Some of us are maple trees, and some of us are birches. Some are poplar trees, and some pine trees. As long as we're nurtured, fertilized, watered, and cared for, we will grow into whatever kind of tree we are.
As my good friend reminded me tonight, flowers and trees don't strain to produce fruit--they've either received adequate light, nutrients, and water, or they haven't. We are no different. If you're not producing fruit in your life, it's not because you need to strain harder. It's because you need to jump into new soil, you need to eat better food (spiritually and physically, probably), or you need to drink more water (mostly Living Water).
I haven't got it all figured out, and sometimes I'm stretching toward the light or drooping for need of water, but I do know where to find Light and where to find Water. I've most definitely tapped into nourishing food, and I want to share it with you.
Perhaps you're like me and you've studied your whole life to become the very best mom you can become. Perhaps you're like some of my friends who never imagined they would become mothers and so did not prepare for this season of their lives. Perhaps you're like some of my other friends who never wanted to become a mother and so even now resent the babies they love with all their hearts.
No matter what kind of Mom tree you are, I want you to grow and flourish right where you're at, in the soil you've been given.
|Prayer Corner, Psalm 4|
Copyright 2011 Eyekons
As mothers, our bottom line is usually our children. When they're good, we beam with pleasure. When they're bad, we cringe and wonder whether we're to blame for their angry outburst. We've barely just begun to understand what it takes to grow ourselves, and now we've got these little people with minds of their own in need of some kind of direction. It's so hard to imagine that we can guide them toward success when we feel so inadequate in the face of their unpredictability and independence.
He's hitting her every time she looks his way. What if he does that when he's a teenager? Is my son going to be the Unibomber when he grows up? What am I doing wrong? Who ever thought it would be a good idea to give me children?
My first child was born almost eight years ago and not a month has gone by since that I haven't had some version of these thoughts coming at me, undermining my confidence. Even before I had children, these thoughts plagued me in some form.
Before I was married, I scoured the pages of Scriptures reading all the verses about being a mother (and a wife). These verses spoke of not exasperating my children, of teaching them in the way that they should go, of telling them about God's ways in the morning and in the afternoon and in the evening. Much to my dismay, the Bible did not offer many details on HOW to do these things, so I turned to psychology and education for insight.
I listened intently in every psychology class, absorbing every morsel about the human psyche and the developmental stages of the human mind. I read books about learning, about personality types, about education, about parenting philosophies.
I know what Scripture says about raising children, and I know what psychologists say about raising children, and I know what the educators say about raising children. I don't always know how to apply what they say, and I don't always think what they say applies to my particular children, but I do know what they say.
|Crafty Secrets Copyright 2010.|
Though many times the Bible and the educators and the psych classes line up, there are plenty of times when they're at odds with each other. In those moments I wrestled with the very real conundrum of parents whose insistence on speaking about God's ways morning, noon, and night actually repelled their children and of parents who did everything the books told them only to find their teenagers withdrawn and reclusive, angry at everything and everyone.
I would look at myself in the mirror and hate myself for the things that came out of my mouth which clearly exasperated my children. I would lie on my face, crying, wondering how in the world a woman like me with only a vague notion of which way I should go, could ever hope to instruct her children in their path.
It is precisely in these moments that the Living Water revives my drooping leaves, that the Light of His Love touches my core and gets my juices flowing once again, that the Bread of Life nourishes my soul and reminds me that He directs my steps, shows me the way, gives me the ideas that make parenting so worth the pain and agony of taking shots in the dark. I don't have to know everything, and in accepting that, I can rest. I can breathe deeply and start over with my kids. I can say "I'm sorry," or "Wow! That really hurt my feelings," or "Do you think we can be friends again today?"
His grace makes me shine, and His wisdom gives me just the words to say. When I stop and listen, I am never disappointed. If it weren't for Him, I would cry an endless river of tears because without Him I am nothing. With Him I have the hope that not only I, but also my children will grow into their fullness, bearing good fruit that will bring healing to the nations. With Him, all things are possible, and while that means the Unibomber has a mother out there, it also means that there is a balm that heals even a wound that deep. There is a love that transcends even that kind of tragedy. And the One who heals me will heal them too if they only just ask Him to.
So I invite you today to come with me to the well and partake of the Living Water. I invite you to commune with the Bread of Life. Can you feel the warmth of His Light and Love upon your weary face? Can you feel His gentle call upon your life? "I will make you great!"
Indeed, HE makes us great!