Patience Perseveres

Patience and perseverance go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly, cream in coffee, cheese atop French bread.  You really need one in order to effectively (or in the case of food, enjoyably!) have the other. This could never be more true than in our roles as moms.

There is so much we wait for as moms, huh? We wait to get through difficult stages, phases and seasons but those times are as necessary as the wonderful times we relish in because we’re parents, and in our job, lays a mixed bag of challenges and joys that we experience, face, teach, handle, and yes, even put up with. Our bags may look very much the same in some ways yet contain things that are uniquely characteristic of our own lives. Sometimes the contents can feel like weights though they ought not to weigh us down. Ahhhh, big distinction, right?

When we look at the bigger picture of what our role is and what’s involved, we know that piece by piece, if we were to break down our jobs, that there are many facets to our parenting. Yes, there are days and phases we can’t wait to get through nor wait to witness change in.  First steps, sleeping through the night, temper tantrums, waiting for life’s lessons to kick in, understanding to resonate, responsibility to take shape. We wait for so much in our own lives and even more in the lives of our children. Not that we can control our lives, but dealing with ourselves seems so much easier since we are in control of our own selves but not so much in control of our children…especially as they grow older and form their own ideas, habits and practices. As a result, our jobs can sometimes feel tougher.

So where do we go with all this? Is this just good jargon for a journal entry or can we take something away to anchor into a little more deeply? How do we wait or endure through the various seasons that come with our roles? Some of us are dealing with some pretty tough stuff.  How do we wait with hope and expectation and not  anxiety, worry and fear?

We know that God has appointed us in our roles and like any boss, chief or commander, will equip us with what we need in order to do our jobs well. Part of doing our jobs well is believing and knowing that God’s plans for us and for our children are good ones, by His authorship. That doesn’t mean everything good will happen to them, but I think it means that everything necessary for His good within them will, and He has appointed YOU to guide them on their journey. And that, dear moms, is a perspective I think we have to have so that we can have the patience to endure through the challenging parts.

Your job is to deliver your child to the finish line of his lifelong race with discipline, love and instruction. If you keep you eyes on that “unseen” faith that the author of Hebrews writes about (faith being something that we believe and trust to be true though unseen), I believe whole-heartedly, that God will develop patience and perseverance in you so you can run the race well with your child. You are on the path that God has marked out for you and you have the child(ren) that He has given you. If you focus on Him, I can promise that He will develop patience and perseverance in you, and the chaos on the sidelines, all the things in those mixed bags, will become secondary. They will take their rightful place on the sidelines and remain there and won’t define your child’s path (nor yours). What will be defining is your faith, patience and perseverance in your child’s life as he/she runs the course. So keep running. Keep cheering. Keep patiently persevering. It will be the best gift you give your child and yourself.

Then celebrate with some milk and cookies.

Scripture References

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews, 11:1)

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Love is patient, love is kind.” 1Cor 13:4

Down with Eyes Up

I wonder how the Newtown mothers and fathers are doing. I think of them constantly as I am sure you do.  I wonder how they are making it through the day without their precious children.  I wonder what happens to them in those first moments of waking up. If sleep during the night truly took them away from reality for just a bit, only to be jolted awake by those first thoughts of reality as they awaken from a still state. Do they go into their children’s room(s) and sit, as I think I would? Do they hold their children’s clothes up to their face to just take in their smell–to have some small bit of their presence if only in the form of a scent? Are they holding, with desperation, their son or daughter’s precious toy soldier, doll, blanket, or  stuffed animal(s) as to will their lives back through the touch of a meaningful object that represented something special to their child?  Oh, to just have one last touch, one last look, one last hug, one last I love you. Do they re-play their last morning, their last goodbye? Do they go back and hug them again and again in their memory bank so they can relive loving them, just one more time, even if only in their mind?  Even though they are strangers to me, they are people…parents, and moms just like us, and we replay and mourn alongside them.

Their loss is unimaginable and though I have the Lord in my life and a deep foundation, I wonder, how would I be doing if this were my child’s life that had been taken. A large part of me wonders if I would need to be medicated or put into a padded room for the endless screaming that would emerge from my being that might be worrisome for those around me.  Would falling to my knees in prayer truly be enough to survive the loss?  The floor is where I would have to start. God would have to carry me through, which He promises to do, every bit of the way, just like I know He will do for these hurting parents.  If only this were all just a terrible, terrible nightmare that they could wake up from. If only some Hollywood producer could undo what has been done like they can do in an edit bay.

