A Mother’s Day post and segue into this summer’s topic, Being Love
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In a world so very devastated, in a country so torn apart, I frequently find myself thinking, “What can I do?”, “How can I help?”, “What steps can I take to bring unity to this country?”, “How do I love the hurting?”, “How can I bring about change?”
Mother Teresa is quoted to have said,
I have prayed several times over the years, “Father, help me to be you with skin on to my family.” For real and for true, this prayer request has been a part of most, if not all, of my days as a wife and mom. And what or who is Christ? The Bible tells us He is love. Jesus was the embodiment of love.
Folks, I fail at being Christ to my family so frequently. I fail at being love. In fact, one day recently, as I was stressed to the max with the little people in my home, I was struck with the sudden realization that I am a wife and mama with the heart of Jonah!
Let’s back track just a wee bit before I delve into this heavy conviction God placed on this mama’s heart…
Covid hit the United States last March. And not long after, a truly devastating crisis happened that exposed a huge issue in our country, creating further division and disunity between races, political parties, even between friends and families.
As I’ve spent the last several months praying for this country that I love so much, I prayed the prayer that I’ve been praying over myself towards my family, “God help me be You with skin on to this lost and hurting country that I love so much.”
And He has placed before me so many verses, podcasts, sermons, books, conversations, about how I as a Christian can reach the world. How very odd is it, that in the midst of God teaching me how to represent Him to the world, I failed at just that in my very own home, with the littles He entrusted to me in my calling as a mom, with the people I love most in the entire world?
To be honest, I don’t think it’s odd at all. It seems to be very normal that when the Holy Spirit is teaching us something, then that something is where we are particularly tried.
To quote Morgan Freeman as he played God in Evan Almighty,
As I started digging in more to what God says about love and unity, and asking Him to help me represent Him more accurately to this world, I told my husband that I really want to practice this better in our own home. It seemed the moment I uttered those words, my children did everything they could to make me want to avoid them. Seriously. I suddenly found myself not wanting to be around my very favorite people in the whole world.
I would be driving home from dropping a kid off at a sport or music lesson and think to myself, “Do I really have to go home? I could just drive down south, somewhere warm, enjoy some time time to myself for a month or so.”
I’m not kidding, All. The pull to drive the opposite way of my family and just breathe in air that no one else was breathing was so tempting. And one day as I drove around the block avoiding my home and the people in it, God revealed to me my Jonah-ness.
Just like Jonah was called to the people of Nineveh, I have been called to be a mom to my kids. And, I am so very thankful God has me rooted in truth and love, so that even when I don’t feel like being true and loving, my true and loving Father, did as he did with Jonah.
He allowed me a few moments of running away, aka driving around the block a few times, while I threw a good ol’ Jonah like pity party, because I didn’t quite realize my Jonah likness yet. Then in His loving Fatherly way He spoke to me as He did Jonah, asking, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Like Jonah, my first response was, “Um, yeah, of course. Have you seen and heard the way they are acting lately?!”
The story of Jonah ends without us knowing if Jonah’s heart softened towards the people of Nineveh. A lost, hurting, and wayward people who God loved so very much. That is not the same of my story.
My story continues with God reminding me that my kids are just that..kids. Actually, they are hormonal teens and pre-teens which is worse than kids. But they are kids. And they don’t know how to act with all these hormones raging in their bodies that happens to coincide perfectly with their desire to grow more independent. They need someone to be their Heavenly Father to them and show them how His children are supposed to navigate through these years. And it is me, me and my husband, who God has called to do just that.
I once heard someone say, a parent should be the best example of Christ to their children. I have strove for that. I have failed in that. And I will continue to strive and fail. And though I will likely be tempted again, I will never give into the Jonah desire to run away, because I really do love my kids, even when they act like the people of Nineveh (Okay, that’s a bit of a hyperbole but you get me.). If I truly want to change the world, than I will love my children like my Heavenly Father loves me. And I so very much want to be the best example of Christ to my children.
William Ross Wallace wrote a beautiful poem about the power we mamas have to shape this world called, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
Mamas, we are rulers. And as such, we have been called to make a difference and impact on this world by loving our children.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Rulers of the World! May you look to the one true Ruler, the King of Kings, the Lord God Almighty, for guidance as you raise future leaders and rulers of the world.
NOTE: I will post William Ross Wallace “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is the Hand that Rules the World” on my socials later today.