The Last time I had found myself lost in the grocery store, Fear had pressed its heavy hand upon me so rapidly. I began to well up, as I took icy, quick steps trying not be noticed, but trying to notice where my mom was. It ensued not quite clear in recollection, but I call to mind the scooping up of my mother's arms, and those impressing words of reassurance, I told you 'I will never leave you', as tears were pouring out.
This time, as if a mantra of kid confidence, I looked around, searching slowly from aisle to aisle. The words she put in my heart, I had to trust. Each new aisle, was a blow to my spirit, but those words hidden in my heart kept aflame. Almost with full crushing of heart, I S E E H E R, looking for me. A little heated, a little frightened, but mutually a lotta relieved, and Loving me, nonetheless. I held on to her.
As many pages have passed since then, I am brought to a recent summer story of our little Hopie, one evening, at one of our VBS's family events. We all were heading up the stairs for the message and music. I had a straggler, one who was not 'following the leader', so we called back our own, as well as our Friends' kids whom we were keeping an eye on for the moment. We soon realize within the rush and swarm of kids, that Hope is not with us. We look back to the place we were just at, only to not find her. My heart began to beat pretty rapidly, going only where a drastic mom's head can go. We were right near a big street, but also to the open public. Anyone, in seconds, can snatch a child away. So we charged up the stairs, and saw the double doors were closing. I asked a Leader quickly, whom I met earlier, describing little Hopie. The words she told me were not reassuring, "Everybody just came in, so I'm sure she probably came in here." Um. Seconds are ticking. I need to KNOW WHERE MY CHILD IS! As the music began, the lights went dark, and I pushed through the crowd, only to see a child crying coming towards me! It was my Hope! "I didn't know where you were!"she sobbed, through uncontrollable crocodile tears. I reach to grip her as Daddy soon swoops her up into his arms. With her legs fully wrapped around, I sandwich her into a 3 person hug.
Stepping back, and a few weeks removed, I can almost picture a little replica of this picture as a clay sculpture. The Daddy holding the daughter while the mom embraces them both. This is a dear reminder to me of what I am to be doing with my children. Hearing plenty of times that they are not our own, but God's, can only go so far, UNLESS you believe it. I am learning daily, that my job and joy is to lead them to Jesus, and my example of Life must be this!
I want them to know the gentle example of Jesus' love everyday, but is it easy; am I doing this? I'll be honest, it is a challenge. Sometimes I think we can learn something new, pray about it, and fail all within the next 5 minutes. God is teaching me to take a breath and step back. Every minute, every failure, I must bring to him.
Impatience with my kids is definitely a strong suit! Impatience can come out in anger and 'the control freak' tendency can quickly step in.
The thing that I have learned is this:
I have no right to act with them in impatience through anger.
I have no right to be on the computer as many times as I do, while my kids need me.
I have no right to stare at the computer while my kids are talking to me.
I have every right to Pray for them
I have every right to read Stories and Bible Stories to them
I have every right to sing and dance with them
I have every right to Hug and Hold them
Every teaching, through my time with the Lord, is a tedious teaching I must exemplify to my kids.
Sometimes I can say, I don't have time to stop and read.To stop and Bow... But how much does God speak in the whispers of my heart, "How can I not?"
There is no more time to allow the natural patterns of my heart to take place, over the disciplined love I must learn, so I, in turn,...can teach my children. Today is the day I build God's love and knowing God's character in their little hearts.
I'm still learning a lot.
I have more to write soon...
In the picture of me holding Hopie in a 3 person hug, remember to see with your heart who is holding The child. The Father. In Jesus,
PS. I wanted to share with you this book that has been a wonderful encouragement for me. You know that stack of books that sits there, waiting for you to get to. Well, I got to one of them, and I am loving it.
If you are looking for a book that speaks to the heart issues, and are like me, often praying about your children's character, not just the 'symptoms'..., here is an encouraging book that tells it like it is. . . Be blessed!
SHEPHERDING A CHILD'S HEART
by Tedd Tripp