Showers of Blessings

“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

Have you noticed the stillness before the rain—when all the oaks and daffodils wait expectantly for the promised shower? When the clouds release their blessing, every green thing lifts up their hands in thankfulness, receiving the blessing they knew would come.

Are you waiting in stillness for God’s blessing? Or are you running around in angst, doing rain dances, trying to pull the blessings down? Maybe you’re not accustomed to trusting promises. Maybe you’ve been disappointed one time too many.

Trusting in God and his promises is much different from trusting in the promises of man. People make promises to us and we to them. And despite our best intentions, promises do get broken because they are made by imperfect people. But when God says “trust me”, He is making a promise to you that will be delivered. He is perfect, truthful and faithful. So when you read scriptures such as; “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. . .This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:13,17); know that God is a Promise Keeper and you can wait for his blessings in quiet and confident stillness.

Photo courtesy Microsoft Images

What’s Your Handle?

Photo courtesy Microsoft Images

 

Eric Blair, who wrote under the pen name, George Orwell, tells the story of his childhood in an English boarding school. In his short story, Such, Such Were the Joys, he recounts the cruelty he endured at the hand of his Head Master at Crossgates, a preparatory school. When he arrived at Crossgates—“an expensive and snobbish school”— at eight years old, he began wetting the bed as children sometimes do when they experience trauma or significant change. Considered an intentional and rebellious act in the early 1900s, bedwetting sometimes resulted in physical punishment. Hence, his Head Master would beat him with a riding crop. On one occasion, the bone handle of the crop broke off during the beating and even for this, the Head Master blamed the young boy. And the young boy believed the lie.

“. . . .I accepted the broken riding crop as my own crime. I can still recall my feeling as I saw the handle lying on the carpet—the feeling of having done an ill-bred and clumsy thing, and ruined an expensive object. I had broken it: so Sim told me, and so I believed. This acceptance of guilt lay unnoticed in my memory for twenty or thirty years.”

My beloved sister: What guilt are you carrying from the past? Are there things you still hold on to that were not your fault? This question is important because guilt can be a vile and clutching monster that latches onto to the human soul, holding us from being the best that we can be, including mothering in freedom.

Whether you feel guilt for something that wasn’t (or was) your fault, take it to God in prayer. Go confidently with full expectation of God’s permanent forgiveness. Go boldly, knowing that He has already ripped the putrid monster of guilt from your back. And if you begin to feel eerie remembrances of guilt’s disgusting presence, remember that these are feelings, not reality.

Scripture: He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Scripture: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Scripture: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

I Don’t Know

When I became a mother, I felt like I had to have the answer to all of my child’s questions. What if she thinks less of me when I don’t know the answer? If I don’t give her an answer, maybe someone else will and it’ll be the wrong one. What I have discovered since those panicky first years (and beyond) is that I don’t have to have all the answers. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know”. As a matter of fact, if we always have the answer, we give our children an unrealistic perspective about knowledge. Knowledge isn’t just knowing the answers to stuff, it’s knowing where to find the answers.

So now I may say, “I don’t know but I’ll find out”. Or even better: “I don’t know but let’s find out together.” And as our children grow older and more capable, the best thing we can sometimes say is “I don’t know, why don’t you look that up and let me know what you find”.

Do I always give these wise answers? No. I’m a creature of habit and I still find myself shooting off an answer in haste. But on the days when I’m thinking fast on my feet, I try to involve my child in finding the answers.

Many questions await our children in the world beyond our front doors. Let us use the opportunity now to teach them how and where to find the answers they will need.

James 1:5

Photo courtesy Microsoft free images

Smart Work

Do you feel you have to do everything yourself?  I used to feel that way until I found myself in an exhausted heap.  That’s about the time I discovered that some of history’s most accomplished people learned the secret of smart work.

Do you remember the story about Moses appointing judges (Exodus 18)? Moses had led thousands of Israelites out of Egypt. He served as their only judge, hearing and resolving all of their disputes. (Mediating our children’s disputes is a tiring job. Can you imagine breaking up spats between thousands?)

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law saw that Moses was going to wear himself out and wind up in a loony bin (my description).  When Jethro asked Moses why he was doing all the work by himself, Moses said, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.”  (Exodus 18:14-15)

I can relate to Moses’ response—doing things because they need doing. But sometimes I need to stop and ask myself about the “why” and “how” of my work.  Jethro told Moses that there were other well-qualified men standing around doing nothing and that Moses needed to delegate.  (Sounds like Moses was working hard but not smart.)

Some of us need a Jethro—someone to shake us out of the belief that we have to do everything ourselves. Can I be that person for you today? YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF. Hire a babysitter periodically or swap babysitting with a friend. If you are able, get someone to help you with housework. They may not do it exactly as you would. But, so what? When our kids were toddlers, my friend and I joined forces and cleaned our houses together while our kids played. We finished a lot quicker than when we cleaned our houses separately.  When either of us did shopping at the big warehouse store, we’d pick up things for one another. Figure out your own way to delegate and share duties. You’ll be happier and so will your family.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Photo courtesy Microsoft free images

What Is A Mother’s Reward?

The ball rolls down the tube and hits the toy truck. The toy truck smashes into a wooden plank and tips another toy truck down a homemade runway. If everything works right, the second truck rolls down fast, hits a block of wood with a needle taped to the front and the needle pokes a red balloon. When the balloon pops, the experiment is a success. It all happens in about 30 seconds.

My daughter is studying physics and her team created this project. While I don’t understand a lick of it, it’s interesting to observe how cause and effect works.

Do you ever wish that the reward for your efforts would come rolling down upon you as quickly as that toy car in the experiment? Or, maybe you don’t ask for that much, just a pat on the back every once in a while.  Sometimes, it does seem as if no one notices what you do.

Paul’s comment to Timothy in 2Timothy 1:5 reminds me of one mother’s (and grandmother’s) reward. Paul was telling Timothy how much he had missed him. And he commended Timothy for his good character: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also . . .” Timothy had become a dear son to Paul and Paul loved and admired Timothy because of his character. Imagine how proud you would feel if you had been Timothy’s mother Eunice or his grandmother Lois.

Where did Timothy’s good character come from? Did it come over night? Eunice and Lois surely invested hours of teaching and modeling for Timothy.

We’re no different as modern-day mothers. We teach, we model, we love. From the moment our little ones are born, we pour into them.

Everything you do for your child matters, dear one. You are molding your children into the person God has pre-destined them to be. You won’t always get a thank you or a hug but the blessings will come and that’s a promise from God. The gap between what you are doing today and the fruit that will reveal itself in the future is called Faith. God will abundantly reward your work in the gap in a  far greater way than you can imagine.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

photo courtesy Google Free Images

Mothers’ Greatest Challenge Survey

Imperfection, the New Beautiful

Nubby raw silk, unevenly woven linen, mahogany tables marred with decades of nicks and scratches: it’s the nubs, kinks and dents—the imperfections—that make ordinary things interesting and authentic.

Authentic? To be authentic means to reveal who we really are—the real us with all of our flaws and imperfections. Authentic:  an uncomfortable word for some adult children of addicts who work hard to cover the shame of growing up in an addicted or dysfunctional home.   However, it is through the total of our experiences, good and bad, that God can mold us into something beautiful. If you give your life to him, he can take all of the snags and tangles and weave them into the beautiful tapestry he pre-designed for you.  God takes all our imperfections, all of our experiences and shapes them into something beautiful.

Read Romans 8:28

Other Resources: The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias

(Photo: Microsoft Images)