From April 2. This has been languishing in my drafts folder,
waiting for me to have a few extra minutes...
This verse was in my quiet time reading today; this is from the Love Language Minute devotional. The language is different than what I'm used to, but it jumped out at me.
Remember this-a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop.
But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
2 Corinthians 9:6
Earlier this week I met with some girlfriends to talk through some issues a friend is having with her oldest child. Real, life-changing issues, y'all--drugs. As we sat there and I listened to my friend who did it all right, it made me wonder about myself. About the things I work so hard at doing right...and the things I am constantly doing wrong.
When I came across this verse this morning, it really spoke to me. I tried to explain how I felt in a text to another friend, but I did a poor job of it:
I think we all need to be careful what we're teaching our kids through our actions.
This is a cautionary tale. Just praying for them.
After I sent the text, I knew I'd missed the mark. Here's what was in my head, and my heart when I wrote that...
We work so hard to tell our kids the right things. We work so hard to be where we're supposed to be and do what we're supposed to do...but that's just a small part of the story. We're teaching them so much that we don't WANT them to learn--selfishness, depending on others for happiness, not trusting in God, judgment, lack of faith...these things, I suspect, are big neon signs to our kids where the positive traits we try to demonstrate and teach blend into the background and become a quiet noise.
Frankly, I've thought so often that yes, I spend a lot of time volunteering for the kids' various activities and school stuff--but is that for THEM, or for ME? I had a big ol' reckoning with God over that a couple of years ago after I got really grumpy with Kayci over not appreciating something I'd done "for her." But the truth of it was, it may have been "for her" but I'd done it while she was at school and I was resentful that she didn't appreciate the time it took out of MY day. Why would she? She's a kid. And I realized then how much time I invested in doing stuff in the name of doing it "for" my kids...and all they want is for me to do stuff WITH them. For them? That's for me. With them? That's for them.
So I spend a lot of time working on the wrong things--the things that the world can see and pat me on the back and say, "you're a good Mom." Do I work as hard at the things no one sees?
I don't work hard enough at saying the right things.
Sometimes, I just react. And it ain't pretty, and I'm left to either apologize or act like it didn't happen--right.
I don't work hard enough at having the right attitude. You wanna talk about not pretty? Urgh.
But I don't want my kids to say what I say or act how I act--I want them to be only the good parts of me. And I don't give them enough grace when they act like the rest of me.
This week I've really been thinking about relationships, and the verse (and another) this morning helped me see them as a garden. Whether it's my husband or my kids, everything I say or do plants a seed--the thing is, I only want the "good" ones to sprout. If I only plant a few good seeds, I'll have a small crop of goodness, right? But if the majority of the seeds I plant are good...or all of them...can you see how that crop will yield goodness not just for now, but for generations?
Generations will reap what I sow.
I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know.
This is something I think about a lot. I wrote about it a couple of years ago here.
Ironically, my other devotional on the day I wrote this post was also about seeds--and the weeds of pride, worry, selfishness, unbelief.
This is something I think about a LOT, and it came back to me while I was sitting there listen to my friend talk about all of the things she'd done right and still her daughter was making the wrong choices. Y'all, we can try all we want to plant seeds of righteousness in our kids. But as we're walking through the gardens of their lives, we need to be disciplined and intentional about what seeds we sow and how. Because when we're lazy, or human, those weeds pop up. Sometimes we introduce weeds into the garden, through our words and actions--and inaction. Through focusing on the wrong things in life, or wrong attitudes...even when we think we're right. We don't want our kids to notice that stuff, but they DO. And it speaks volumes to them.
This parenting business is tough. I think about it a LOT. I pray about it a LOT. I prayed about it this morning, actually, when my daily reading took me to Proverbs 12:1:
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Ouch--this is a conversation that Kayci and I had yesterday, when she got all dramatic over a homework correction. James and I are hitting this brick wall often, with her freaking out when it appears maybe she doesn't know as much as she thinks. That hard heart breaks my heart, because I know it's coming straight from me. I want so much to take correction well, but even now it's something I struggle with. That is a weed I have introduced into her garden, and even when I'm conscientious about pulling it out, I get lazy and end up throwing it back down to pop up again, even when I meant to eradicate it. Yikes.
I don't have any answers, just hope that I'm planting more seeds than weeds. I know only time will tell, and I pray that our kids turn into godly adults who live to please and serve Him, and raise their kids to be even better. Oh, I hope.
The seeds and weeds--another thing to think about is how hard we try to sow the right seeds...then the world (TV, our friends, kids at school, extended family, you name it) introduces weeds. Ugh. I could write about this for days. I guess that's why it's been sitting in my drafts box, because I kept feeling like I could finish it. Maybe not.
Besides, I've got PTO today. Ha. Kind of ironic, no?