What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sowing in Tears

The garden lays in wait as the gray sky rumbles forth, threatening. Promising. There the earth sits, crumbled and sandy and within it, plants thirsty with mouths stretching open before heaven like baby robins to their mother.

I sit on the patio, overlooking it all. I see the gray and moreso, the LACK of blue. I hear the rumbles in the distance and I see the garden, ready and waiting. I can FEEL the anticipation.

I know the importance of sky tears, and how the garden thrives on droplets of all kinds. It devoured my own tears not so long ago. I love to plan a garden, to level the growing beds, to watch it grow and eat from its bounty but not everything is pleasant and fun. Sometimes the work is grueling and even at times painful! Droplets of sweat and toil as manure is hauled, pushed. Droplets of tears as Mama pushed too harshly seeds into earth, punishing them with her own frustrations of life. It was work, all of it, hard work and that work was the beginning of MORE hard work---because one day, Lord willing, there will be a harvest. But what joy it will be when the harvest is in and I can hold the fruits of my labor in my hand.

As I look on the quenchless earth and the promised life droplets looming overhead, I think of another who is insatiable. Another droplet-lover.

Or rather, three.

Three little birds, ever stretching their mouths to consume all I have to give. Three needy creatures who thrive on the tears of self-sacrifice and require the droplets of discipline.

Parenting is hard work. It is full of joys and laughter, and great reward but it is not ALL joy and happiness. Sometimes it
requires struggle, pain, sadness, discipline. Tears.

Every child sins, its in their nature. But sometimes it is just easier to let it slide. Right? Sometimes you don't want to be the bad guy. You don't want to spoil a perfectly fine moment. Or maybe, during a particularly trying time, you're just TIRED of disciplining. I have felt these things many a time. Even today. It would be so much more pleasant to not have to discipline, so much more fun because though many know me as a disciplinarian, I HATE it.

I HATE it, but I know it is important. And I also know that it is a form of love. Love in the form of sacrifice. Love in the form of wisdom. Love for the future, not for now.

The child who has no discipline, has no LOVE for God says...

He disciplines those he loves.

Those who are not disciplined, He calls so unloved they are not even sons.

Nothing in life comes easily, at least nothing meaningful or fulfilling. Especially not the training of young souls but God promises GOOD from difficulty, REWARD for obedience...He will bless those who are faithful to their responsibilities.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

A life verse for me, in this time of my life...
Psalms 126:5
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
And so, I sow in tears. I parent and discipline, though it oft brings me to tears and frustration, though I would rather ignore it all.

This moment, with three little ones who are so unequipped for life, I sacrifice moments of pleasure for meaningful pursuits, for fulfilling purposes. To raise up our children to respect authority, to be obedient to God's word, to be kind and good, to think of others before themselves.

I do this not just because I want good children. I do this for the godly men and women they will one day become. I do this for the godly men and women they will one day marry. I do this to fill a nation with something it desperately needs: quality. But mostly, my tears and toil are spent for the glory of God, in obedience to Him.

I sow in tears today, but my arms are stretched heavenward, anticipating the joy that looms ahead.

As the sky opens up and the thunder roars, I know that one day my joy songs will far surpass the greatness of thunderclouds.

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