Sunday, September 13, 2009

When kids get in the way, Repent.

More of my mind from the last video posting.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

As I was picking up toys in the kids room for the umpteenth time that day I had one of those moments where your thought kind of just take you away to a place where you can hear a word of correction and direction from the Lord. Believe me that I am not one to say that God spoke a new word to me, but actually that He was reminding me of something he had once told me already through His word. It was something I needed to be reminded of though I did not even know it at that time when I was doing a menial task.

Let me go back a little bit to what had been going through my mind a few weeks and days ago. First, I had been thinking about our upcoming mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico. We have taken our kids down on this mission trip from the time they were still nursing. I was thinking about how we might be growing in our leadership of these trips and might need to reconsider taking our kids along. You see kids really slow us down. (If you've ever seen us trying to get somewhere, like from one place to the next, you will know what I mean.) Plus I can't really just lead something perfectly well when I have a toddler on my hip. I was thinking that if a new person from a new church would join our trip they would see how completely disorganized our trip seem to run (and how I live my life like a chicken with its head cut off about 97.8% of the time). So yes I was thinking that if I was going to be an efficient missionary group leader I better check my kids off at Grandmas' before I boarded the van to worldwide evangelism.

Then to further convince myself of how children get in the way of missioning I conducted a test (not on purpose). You see I had this great mission project idea about asking our Sunday School to join us in raising money to buy school supplies for a refugee family with 7 children. Then I invited any of them to join us to go shopping for these kids: we would take the refugee school age kids to Walmart and find them school uniforms, and children were invited to join us (as our kids would be going). Finding the right size uniforms while corralling my three little ones was harder than expected. "Mami, I need to go to the potty." "Mami, I am hungry." "Selah come here." "No. Seth don't do that." "Stop bothering your sister" I hope you get the picture. It was an adventure. I was getting pretty tired as were the kids.

So I came home from the missions project feeling like things didn't turn out the way I expected them to and that maybe next time I should consider finding a babysitter so that I look like I am managing my missioning a little better.

Now you find me sitting on the floor picking up stuffed animals, shoes, and balls off the floor. God reminds me of Deuteronomy 6 and how I need to be teaching my kids about loving God and loving people. And I got it immediately. Yes Lord, sorry. I was wrong. I think... what better way to teach my children but by my example. Yes, children do slow us down, but hey maybe we are moving too fast. I think about how my children have so many times opened the door for me to start conversations with complete strangers. I feel that sometimes my children have helped me be more approachable. A child will bring a smile to a face. Sydney will go around Walmart in a cart saying hi to everyone she meets. I could come back from my missions project and tell my kids what happened, but it wouldn't be the same as if they had been there.
I feel that somehow America today has programmed me to believe that kids just get in the way of things. That small thought multiplied is what has caused the adoption of abortion as a viable option to reign in our society. You hear even Christians say "Oh we are not ready for kids" "We can't afford kids" "I want to get settled in my job before I have kids" "We want to travel and enjoy ourselves before we get bogged down." All of these thing have the same underlying selfish and faithless thoughts of the world.

The world seems to be screaming at me, "Woman get a job, get a ministry, get a hobbie that will free you from the ever draining task of motherhood!!!" Now I am not saying that you have to be with your kids 24/7, believe me I know there are times when a break from the kids is a necessity. But I think we need to be spending as much time and effort to pass the faith to our children. Oh how God has pleaded with us in Deuteronomy. "THIS IS IMPORTANT PEOPLE" "YOU HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY" "TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT ME" "PLEASE TALK TO THEM ABOUT ME."

I sit corrected Lord.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." John 15:12-17

Jesus, help me to love my children. Help me to teach my children your ways. May they learn it through my words and through my actions. Help me to lay down my life for my children. May my children be the fruit I bear and the fruit which abides in you. Lord you gave up the glory of heaven to come to earth and die for me. Help me to carry my cross and follow you. Thank you for the love and strength that you give me to walk each day. In Jesus name, Amen.