Monday, September 22, 2008

Reaping the Harvest

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

"Don't Give Up!" These were some of the words our Pastor ended with a few weeks ago. To summarize, he was encouraging us to keep doing the right thing, according to God's Word, based on this verse. When I think of autumn, and God's Word, this verse comes to mind. The NIV says we will "reap a harvest if we don't give up." It is very hard to do the right thing, yet in order to be in the center of God's will, I must.

Saturday, I saw a glimpse of the harvest that my husband and I will reap if we continue to train our children up with God as our center for parenting. Let me try to give you a glimpse of the circumstance:

We were at baseball. It was a beautiful, fall day, the perfect ending to a fun day (which I will share pictures of at the end of the post). We were outside, our littlest were running and running and running some more, while we watched our oldest do what he loves...playing baseball. The coach told the rather rambunctious boys to sit on the bench, and no one (so we thought) listened. Most, my son included, were climbing the fence, digging in the sand, everything but sitting as the coach said. For a moment, I ignored it too, since every other parent was, but then it hit me that I was doing wrong by not training my son at that moment, and my son was doing wrong for not doing as his coach instructed. I walked over, and quietly asked my son to sit on the bench as the coach had told them to. You can imagine, his response was "but nobody else is." He was right, nobody else was, but did it make it right? Of course not. One thing I'm afraid I'm not in the habit of doing is praying before I discipline my kids. Often my reaction is very knee-jerk. But that moment I said a two-second prayer, asking for God to speak through me to my son. Don't you know, I noticed one boy sitting quietly at the end of the bench. I knelt beside my boy, and whispered in his ear to look at the end of the bench, and see that someone else was doing the right thing. My son practically leaped on the bench, I suppose drawing strength in numbers, and spent the rest of the inning trying to get the others to do the right thing. My Mama heart was humbled, and so thankful. If I had just given up, like most parents at that moment too often I do.....I would not have seen the glimpse of that harvest of which I speak. After the game, I was able to tell my son, that sometimes, we are literally alone when doing the right thing, but its what we ought to do to please God. However, I told him, that many times, we are not alone, but it can feel that way. If we had not noticed that other boy doing the right thing, my son would have felt very alone.

God is good, and He is able to give us strength in whatever circumstance we face. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Thank you Jesus for your strength!

Let me rewind to the beginning of our beautiful day on Saturday. As I had hoped, we were able to decorate for the fall. It was such a lovely, lovely day! Let me introduce you to the photographer that morning :)

He is 6 years old, and is a wonderful young man who already has a heart for his Savior! Last week, I must admit, I had a few rough days with him. I prayed hard for him, even into the middle of the night. My mom has told me that God has kept her awake some nights for all of her kids, and I can say already the Lord has done the same for me. I prayed for God to make his heart tender (he seemed a little hard last week), and as we were driving around doing errands last Thursday (the day when I was in fact weary in doing the right thing, and I was tempted to give up), my son told me that when he grows up, he wants to work at church at night so he can tell others about God, but be home with his family during the day. Thank you Lord, you knew I needed to hear that. That afternoon, he wanted to know all about Heaven, and wanted to know if he would see me there when he gets there. He was so tender, just as I asked God for him to be. I had to be humble, and admit that I didn't know much about Heaven, but I did know that I would be there, and he would be there, because we both trusted in Jesus as our Savior by believing that He died on the cross for our sins. Thankfully the Lord gave O peace with that answer because as I was explaining it, I felt awkward and completely inadequate in answering his question.

O is also a very strong boy. On Friday he had his first series of what will be a long road of allergy shots. Two shots a week (one in each arm) for the next 6-8 months, then it will go to every other week, to once a month, and so on. It will be a 3-4 year process. Anyway, I said he was strong. He prepared himself for the shots and didn't even cry! Also, yesterday while playing tackle football with Daddy and his little brother, his tooth was knocked out (baby tooth thank the Lord, but a baby tooth that wasn't loose yet). You guessed it, he didn't even cry. This is huge for him. You see, he's always been prone to cry easily, over very insignificant things. I've tried to teach him to look at the situation, and pay attention to how he feels first before crying about it. He's come a LONG way!

I digress :) He took the first picture above, a cute little sign in our front garden, and the picture above of himself. As you will see, I may hand the task of family photographer over to him! He is a natural! I love him so much!

Another self-portrait!
Daddy was the official scarecrow pusher inner! What a handsome man my hubby is :) I'm oh so thankful for his devotion to me and our children. He sacrifices much for us, and I thank the Lord daily. He's good, strong and exceptionally caring. I love you SO much!

"Let me borrow the camera so you are in the pictures too!"

Then some pictures of our family!

Here's little M, showing her big brother a flower. She is the flower of our family indeed - soft and beautiful. She is very lady-like, even though she has two big brothers. Nothing about cars, trains or Legos remotely interests her. Rather, give her babies, people, kitchens, shoes, bags, flowers. It is so naturally her and I can honestly say completely not pushed on by us! She LOVES to have her hair done and was in her glory Saturday evening and yesterday when I put her hair in a pony-tail like me. She will be a wonderful helper when our new little girl comes. Although she doesn't seem to understand it one bit, I know she will love helping to "mother" our little girl. I love her to pieces!

Here is C, also helping Daddy with the scarecrows. To me, it looks like he's grabbing the scarecrow by the scruff of its collar about to put him in his place! Here's a sweet story about him. Yesterday we had dear friends from our old home area stop by for a visit. We affectionately call C "the mayor" as he loves to talk (and talk and talk). Yesterday was no exception! He said to our friend Diane, "Excuse me, ummmm, I love my Mommy." C is undoubtedly my child who is the most encouraging to me with his words. I pray every mother has a child like him! When I'm feeling the most unlovely or down, more often than not, C is the one who picks up on it and will say "I love you" or "you're so beautiful" to me. I love him so much!
Here's our dog. Famous for getting under foot, but boy do I miss him when he's not here! When we go away, we usually board him the morning we leave, so I won't have him under foot as I pack. Its then I miss him as he is wonderful for picking up the crumbs :) He's a great help in keeping our floors clean ;p His name is Donald, or as we like to call him D-Dog, which is what our daughter called him when she was first beginning to speak. He is a good dog, and loves us very much (is it possible too much!?!)
I was planning on being the photographer, otherwise I may have tried to attempt to cover the fact of how tired I was - yes, I am up every few hours these days, and have trouble falling back to sleep - you know, God's way of preparing you for when your baby arrives!
And lastly, some other pictures of some of the different decorations. Can I say it enough that fall is my favorite time of year! This week looks to be beautiful! Thank you Lord that I live in an area with seasons :)

Thank you O for taking the pictures for us this weekend! You can tell the ones Mommy took from the ones you did - you are much better at it, no doubt! I know you would love to be the one taking most of the pictures from now on, and after the fine job you did, I think you should! Thank you big boy!

The dryer buzzer went off, and I must go about my tasks for the day. Let's remember today to do the next right thing, and not become weary in doing good as it is easy to do. Although it may be years, maybe even a lifetime, before we reap the harvest, it should be for God's glory anyway, and that is where our focus should be.

Enjoy the first day of fall!

Jen :)


danielle said...

hey Jen! The decorations look great! I love the scarecrows! And Owen took really great shots!

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow