Monday, April 23, 2012

Fibular Hemimeila - Children are an heritage of the Lord!

God has been, as of late, sending me a lot of mothering messages.  Isn't is good of Him to think of me?

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. -Psalm 40:5

 How much more my thoughts should be toward Him --and not toward meaninglessness.  

When I graduated from college, I graduated with more than a bachelor's degree in English; I also obtained my degree in "Liberal Studies."  My "Liberal Studies" degree was quite influential, as I had learned that many of my small town, "Sunday school" ideas were simply outdated and the result of ignorance and a secluded mountain life.  My new degree had taught me to believe, among other things, that I was an independent woman who had the right to work outside the home and to not do so, especially after having obtained the "real" degree in English, would be quite absurd and certainly a waste of  four long years of work.  Though I still clung to the Bible, I learned to do so with a bit of animosity toward writers such as Paul who would, for example, suggest that I was to submit to my husband or be mindful of my place in the church.

Fast forward a mere two years, when this cotton haired little bundle was placed in my arms, and no degree could prepare me for the transformation that was to come to my life.  All the worldly philosophy about career and ambition simply faded and was quickly replaced with an overpowering instinct to love and to nurture.

Are you teaching your girls to be wives and a mothers?  Are you teaching them that there is no greater joy?  Are you teaching them that they do not have to "do it all"?  Are you teaching them that mothering is ALL, is enough, is stimulating, is challenging, is exhausting, is the greatest gift God will ever give them?  Are you teaching them to pray, when it doesn't feel like "enough," for God to give them strength, resolution, perseverance?

No, I'm not idolizing motherhood to the point of making it worthy of worship, but it is worthy of RESPECT.

When Josh was born, all 4lbs and 15oz of him, I planned to return to work after 12 weeks, but my heart couldn't bear it.  Eighteen month later, with depleted finances, my heart still couldn't bear it, and I trudged on to my first teaching position quite torn to say the least. What I hope to teach Emily is that if God grants her the privilege of motherhood, (and I do acknowledge that God's plan for every women doesn't include being a wife or mother) then prepare in advance by saving instead of spending, budgeting instead of living beyond her means.  Give her children what they need most:  their mother.

Now, before I get hate mail from all the working mothers out there, I speak quite hypocritically because I am one of those working mothers.  I have often wondered why things have turned out as they have ---why our financial situation has not afforded me the ability to stay home.  Questioning such things most often leaves me feeling as if I have somehow failed or missed a right path somewhere, yet God's plans prevail --and I have been so blessed to be a teacher.  One hundred and eighty days at school equals one hundred and eighty-five days at home --and that gives me peace.  Is it God's plan for all women to stay at home with their children?  I don't know.  I don't pretend to know God's plan for anyone's life. I do think that Chip Ingram said it best when he said that if a woman can keep God first, take care of her husband and her children and home, then she should work as little or as much as she wants. Of course there are always circumstances:  single moms, husbands who either can't or won't work, financial burdens ... the list seems unending. Our culture, in fact, seems intent on keeping women from their children.  Our culture entices us with the lie that we should give our children nicer things than we had growing up.  I can't think of a nicer thing that I had than my mom waiting for me every day when I got off of the bus.  In fact, it made her sad to recall that when she did go to work, when I was a teenager, I'd look for her car when the bus rounded the corner, hoping that she hadn't been called into the hospital (she was a nurse).  Her presence meant so much to me that even at sixteen, I still wanted her home.

What happened to June Cleaver?  What happened to moms cooking dinner and picking up toys?  What happened to children hitting baseballs in the yard and playing tag until dark?  As a society, we've decided that we want more --bigger, better --more education, more electronics, more activities.  And what we've collectively settled for is less.  Less time at home, less time with family, less time for God.  It has satan written all over it.  You've convinced us, as you so cleverly did Eve, that we can't be content with all of the "fruit" that we have --we need just one more "tree" to be happy.  Those outdated notions of wife and mother --they don't bring happiness.  You've convinced us, in fact, that such menial positions degrade us.  And we've fallen for it --and our children --and our society --are falling because of it. 

What's a woman to do, then?  Remain ignorant and uneducated and hope for a godly husband to show up on a white horse?  Nah, that's not the point.  I will encourage Emily to learn --to work in her studies as unto the Lord.  But, I pray each night, too, that God send her a man who loves Him and her (and hopefully her mom!) and that she be able to recognize him, not by the car that he drives, but by the God that he serves shining from the life song that he sings.

As a woman, I want to hear the voice of God, to yield to His instruction, to stop falling for lies and deception.  I also want, as Jesus did, to enjoy the ones I love.  I have spent too much time feeling guilty for situations that I cannot change and too little time looking for God's grace in all things.  Today, my baby girl is with my momma --who means so much to me.  She gets to enjoy morning kisses, library school, and McDonald's lunches, and I get to enjoy evening hugs, bath times, and bedtime stories.  Some days I am jealous, but most days, I am grateful.  Grateful that God saw fit for her to retire before Emily starts kindergarten next year and early enough in her diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension that she can still push her on backyard swings and curl her hair with pink sponge rollers.  Oh, we don't know the plan like He does --we don't know what's best.  We can only seek Him and trust Him --and Praise Him -- whether we are at home with newborn babies, making the most of school day afternoons with little ones growing too big too fast, or getting ready to watch little cotton haired bundles make their way to high school in only a few short months.  We can only pray that He help us in our mothering, that He fill our children with His spirit, that He be glorified by their lives --and by ours!

 Ephesians 5:15-17:  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Funny things --uncanny thing --God things happen every day. 
Today, after blogging, I read this on "My Utmost for His Highest":

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Isn't it nice that He's still thinking of me? Oh, He makes me cry! and smile at the same time!