Friday, July 26, 2013

A Case For Kids

My boys are coming home from my friend's house today.  They have been gone for 4 1/2 days.  I am eager to see them, hug them, and hear all about their adventures, but I also have thoughts like: 

1.  More noise
2.  More chaos.
3.  More mess.

I am ashamed that these thoughts precede all of the other good things about them being home, which are eternally greater in value, and exponentially greater in number:

1.  More love.
2.  More laughter. 
3.  More joy.
4.  Stories at bedtime.
5.  Seeing them sleepy-eyed in the mornings.
6.  Child-led prayer at mealtimes.
7.  Bike rides to the park.
8.  Having people to swim with in the deep end.
9.  Never have to jump on the trampoline alone.
10.  Never bored.
11.  More generosity.  Less selfishness.
12.  Having a reason for driving 45 minutes to the nearest skating rink.
13.  Unbridled enthusiasm over something seen or imagined.
14.  Always having a date for Happy Hour at Sonic.
15.  More humility.  They do not care who I think I am.

List B is the substance of my vocation.  List A are merely the accidental effects of my vocation, and every vocation has some.

This week proved it is possible for a house to be cleaned and stay clean.  I will not be stuck in the hamster wheel of cleaning for the rest of my life.  Good to know!

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.  Proverbs 14:4, NIV Student Bible

Translation for parents:  Where there are no children, the house is clean, but from the lives and love of children come an abundant harvest.

Just as the farmer has to guide the ox for an abundant harvest, we have to guide our children for the same.  How do we do that?!  By asking the perfect question!

My friend, Janet, texted me the other day about something she was reflecting on.  Her text read, "My reflection for this afternoon:  if my love for my children is a reflection of the way God loves wonder if I had a day with God in person, would I feel happy if he interacted with me the same way I interact with my kids?"

I told her I was "stealing" this idea (with her permission, of course), because it really is the true test of what we're doing as parents!  If we were on the receiving end of our parenting, as administered by God, how would we fare?  I love how she used the word "happy".  Would I be happy if God engaged me (or not), fed me, played with me, prayed with me, and disciplined me, the way I do these things with mine?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for keeping my children safe while they were away.  Thank you for my friend who kept them.  Thank you for Janet, and her wisdom.  Thank you for canoe trips down the Brazos River, and finding a perfect arrowhead on that sandbar.  Lord, please forgive my negative thoughts about motherhood, and all that it entails.  Thank you for time to reflect on many (but not all) of the irreplaceable gifts that my children bring into my life.  Thank you for the substance of my vocation.  Please help me to keep List B in front of me at all times, and to tuck List A away under the bed to gather dust.  You are an awesome God!  In every piece of tree that has turned into rock, fossils from animals that lived who-knows-when, and clusters of shells from an old ocean floor, I think of Your Majesty, Your Timelessness, and Your Fidelity to Your creatures.  Thank You. 

No comments:

Post a Comment