I realize that I just can't stop talking about Choosing Home lately, but God is really using their website and blog to touch my soul.
Yesterday's post by Holly hit "home" for me! A mother of 7, Holly jokes about how God gave her so many children because she is a "slow learner." I can relate! We only have 3 little ones, but the wealth of growth that came to my husband and me with our third-born is astounding. Even more amazing is the fact that some of you out there have learned what I am just learning with only one or two little ones — or even none — at home! More power to ya — I am so impressed by you and wish I too was a quicker learner!
For some reason, it took the birth of Daniel to really slow us down, and to open our eyes to viewing our children as a ministry (instead of viewing them as barriers to "real" ministry). In our Christmas letter of the year Daniel was born, we wrote something about how we were daily thanking God for Daniel's arrival into our home. A friend teased me, "Really? You are thanking God every day?" And the truth is, we were. We had almost had a vasectomy done before "deciding" to get pregnant with Daniel, so he felt like a bit of an unexpected surprise. And since the change that God wrought in our hearts coincided with Daniel's arrival, and we couldn't help having feelings of gratefulness over this new little boy. My husband did end up having that vasectomy while I was pregnant with Daniel. For the next few years after Daniel's birth, our minds continued to change on so many issues and philosophies and even theology, and we came to regret the vasectomy decision. In November of 2005, Ron had his vasectomy reversed. It is yet to be seen whether or not the reversal procedure was sucessful (many are not), but either way, we are thankful for and are enjoying our reversal of heart. I just pray that God keeps teaching this Slow Learner, with or without additional kids.
I have also been thinking a lot lately about how "what comes around, goes around" in respect to the way I treat my children and the way they will treat me as an elderly adult (presuming I make it that long and Jesus hasn't come for us). In a post on this subject awhile back, Love Stinks, I said my mantra was going to be, "Value and enjoy your time with your young and simple-minded children now, for if you do, they will value and enjoy time with you when you are old and feeble-minded." Holly says sometimes she thinks ahead to the elderly years when she is getting nit-picky with her children. Will they be patient and kind with her? Or will they respond as she sometimes does with them, “Mama. You’ve already said that. Speak up. Be quiet. Hurry up. Slow down. Mama. Why do you leave your books lying all around?” Wow, there's a tough way to remind myself to treat my children gently and with respect — Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You. The way I treat my youngsters now will either bring me blessings, or come back to bite me in the butt 🙂
The fact remains that I haven't been the Perfect Mom that I wish I was. I haven't valued and enjoyed the boys as much I would like to have. I haven't disciplined them as well as I would have liked. I have been annoyed with them for childish behavior, and I have been critical of their imperfections. Sometimes I have retreated into my own selfish sphere, and staying out of theirs and keeping them at arm's length from mine. Holly's post was so encouraging, because it reminds me that "Love covers a multitude of sins." When my children are grown, I want that they will have an overflowing love for God and for others. And I know that much of this stems from the love they receive from mom and dad, the love they watch between mom and dad, and the love that mom and dad embrace for the Lord.
Lord, fill our home with Love, please! I cannot love the way You can — I need You.