Sunday, April 19, 2009

Your Work Shall Be Rewarded

Gathering At the Well

I found this article I wrote years ago and thought it would encourage us Mamas, who are so in the thick of it, to not forget the bigger picture. Put your whole heart into being a Mama, it is so worth it!

The little boy in the story, Joshua, our third child, is now seventeen! He is a sweet and tender young man. He loves God, His Word and his family. We are so thankful for his servant's heart. I am humbled by the magnitude and honor of this calling of being a Mama. It's a little long, but I think you will find it worth the time.

My day begins at 6:00 a.m. My husband comes into our room to wake me up. He gently encourages me out of bed, ushers me into the bathroom, sticks a toothbrush in my hand and starts the shower for me. I shower, put on my face and start fixing my hair. It is now 6:30, I make my way to the living room. I grab my Bible and notebook, and sit down to some time alone with the Lord.

By 7:15, my one year old Isaiah (now 11) is awake, I get him some juice and he sits with me for a few minutes when my two year old Victoria (now 13) comes requesting her juice and her spot on my lap.

It is now 7:30, I wake my eleven (now 21) year old for his “quiet time” that we are ever so gently trying to encourage.

I take the two little ones in the bathroom with me, placing them on the counter, one on each side of the sink. As I finish my hair and face for the day, I have two little ones staring at me as I look in the mirror. I struggle to get done before someone touches my hot curling iron, pokes their eye out with one of my make-up brushes I have given them to keep them quiet, or one of them falls off the counter while trying to stand up. Finally, the last spray of hair spray, the last curl of the eyelashes, I’m done.

I place one child on each hip, bring them to the kitchen, throw some dry cereal in front of them and go wake up the their brothers, Luke, age eight (now 18) and Joshua, age six (now 17). They are not thrilled to be awakened, but I try to keep a smile on my face and encourage them out of bed and hurry them along so we can stay on ‘schedule’!

From eight until nine, they eat breakfast, forget to take care of their bowls, lose sight of what chores are to be done next, almost always annoy someone, and usually someone starts crying. During this same time frame I am finding it increasingly difficult to be nice and to tolerate laziness. I cry out for wisdom on how to train and discipline each situation. All the while, there is an intense battle with my flesh and my spirit, and my flesh is winning. Usually by nine o’clock someone has been spanked or yelled at.

By 9:15 we have made it through, have repented for bad behavior and are sitting down for Bible time and prayer. As I wrestle with the one year old, and hold back from sending the two year old to just watch TV, we read the story, practice our scripture memory and pray for our day.

Now it is 9:30, I no longer resist the urge to send my two year old to watch TV, only ‘“good” shows mind you.

The three older children get their books and sit down at the dining room table. And on a good day, they start their work. I put the baby down for his nap, Yeah!

By 11:30, they are done with most of their school work. We usually make it through unscathed. It is now lunch time. We eat lunch, the baby has gotten up, and I have rescued Victoria from the TV by now.

After lunch they go their own way for awhile. I catch my breath, tend to the little ones needs, answer many questions, change diapers, sit on the floor and tickle toes and bellies and enjoy the giggles.

Today instead of history or science, I put the babies to bed, send the older kids off the play Legos, (they are educational you know). I grab a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and take advantage of the quiet for some time with Jesus.

By three o’clock the tears are streaming down my face because of the love of God, His mercy and His grace. My six year old Joshua walks in and sees me crying and asks if I am okay. I take advantage of this time to love on him, my middle child, and like a flash of lightening I am immediately reminded of last week when he asked if he had Jesus in his heart as I was answering the phone. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized I never answered his question. I asked him if he knows if Jesus is in his heart, and he says “no”.

We read some scripture and I asked him if he would like to ask Jesus in his heart. He says enthusiastically “yes”. We pray a simple prayer and by the end of the prayer Joshua is crying. When I ask him why, he says “Cause Jesus is really in there now”.

Of course I am weeping now, and we just embrace and cry and revel in the presence of God. I am amazed at His mercy and grace, how He leads me and reminds me. I am humbled by this incredible experience. The older boys come up to find out what is going on. My oldest runs downstairs to make a poster with the time and date that Joshua was saved. Also on the poster it says “welcome to the family, God’s family” and “there is a party in heaven today.” I am overwhelmed with joy and the realization that this is what it is all about.

The endless days of things never seeming to change, the frustration of wondering if anyone is 'getting it' and many shed tears are all worth it if the children that God has entrusted to our care turn their lives over to Him and begin that journey of a redeemed life.

Obviously every day is not like this, and this is not even a typical day in the life of our family, but I share this day to encourage you and to encourage me. This is why I am here, this is His purpose for my life, God has created me to love, serve and lead these precious souls to our Savior! I am forever grateful for this opportunity to raise Godly warriors for the Lord.

It is so worth it ladies, so worth it! Your work will be rewarded! I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.

You can read more encouragement over "At the Well"


Laurie Ann said...

It is so worth it. I truly enjoyed reading this. You are a living testimony that it is worth it. What a privelege it is being a parent. It's worth the sowing, most definitely!

Allen Skipper said...

I enjoyed reading this post.

Joyfull said...

Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing today.

Rosie said...

That was an awesome post! Brought a tear to my eye!
I've wanted to post comments on your blog a number of times, but have been unable to. My daughters opened a google g-mail account for me and are helping we'll see if this works!

shopannies said...

Great story thanks for sharing

Michele said...

Thanks for the encouraging life story.....I love how God takes our "ordinary" days and makes them "extraordinary"!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Thank you for your transparency and for sharing your day with us.

This was a beautiful post. You probably thought you were just chronicling your day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is awesome. Thank you for sharing such a powerful story.

Tina said...

What a beautiful post.
Thank you for this wonderful post and reminder. Truly this is what is important - encouraging our chidren to follow and walk with God. True wisdom comes from Him.
Thank you for all the encouragement you give - I'm truly blessed by it.
In His love,
P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I've sent you an email.

Lindsay said...

Made me cry (and laugh about the comment, "by 9 am someone gets spanked or yelled at" - have you been spying on my household?!).

I needed this today. :)

shopannies said...

great post for both new moms and old so inspiring and true life memories

eLisa said...

Thanks for sharing this story today. My littlest one are underfoot and reminding me of the eternal work before me. I am glad the Lord used you today to remind me of that in the midst of this work, there will be many stretching times, and that is normal. I needed that today! THANKS!

Katie LaPierre said...

love it!