fresh from the archives

archivesLarger

I was reading through old blog posts and found the one you’ll see below. It’s very appropriate for me as I prepare to get back to schooling. Many of us are praying, thinking and planning as we anticipate getting back to more structured schedules.  August dawns next week and when it fades, summer will too.

The Lord revealed something to me about motherhood that profoundly changed my outlook back in 2010. Sadly, I realized upon rereading the post this week that I had forgotten what He taught me. I have, once again, found myself praying (begging would be more accurate) for JOY in the midst of mothering. It’s endless, often thankless, and there’s rarely a feeling of completion or accomplishment. This post reminded me that as I embrace the nature of motherhood, I will find the joy that I miss when I resent the tough aspects of being a momma.

I pray that you are encouraged in your mothering journey as you read this one, fresh from the archives:

June 2010

I just returned from a retreat for homeschooling moms. God took our simple plans for a refueling, reviving weekend and He blew it out of the water!  The theme was “From Empty to Overflowing”. We talked a lot about allowing the Lord to fill us. Several times we delved into Psalm 23 and listened to what God had to say about His plans to fill us and provide for all of our needs. I learned so much from Him this weekend.

I have to admit that one thing I resent about mothering is the constant serving, constant demands, constant turnover of laundry, dishes, messes, food, etc.  How futile and unappreciated many of my responsibilities seem. I have been praying like crazy for God to fill my heart with joy as I serve at home. I long to be filled with joy no matter how many times I have to clean something, cook something, put something away.

I realized this weekend that my problem is that I want to be filled by the Lord, but I do not want to be emptied out! Each moment that I spend seeking His face and pouring through the pages of His word results in the filling of my “cup”.  God showed me that the reason He fills me is not so that I can stay full.  He does it so that I can be poured out into the lives of others around me. Then I can go back to Him and be filled anew… to be poured out again.

water wheel

God brought to mind a water wheel, and I thought about how each nook collects water on the upper part of its journey and then pours the water out on the lower part of its journey. The wheel goes around and around, repeating the same actions over and over again. To look at one revolution of the wheel, one would not be impressed with the outcome. However, as it moves through countless cycles, energy is produced. The wheel shows its effectiveness by plodding away, hour after hour, never giving up on its assigned work.

What a picture of motherhood.

I’m asking the Lord to fill me with joy and to remember that the repetitive revolutions of my day are accomplishing the great work that He has called me to:   raising educated, respectful, passionate children that will love Him and go wherever He wants to send them.

So, here I go again….

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photo credit:

archives:  The U.C.C. Quarterly – Spring, 1944

water wheel:  razpuskane.com

the fruit of your labor

If I had a warning label… it would say “Beware! Chronic high expectations.”  Not only for others, but the truth is that I am foremost tremendously hard on myself. I think it comes partly from being a first-born, and partly from a desire to perform and earn approval from others…beginning at a very young age.

The Lord is on a mission of late: to convince me of His love and His unending grace for me no matter what. Today, my children slept in and provided the peace and quiet I needed to read my bible and hear a little bit from the Lord. I was reading in psalm 127 & 128 and came upon this:

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

Thus is the one blessed who fears the LORD.  Ps. 128:1-4

Immediately after reading this, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a couple of recent events. My oldest daughter is volunteering at VBS this week, paired up with another mom in the craft area. This sweet woman was so taken with my daughter that she went home and told her husband all about their time together. This same daughter has been helping my 70+ year old neighbor navigate her computer and the internet at home. 12 year olds today are so tech-savvy! Our beloved Miss Pat from two doors down never tires of singing the praises of my oldest. The Lord also stirred up a memory from yesterday’s trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. The kids and I arranged to meet a dear friend and her kiddos. I was reminded of the loving words and embraces that this mom extended to all three of my children. As He connected the bible passage and these recent interactions with others, the Lord was definitely speaking to me this morning:

You are blessed. Because you have been walking in My ways, you will eat the fruit of your labor. The fruit is so sweet… watch how others love your children. Listen as others praise your girls. You are blessed to mother them and watch them grow. You are a fruitful vine:  as a mother, as a home maker, and as a wife. Your children are growing and maturing before your very eyes. Your hard work is paying off.  You often grow weary of caring for them day after day and dealing with their faults and weaknesses, but today, enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Do you find yourself keeping distance from the Lord because you fear that He is displeased with you? I find that every time I press into Him and listen, I hear words of love, affirmation, and grace. Will you press in and listen? Receive the affection your Heavenly Father wants to share with you.