Tears streaming down his little face, ruddy red from crying, my little one stood said, "I'm sorry, mama. I know you are sleepy, but I just couldn't get to sleep without one more kiss. My brain wouldn't let me go to sleep unless you kissed me and prayed with me one more time."
This nightly routine had gone on for years. Later I was to discover that the plague in my little boy's heart had a name, OCD. As a young child, he could not say why he could not stay in bed like his brother and sisters. But, as his mama, I prayed to God, "Let me see the inner workings of this child you have placed into my hands. Show me how to guide this little one to you. Show me when to discipline, when to give grace. Give me understanding."
God showed me that his behavior was not an issue of his disobedience, his heart was sweet. It was an issue of his little brain that never turned off.
Each of my four were different. All had quirks and differing personalities that, many times, were a mystery. But, I knew that I was God's agent, His hands of love, His voice of encouragement, His ways of truth for those He had trusted into my hands.
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
The Psalms told me that my children were a gift from God--as they were, with their color of eyes, their color and texture of hair, their various personalities, desires, loves--and weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Each of my little ones wanted to be known, loved as they were, and honored as a child made in the image of God who was designed to fulfill a purpose in this world, a part in His greater play in history. This they were created to find in our home.
But I knew that the place of my worship, my obedience, was to treat them as a gift, to serve them because God had trusted them into my hands, placed them in my home. Until a mama accepts the unique puzzle that she has been given, and submits to the limitations of that puzzle out of love for God, she will fight against the burden of raising children every day. There is an illusion that if we find the right formula, the most perfect instruction manual, that somehow we can control our children, our lives, the outcomes.
But God asks us to live by faith, to be obedient to His ways, and to trust Him with the outcome.
My children, those who come into the walls of my home, my family and friends, are divine appointments from God where I live to show His reality by generously pouring out my life because He generously poured out His life for me.
I am so honored today to be on the podcast of Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke's podcast where we talk together about Creating a Lifegiving Home. I love their hearts for God, their desire to encourage, and their passion to become the parents God wants them to be. A sweet time, indeed.
Go Here to find our discussion today. Anything and Everything with Jeff and Alyssa Bethke
This is the time to order my book, The Lifegiving Home, as we will be studying the book together in a book club in just a couple of weeks. Can't wait to jump in to the chapters with you. Stay tuned for more information about this soon.