Psalm 4:6-7 (the message)
Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
If you have children then you know what it’s like to want to keep them in the “bubble.” You know you can’t (or eventually must learn), but you so want to protect them from the harsh realities of the world. Having already lived through childhood and hopefully being self-aware, your heart is for them to experience the best of the world and the best of you as a parent. Big Sigh…
As I sat in the living room praying and having my morning coffee, I sought the Lord, once again, on behalf of my children. My oldest daughter is in first grade. Kindergarten was amazing. Rivers is a vibrant and delightful child (yes I know I am her mother but it’s still true!), but this school year has brought some first-grade sized challenges for her. The basics of encountering different personality types, embarrassing moments and “boring” days full of actual school work! She sailed beautifully through her kindergarten year but we have hit a snag or two this year. Which brings me back to the bubble. I know I can’t keep her in a bubble. I know that helping her to navigate, not avoid, challenges is Godly wisdom as a mother. But can I tell you it’s much easier said than done?
This morning as I ask God to please start with me…change me…continue to heal me…reveal to me the things I need to see in myself to become the healthiest mom I can be, as I pray on behalf of my daughter I hear God whisper to my heart there is no life that will not experience the cracks and fissures of the human experience. It is the mishaps and sufferings of living on planet earth that can in turn show who Jesus is as He heals us, fills in the cracks and overwhelms us with His love. There are no perfect childhoods and aiming for that as my goal is sure to lead to discouragement and failure. Honestly, there are days when I feel so inept. Mothering is a privilege and responsibility like no other. It has been one of the great catalysts of my life that pushes me deeper into my walk with God. The challenge is letting Jesus heal my heart and “reset” my habits and abilities while attempting to raise a child without passing on the residue of my own issues! I know! Way too deep for first thing in the morning…and yet welcome to my world!
So, here is why I share this morning: As I was having my little “Jesus, help me what do I do” time and He reminded me that there is no person who lives without dealing with hurts, frustrations and challenges…As I of course would like to have the special “daughter raising formula for ease and success” He instead gives me what I really need. God whispers to my heart that instead of stressing over factors in her life I can’t control, I just need to show her how to always find her worth in Him. Yes, and He whispers to my heart “you can do that!” And I know I can because it is the very lesson of my life! And I believe it is absolutely crucial for us all. See, life will throw some mean stuff at you eventually. People are hurt, angry and imperfect. We all need Jesus. I can try to pave the way for my children in earnest for a challenge-free and completely nurturing childhood but I will fail. I cannot control all of the various elements that make up my little girls day, but I can model and teach her how to look to God for who she is no matter what kind of day she is having.
I intended to open my Bible to Proverbs 4 but I felt a tug toward Psalms 4. As I read the very last verse I smiled!! “For you, God, have put my life back together.” What an awesome reminder and reassurance! I live a life that has absolutely been put back together by God. There is no circumstance, no fear and no amount of ineptness in my life that can overcome or overshadow the Greatness of what God can do. There is no “more” that is needed in my mothering than what God shows me and enables me to do and be. He is more. More than enough…more than I could have ever hoped for…more than I suspected or thought I knew…more than I could have come up with in a million years…He is so much more than any unkind words or harsh attitudes my children will encounter from others or myself…He is more, as Ephesians 3:20 describes, than I can ask or think or imagine…
Our parenting can be greatly affected as we ourselves learn to always look to God for our worth. We then can model and teach our children that no matter what they face, first-grade size or larger, we are rooted in the love of our Creator and cannot be shaken. We can live each day with a joy and peace that comes not from a life never torn but one mended by the Great Physician.