Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do Not Despise these Small Beginnings...

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Rachel at Home Sanctuary posts a theme verse each month on her blogsite. This month's verse is Zechariah 4:10

When I read this verse, it immediately struck something in my heart. I think in the past that I've been pretty open with my struggles as a mom and today will be no different. Last week really wasn't a fun week for me in our house. It wasn't a week I was necessarily proud of as a mom either. It was more like one of those weeks where I would rather bury it in the back of my mind (and also in the minds of my children).

Rick worked a lot of overtime last week. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. In a matter of not quite 2 weeks he's put in enough overtime to hopefully last a long, long time. The kids missed their Daddy, and I missed their Daddy. It was general crabbiness all around. No excuses. It just wasn't fun for anyone really.

Rachel's verse choice this month just brought it all into perspective for me. "Do not despise these small beginnings..."

Because sometimes I do "despise" the small beginnings running around my house. Please don't misinterpret my meaning. I love my children. Truly I do. But there are times that I feel like I might go off the deep end, and I don't exactly like everything all those small things are doing.

...like when I find a container of shredded cheese strewn all over the kitchen.

...or the curtains have been taken down in the bedrooms again and the rods used to poke a sibling and hurt them.

..or my freshly baked loaves of bread have huge holes in them because a certain someone decided to eat a little from each of the four loaves.

...or someone has hauled off and hit someone else. Or is screaming at me. Or (fill in the blank). All those moments that make you wonder what in the world you are doing wrong as a parent.

And then I just get a little upset. Or a lot upset. And I don't handle things the way I should handle them. And then I deal with the guilt that I didn't do it the way I should have. And I feel like I failed again as a mom. And round and round it goes.

But that verse continues. "For the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." God rejoices in my children and in seeing the work that is beginning and growing in their lives. Those little seeds of things that have been planted in their hearts and are developing.

...like when one of my children sees a sibling upset because they've lost their balloon - and offers theirs in it's place.

...or when I overhear the kids being kind to each other. Or hear them consoling each other when another is hurt or sad.

That encourages me so much (as I sit here crying). My heart for my kids, despite my shortcomings as a parent, is to see them love the Lord with all their hearts and serve Him. Yes, there are going to be bumps in our lives each day. And those "bumps" are opportunities for me to help guide them in their walk. Those bumps are also opportunities for me to grow in my walk with the Lord.

But this verse also applies to me as a mom. I am making small beginnings in many areas of my life as a parent. And as much as I get frustrated with myself, I can KNOW that God rejoices to see the work in my heart begin as I wade through the muck and cling to Him for the help and the rest that I need as a parent.

When I read chapter 4 of Zecariah I also found that the verse: "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit..." preceeds this verse. And that is so true, isn't it? If I had all the self-control and willpower I could possibly desire, it isn't enough. It isn't IT. It is by His Spirit. And nothing less.


  1. wow, i really needed to hear this today. my power and might have not been enough lately, and NEVER WILL. i have been looking within myself instead of towards heaven for help.

  2. Beautiful!

    I'm rootin' for you mom!!

    Love you..................more!

  3. You know how I feel about this post. I love it. I love the raw emotion. the unbridled Hope.

    You are a true friend...and an awesome partner in this journey of mothering.

  4. Love this! Beautiful!

  5. just know that you are not alone in this; we all as moms go through this every day--I think it's so wonderful that God puts into kids the ability to forgive quickly. I have to go to them sometimes an apologize for over reacting and letting myself get too angry and they run to me with hugs and kisses and it's like nothing ever happened. God puts us all through these little trials like the ones you were describing so that we can use them all as ways to gently teach our kids--the gently part is hard sometimes though. :)

  6. Oh, there you went and made me cry. That was just so...beautiful. And how did I miss "not by might, not by power but by my Spirit?" You found the most important part of that chapter, to be sure.

    This was a huge blessing to read...thank you.

  7. I just came across your blog and wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your honest thoughts and God's word - what an encouragement! Our lives sound similar...my kiddos are 7 1/2, 5 (almost 6), and 3 (almost 4). I homeschool, I am a CTMH consultant, I love coffee, Anne of GG, Karen Kingsbury...even Val Kilmer (HA - who knew one could share so many varied interests!)! AND...I can SO understand the struggles of day-to-day MOM stuff. You are not alone! ;-)

  8. Thanks, Jolanthe, for this. It's exactly what I needed to hear today, since it's been "one of those" mornings around here. ;)

    And that verse about small beginnings--wow, I've never noticed that before! When I come across a verse like that, I sometimes think, "Why did that not stand out to me before? Is it really in the Bible? Maybe I'll go check MY Bible to see if it's really in there!" I'm gonna go check now...and highlight...and circle...and make a note of it! :)


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