“Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants…” Matthew 13:32
When my kids were little, it was hard to feel any sense of accomplishment; growing our children is a process that takes time for the results to be seen. I couldn’t wait for them to get older so I could revel in the fruits of my labor.
Now that they’re teens and a tween, instead of seeing the fruition of all my hard work, I’m seeing eye-rolling and push-back as they try to separate from me and become their own people. Some days it can be so extreme I don’t want to be a mother anymore.
That’s why, on Monday, while reading about the mustard seed in Matthew 13, I decided I’m going to be a farmer instead.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7
We had to take our bunny, Oreo, to the vet a few weeks ago to get his claws clipped. Since we go so infrequently, we don’t have one of those fancy carriers. Instead, I line a Rubbermaid bin with an old towel and put a metal grid on top.
Oreo’s always freaked out about being in that bin. So, I went against my better judgment, and let Jocelyn hold the bin on her lap. She wanted to comfort him and asked if she could pick him up. I repeatedly explained it was too risky in the car. I thought she understood.
When I heard her exclaim, I turned to find that not only was Oreo out of the bin, but he was crawling over Jocelyn’s shoulder and around her neck. She couldn’t control him, and I had nowhere safe on the road to pull over and help.
Needless to say, it was a dicey few minutes as I directed Jocelyn on how to keep Oreo from jumping around in the car. If he did so, he could have fallen awkwardly and broken his back. When that happens, you have no choice but to put a bunny down.
After getting him safely into the bin, I explained to Jocelyn that she had put her own need to comfort before Oreo’s safety. Of course, both were important, but if we couldn’t keep him safe, we’d risk losing him. As she cried in remorse and relief, I hoped she got the message.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32
When my kids were little, I’d plan our summer away with fun adventures from June to September. Sure, it was a lot of work, but I was completely in charge. I could plan whatever I wanted for whenever I wanted it. Not so much anymore.
With my boys being 17 and 15, with lots of friends, girlfriends, and jobs, they want to go their own way and plan their own fun. As much as I support that, their younger sister and I still want some family time together. Yet aligning our schedules is getting very complex. I can’t seem to keep track of it all.
I know every mother goes through it and eventually comes out on the other side. But the journey is rocky and riddled with pitfalls.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
Email derails me every time I log on. It’s an incredibly helpful tool to reach out to friends, organize events, communicate with teachers and school administrators, etc. But I end up getting side-tracked by all the requests and demands made of me through it.
Worse yet, throughout the course of my day I spend 15 to 20 minutes deleting and managing all the spam emails I get. I’ve tried to unsubscribe to each site (which consumes a lot of time), but my requests are ignored. All that time adds up and detracts from my day.
And then I made a mistake that changed everything.
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. Mathew 8:14-15
My kids have gotten into the habit of gifting candy to each other for birthdays and Christmas. So, while celebrating Jocelyn’s birthday last week, it was no surprise to see Zack cross the room with a bag, pull out an enormous pack of gummy warms and hand it to her. What was surprising was he then went around the room pulling out more treats to gift to the rest of us.
None of us had expected it, nor had we asked for it. But it touched something deep within me that needed to be healed.
By their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:16a
Helmut Kleinicke was a German officer in World War II. He was in charge of construction in Chrzanow, Upper Silesia, just twelve miles from Auschwitz. It wasn’t until forty years after his death in 1979 that it came to light he was, in fact, a hero.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
None of us was naive enough to think that just because the calendar turned to 2021, all of our 2020 troubles would be over. But I do think most of us thought some things would be better by now. Nonetheless, as the world continues to spin out of whack, we have John 16:33.
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction. Proverbs 13:1a
My oldest son, Zack, is getting his driver’s license soon. He’s been saving to buy himself a car but doesn’t have nearly enough. My husband, John, suggested they go in on a car together and share it. They decided it was a good plan. My husband is now car shopping.
John’s searching for a practical vehicle, one all five of us can fit in for the long drive to see his parents in New Jersey. He wants one that handles well in the snow, gets good gas mileage, etc. Zack has gone in the complete opposite direction.
“The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Mark 12:31
With Jocelyn in fifth grade now, I’ve prepared myself all year for the drama that girls in that age group can generate. To my surprise, it didn’t begin until yesterday, and it wasn’t girl drama. It was boy drama.
But, girls being girls, they talked about it and obsessed over it ad infinitum. They talked amongst themselves all day at school, and even brought it to the teacher’s attention. Jocelyn talked to me the minute she got in the door. She even wanted to tell my husband and her brothers because she felt so badly for the boy who was impacted by the situation.
That’s when I had to step in and help her clarify her intentions.