Over the past few years I have found myself struggling more in my tone toward the children. Sure I can find things to blame it on like hormonal changes, fatigue, feeling out numbered. But truth be told here, it is a choice. Over the winter I had asked my sweet friend Lana to be in prayer with me over this matter to which she kindly agreed and she also sent me an encouraging verse.
"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants." Deuteronomy 32:2
This is the very beginning of a song that the Lord gave to Moses to recite to the whole assembly of Israel. This song was giving to them not because they were children who were immediately obedient, but on the contrary, God gave this song as a witness against them when they prostitute themselves against Him and follow the ways of pagan gods.
"Let my words descend like dew"... the imaginary is simply beautiful. God, knowing His children would rebel against him, descends His words on them like dew - soft, slowly soaking in, droplet by tiny droplet, morning by morning. Beautiful.
This Wednesday Bridget, the children and I were traveling during the downpour of rain and the Lord reminded me of that verse. We weren't experiencing a gentle rain descending like dew, but a full furry of wind, hail and an outpouring of the sky.
As I thought about the verse I started to contrast the difference in my parenting. When I loose self control and start to throw out careless words or shouts, do my children feel like we did during that storm? We had to stop and pull over due to the fact that we couldn't see anything. Does their vision of Christ become blurred while I rage in my anger?
We watched as the streets started to back up with water and rain waters poured over the roads and highways. The ground didn't know what to do with all that water. It didn't have time to soak it in.
Trees, bushes and plants were being uprooted and washed away while we gazed on. Is that how our children feel when we can't control our tongue or tone, they don't have time to sit and soak in our carefully thought out words but in our selfishness we furry at them and they don't know what to do with all of it. It erodes at their very soul and we even uproots all the tiny seedlings that took us so long to plant.
I don't know about you, but this really got me. As a parent, it should come to no surprise that our children aren't perfect. For one, we were once children ourselves. We know that it takes time. TIME. Even as God knew that His children would rebel against Him, we know that our children are going to make mistakes and stumble along the way.
"Love is patient. Parenting's this gentle way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we intimately know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him. Patience. Love always begins with patience." Ann Voskamp
Oh Father, I know that during creation it took you only a week to create the heavens and the earth and all that inhabits the sky, sea and land. Father we are your greatest creation yet everyday you continue to chip away at our pride and flesh and mold us more into the image of your Son. Thank you for not giving up on me all those years ago and even today. Father I confess that I have so much to learn and I have made so many mistakes in my parenting. Thank you for your grace and your tender instructions to me. Help me to shed off my selfishness and pride day by day, moment by precious moment. Help my instructions to fall on my children, my gifts from you, like dew knowing that it may take a lifetime for them to fully understand. Help me to calm the storm that arises inside of me before I choose to exhale. May You so richly dwell in me that what comes out is an outpouring of Your grace, mercy and tender instruction. As you lead me, lead my children also and may we learn to walk this journey together.
~Your ever learning daughter