Did you lose yourself in the identity of motherhood? Are you lost in a world of service and floating? Are you biding time until the nest is empty and you can shine again as the star of your own show? Or has motherhood shaped you and named you? Was Jesus Jesus apart from relationship? Sure He Was and Is and Is To Come, but what do we know of his life on earth? Do we remember His growing up years or his lonely early adulthood? Just one event. What we remember is how Jesus related to people. What did he do with the unlovely, the hidden? How did He react when His time was interrupted? What did he do when others' needs superseded His own? Who are you, mom? How do you relate to the little ones? The ones many overlook or pass by or tell to be quiet. How do you react when your time is interrupted? Do you have compassion and heal all their needs? What do you do when others' needs supersede your own? Do you feed 5,000? Do you take them on your knees, lay your hands on them and bless them? Do you wash their feet? Are these moments the worries of this life that choke out and overwhelm the Word planted in you or are they the fertilizer that causes your fruit to grow in great quality and quantity? Maybe at the moment no one recognizes who you are. Take heart, dear friend, these are the moments that matter, the events being recorded, the stories that will be told, the kindling that makes your light shine bright. This is who you are. You are a servant queen following the footsteps of your Servant King, giving all: Laying down life for the ''rabble'': Giving up countless rights to make a way for little hearts to find relationship. This is you, serving your way to destiny.
As you probably do, I cry out to God for righteousness, peace and joy in my home. About a week ago, I kneeled down at my chair in predawn desperation, ''Lord, show me how to handle these kids.'' Before I could go any further, He interrupted, ''You can't.... Bring them to me.''
I knew it was true. It wasn't what I had been looking for. I was asking what discipline I needed to enforce, what schedule to impose, what chore to assign or even verses to set as copy work. Something to teach these kids how to behave! But, I knew His answer went deeper. If I could bring them to Him, He would take them on His knees and bless them. He would touch them and heal them. He would encounter them and they would be forever changed.
I got up off my knees and sat on my chair starring into the darkness. How do I do that? How did I get off the track of seeking Him first? How did I get to a place where I thought I could set a standard up that would require holiness in our home? Only One is holy. Only He can make us as He is.
''Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.'' - He speaks to me through old songs.
''The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love. '' - He speaks to me through scripture set to memory in seasons past.
Faith expressing itself in love. Obviously that means faith in Father, Son and Holy Spirit and loving others as He loves. But what else? Faith that my children were not born doomed to misfortune. That He who began a good work in them will bring it to completion. That His word is faithful to go out and do what it was sent to do and not come back void. Faith that my children are precious in His sight and His plans for them are for good and not evil; for hope and a future. Faith that He will never leave them or forsake them. Faith that He knew the exact time and place that they would live and that they were made for such a time as this. Faith that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Faith that He will not give me more than I can handle but He will provide a way. Faith that in His presence there is freedom. Freedom from all unrighteousness. Freedom from rebellion. Freedom from discord, jealousy, selfish ambition and fits of rage. Freedom to be all He called us to be.
All week God kept reminding me of these truths and I kept looking for little ways to bring my children to Him.
This morning, my five year old, who doesn't read fluently yet, got up early to ''read her Bible''. After a few minutes she brought me what she had journaled. ''What does this say?'' she asked. I looked at what she had copied from the devotional Bible and this is what it said, ''We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God.'' (C. S. Lewis)
Isn't this what God had been saying all week? If we are trying to control ourselves rightly or train our children to control themselves, there is only one place where righteousness can be found - in Him. We will only find the behavior we are looking for in our homes when we make our home a constant dwelling in His presence.