Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ponder, Protect, Provide

I have been thinking for several weeks now about some words that my pastor gifted to me one Sunday.  Words that have carried weight and meaning in my heart.  Words that I've rolled around in my mind often since that message.


Delivered on Mother's Day, it was in the context of mothering that these words were discussed, and at a time I needed to hear them.  I have felt for awhile now that God has been speaking to me about my time with my children.  It is so brief . . .  just like these words dropped into my heart.

Ponder.  I am good at this.  I am a thinker by nature, and I have tried to be intentional about raising my children thoughtfully.  I am often considering the choices we make as a family, from activities, schooling, friends, and so on, to evaluate the benefit or necessity of our actions and their impact.  But perhaps, I've been pondering too much lately and not acting on what I know.

Protect.  I believe in protecting my children, which is why I am struggling with the next phase in our lives . . . the one that would begin with The Thinker making a first step on a yellow bus.  I believe that children are children, and not adults.  I believe that they are capable of making good decisions but are given parents to guide them in their experience and wisdom.  I have worked to protect their minds and hearts in Christ Jesus.

Provide.  This is where my heart feels the sting of conviction.  My children are well-provided for.  God has blessed my husband with a good job that allows my kids to have all they need and then some.  They can participate in activities and sports and field trips.  But my pastor was speaking of a different provision, and this is what I've been considering all these weeks.  For the provision he mentioned has eternal significance in my life and theirs.

It is the providing of self.  The costly, sacrificial giving of time and attention. 

I have home schooled my children for several years, and I have enjoyed that time learning and growing with my kids.  It has been a useful tool in encouraging me to spend time growing their minds and souls . . . and I am saddened to recognize that sometimes I need that accountability and motivation of a schedule and planner to be with my children.  I am saddened to admit that reading Curious George one more time or playing another game of Uno or listening to another replay of the sport of the season does not naturally thrill me each day.  I recognize that I can easily find myself listening or playing or reading with half a heart . . . or putting them off completely for that day.

Yet God has spoken to me about this need to give more of myself in many ways.  It began with that message from my pastor and has continued through His Word, through other's online that I read and through quiet but persistent conviction.  And I'm glad.  Glad that God cares enough to first whisper quietly, then kneel down and look into my eyes, then grab me by the shoulders and say, "Provide.  I gave of Myself.  Go and do likewise."

So that's what I'll be doing today and more often.  Providing for those who deserve more than just a little piece of this convicted heart.



Mesina said...

That was so beautifully said.

You know though, we all get to that point of losing the thrill of Curious George or playing that game one more time. I try to remind myself when it gets to that point, it's the perfect opportunity to discover something new with my children.

Sometimes life throws you a bone. Rediscovering something new is the perfect way to appreciate time with our kids.

You are an amazing Mom x

GlowinGirl said...

I agree, Mesina, and we have an arsenal of games and a shelves that runneth over with books. But at the same time, I want to be open to doing/reading their favorites regardless of how I feel about it. :)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I think you are being a good mom considering your kid's feelings and trying to enjoy the same things as they do.

Cranberry Morning said...

Good thoughts - that all parents should ponder.

Stacy of KSW said...

I find myself stuck in the pondering stage a bit too much as well. Sometimes I just get so wrapped up in my thoughts, I forget to act on them. Working on that though

Karen said...

Very wise advice...

Carrie said...

I so needed to read this today! Thanks for sharing your heart!

I struggle with giving my children my undivided attention many days! Now that it's summer, I have lots of "projects" I'd like to get done, but I also want to take advantage of having more free time with my kids! Thanks for the reminder that it's not all about me!

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

When I think of provide, my husband's role was definitely my first thought. Just as important though (if not more) is the providing of self! I love that you mentioned this. It's a sacrifice at times, to take a moment from our busy schedules and spend quality time with our children, but the benefits are amazing!

Faith said...

WOW - this is such a good post. I can totally relate to how you feel when my firstborn took her first steps into public school - and let me just say, that at least from where I stand right now I don't regret that decision for a moment.
Amen to your "provide" paragraph. It is so easy for my children to be with me, but I am not really present with them.

Rachel said...

Such a thought provoking post!! Thanks, friend!

the smiths said...

AMEN!! LOVE this post!!

partialemptynester said...

So interesting, bc my friend that I've commented about that just won city election said over and over during the campaign, "If I win, it will be by God's provision, if I lose it will be under His protection!" I have begun to look at every situation that way and those truly are words to live by! Funny that those were two words on your post, as well!

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