I am a summer person – love warm weather, hangin at the pool, baseball games, ice cream, long days – but as September rolls around, I must admit that the crisp, cool air brings a sense of… relaxation in the air. A time to bring out your “comfy pants”, your favorite pair of jeans, and that fall jacket you haven’t seen in quite a while. A season of raking and jumping into leaves, pickin apples and pumpkins, and curling up on the couch for some hot chocolate in the evenings.
This morning, however, something greeted me that I wasn’t quite prepared for. Something was floating through the air, and as I squinted, a hit of whiteness caught my eye… it can’t be! Sure enough – snow. To me… crazy. Just last week we barely needed a light jacket, and today, I’m scrounging the bottom of my storage drawer to find a matching glove before the kids headed off to school. I’m not ready, I need more time, I don’t want to think about winter – wahhh! My children would repeat to me, “Mom are you complaining?” You bet ya! You think living in Ohio my entire life would rub off some of my grumblies – nope! Guess an attitude check is in line… I’ll get to that another day.
As I sit and think back over the day, I can’t help but make another connection with fall. You see, one of our children needed to be disciplined tonight, and as much as it breaks my heart at times, I know that in the long run, I am called, as her mother, to “train her up in the way she should go”. Her heart has a bent towards rebellion and God knows this. He’s known this since the beginning of time, and in His sovereignty, I trust that he knew the perfect place for her was in this family (though at times, I must admit, I’ve questioned if I’m the right person for the job). I asked her to talk about her choices with Jesus on the way home in the car (as I have requested on other occasions), I just wasn’t prepared for her response.
You see, we sin. Pretty simple, pretty basic. We live in a world that has fallen. Fallen from where? From a place, a home, that was never intended for us to leave. It took place from the beginning, in the book of Genesis, and we now live in a world that contains it all around. We try to escape it, we try to explain it, we try to justify it, we try to question it, but bottom line is, we were never intended – created – to live here. So, when my daughter defies her authority, when she wants to simply please her own flesh, I can see the mind (the will) and the heart at war.
So, from the back seat of our mini-van, I hear… “Mommy, if we have time when we get home. Can I write an ‘I’m sorry’ note to Jesus and tape it to a balloon and get a string?” True confessions of a 5 year old. That same head-strong attitude, compelled her to write a very lengthy note which she proceeded to read to me and then said, “Mommy, I don’t really need to send this to Jesus because he already heard me, didn’t me.” Ahhhhh, the lows and highs of motherhood. It’s quite a journey. It’s quite a blessing. It’s quite exhausting…. in a good way.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the reminder of your amazing, unfailing love through the heart of a child. Your love is so great that you allow us to fall, sometimes flat on our face, so that we can understand what life looks like apart from you. Lord help me to see my self-reliance because I don’t want to stay on that path for long, it leads to frustration, heartache, and pride. Lord guide me in ways of weakness, because when I am weak, you are strong. I praise you today for your loving-kindness and patience. May your name be glorified in all that I say and do.