Recently, our family just returned from a family vacation in Northern Minnesota. We do not take this blessing of a vacation for granted. We realize it is a gift to take a family of 8 anywhere for a week. God used our phone free, clock free, computer free, calendar free week to remind me of my calling to be a mom. This is my attempt to remember what God taught me last week.
Andrew Peterson wrote a song entitled: "Planting Trees". The words resonated with my heart as I was surrounded by the beauty of the Minnesota cedar and birch trees. God has given Layne and I six beautiful young saplings to take care of. Some of the lyrics of the song say, "So many years from now, long after we are gone these trees will spread their branches out and bless the dawn. These trees will spread their branches out and bless someone." Our hope and prayer is that these "young trees" will ultimately have roots that grow deep into the soil of God's Word and a love for the Lord.
God in His perfect timing has also given me some practical application as to "how" to nourish and encourage my kids. The book: Everyday Talk by John Younts is a great read! I had read it years ago and picked it up and flipped to the chapter 8 "Your Home is God's Greenhouse". I was reminded of the verse Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." If I am not encouraging and building up my children with my words, my words are considered to be corrupting.
This was convicting........I am praying for God's grace to help me to look for opportunities to find ways to encourage them throughout the day. This becomes a challenge when they are fighting and whining and complaining. My flesh wants to sometimes whine and yell back. This is a serious battle. I am trying to pretend that I put tape over my mouth and not respond until I pray. My prayer may be short, " Lord set a guard over my mouth.....Lord help me.....Lord help me to LOVE...Lord remind me of my own sin......I am asking Jesus to help me see my calling as a mom, to care tenderly for my trees. I long to use the short time they will be at home to nurture them in the ways of the Lord.
Lord, thank you so much for my children. Only by your grace can I love my children the way you love. Help me to bear with them when some of the days seem challenging. Thank you for gentle reminders of your love and goodness. Thank you for the lives of my children. I ask in your name, Jesus, that they would have strong roots that are clinging to YOU!
Tanya August 2011