I was attending Syracuse University when the devastating Pam Am Flight 103 bombing took place over Scotland. We all walked around campus in shock….how can you be here one minute and gone the next? Done, over. Just like that. Friends gone. Sons and daughters never coming home. Voices never to be heard. We are just not used to life ending so suddenly, so violently, so unnecessarily, especially when that life is a child’s. It throws us into shock among other hits we take.

So where do we go from here? Down to our knees in prayer but with eyes lifted and focused upward. There is still life to be lived and there is still purpose in our earthly lives for however long God ordains them. He is God, and we are not, and therefore, we must cling desperately to Him and to His promises. If we don’t, if we can’t, we may need to re-evaluate just what it is our lives are worth without Him, His purpose, His plan and His design. He is the author and creator of each of our lives and our heartbeats are in His hands. Our home is with Him. And these children who lost their earthly lives are now home with Him. And that piece, we don’t have to mourn.

Scripture Verses

2 Chronicles 30:27  “For their prayer reached heaven…”

Jas 5:13 “Is one of you in trouble? He should pray.”

Rev 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? The maker of Heaven and earth.”

 

 

The Search for Significance, By Guest Blogger, Julie Sunne

“So what do you do?” The question hung in the air.
“Stay home with my kids,” I finally managed to mumble, feeling half the size I did a moment earlier.
Why did one simple question invoke such a shameful reaction? After all, I loved staying home with my children. And more importantly, I knew it was the best thing for our children. Nevertheless, the reaction remained … for years … each time such a question was asked.
Truth was, I felt insignificant as a “mere” housewife and stay-at-home mom (SAHM).
I thought of all the corporate executives, the biologists (in my field of education), the teachers, the nurses and doctors, even bank tellers and department store workers. While I was sitting home day after day, wiping runny noses, refereeing disagreements, and washing projectile food out of my hair, they were using their education to make a difference in the world. Others depended on them.
How silly were my thoughts. Who are more dependent and needy than our own children? And what mother doesn’t rely on far more knowledge than just the one area they studied in school? To offer 24-hour care to one or several children requires medical skills, some scholastic knowledge in every single subject area, a logistics degree (especially if there are special needs or older children), and an infinite amount of patience.
Nevertheless, the occupation question still often makes me squirm. Perhaps surprisingly, it often makes those who hold full-time, outside-the-home jobs squirm as well. Even after I added “freelance editor and writer and substitute teacher” to my resume, I still ducked my head at the question.
Why? Because I wanted to do something significant … make a BIG difference in a BIG way. And I didn’t feel I was doing that.
This seems to be a problem many of us have. Discontentment with our current positions and experiences. Thinking we should be doing more and influencing more. Perhaps that is the case with some.
Yet, what we fail to realize is that in God’s hands each little thing multiplies and grows. Each sacrifice and offering we give to Him becomes greater than anything we can imagine.
In the Lord’s mysterious ways, our few becomes His abundance … our little becomes His great.
I love this quote by William Bradford (of the Plymouth Plantation pilgrims), which sums up well the importance of little contributions made to the glory of God:
“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.”–Of Plymouth Plantation.
The impact and influence the pilgrims had on future generations is incalculable. Yet they began with a tiny settlement of starving individuals.
Every big impact begins in a small, quiet way.
A crack in the earth can become a canyon with the right conditions. A tiny mustard seed produces a large plant. A microscopic cell becomes a complex reasoning human. A grand pyramid begins with one brick. A great city starts with one house.
So don’t look on your occupation, your contribution, as having little significance. Instead commit it to the glory of God and trust that His grace will magnify it a thousandfold—to be even greater in Him.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12)

Share in the Discussion: Have you ever felt insignificant in your role?
 
Julie Sunne has been married to her husband, David, for more than 23 years and is a full-time mom to three amazing boys and a precious daughter who has special needs. In her spare time she writes, speaks, and edits. She is passionate about celebrating “the least of these” and living life by faith in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Julie and her family reside in a state park in Northeast Iowa where she posts her thoughts at juliesunne.com. You can also follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieSunne1 and on Facebook: Julie Sunne.