Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blossom3, Bark and Beautiful Prayers

Summer has been golden this week.  Not in a Pinterest perfect summer kind of way, just in a joyful, unifying, God is working kind of way.  

Blossom3 has been in a bit of a rough spot over the past year-plus, like a diamond in the rough spot. 

 I've fought discouragement, panic and a complete lack of any idea what to do.  

I'm thankful for all the times my husband has comforted me and helped me to stay the course, to cling to the vision.  I'm grateful for the wisdom and encouragement shared by a friend at a park playground to keep Jesus at the heart of the matter, to keep pointing her to the Cross as the Hope of life.  

If I lose sight of vision in parenting, I tend to forget that I'm teaching them the Gospel in action; that we, in and of ourselves, are powerless to be "good."  We are not enough and never will be enough.  Only a Savior, willing to lay down His own life, can redeem our lives and use them for His glory.  Through His power and strength, we can walk in the way He would have us to walk.  

Fast forward to the current struggle this week, we've been working on the Great Heat the Hollow 2017 venture, which translates to a whole lotta stacking wood.  The Littles are designated bark and wood chip gatherers.  While the Big Blossoms help stack wood, the Littles gather handfuls of bark, fill their plastic sled, drag it to the back of the compost pile and dump it.  

Based on their reaction to this, you'd think they had to pour concrete in 105 degree weather for 5 days straight.  Kids sure don't work naturally.  If you think so, I'm fairly certain your child is 20 months old.  Please laugh; it's a delightful phase, but it doesn't last long enough.  This week, my whole strategy changed from let's-just-get-this-wood-stacked to I'll-oversee-every-handful-of-bark.  This goes against my grain.  I just want to get the wood done, but this isn't about me.

In the big picture though, I want four blond, smiling women with work ethic.  So, the Big Blossoms keep stacking while I coach the Littles on how to stand, how to most efficiently grab bark with their little gloved hands, how to work constantly instead of sporadically, and how to work together to pull the sled.  

"I'm serious, girls, leave the worms alone.  You can catch them on your own time!  

I'm telling you, I'm serious about them working.  

It's been a long week that way.  

Ironically, this week we've been focusing on being a cheerful worker and yesterday I very briefly touched on working unto the Lord and not for people.  Imagine my delight when yesterday afternoon, Blossom3 demonstrated night and day difference in her work ethic during that wood and bark session.  

I praised her quickly and many times over the course of the day, as she did other things without being told.  She was focused and she obeyed without whining.  People, I'm not bragging.  I'm just so humbly grateful; humble enough to realize that this didn't have anything to do with me. 


Later that night, Blossom3 shared that she'd worked differently because she'd been working for the Lord.  

We can parent and parent and parent, but in the end, it's the Lord that must work on the heart.  

Additionally, over the past year and a half, our entire family has experienced effects on our daily life on account of a person's over-attentiveness to a facet of our way of living.  It has added stress to every moment of our waking hours, but I have purposed to keep my attitude right by doing what the Bible says we ought to do ~ pray for that person.  

I've been working with the girls on this as well.  I certainly don't want bitterness or offense creeping in to their hearts either.  

Listening to their prayers has been quite enlightening.  To my surprise, Blossom3's prayers have been the most heartfelt, thoughtful and creative.

"Please don't let their truck break down."

"Please don't let their well run dry."

"Please help their fruit trees to have lots of fruit."  

"Please don't let their roof leak." 

I was humbled by these prayers.  Her prayers showed thoughts of good toward this person, in a way that has challenged the rest of us to get past our "please diffuse their fixation" prayers.

I'm calling out now to every mama who is despairing over her diamond in the rough that is especially rough.  

Let us persevere!  Let us not despair!  

God is working.  

Humbly, we must continue to work and parent and teach and train and love and praise and smile and hug.  God truly is working.  


More pics from our trip to the Arboretum, where we enjoyed camaraderie, peonies, snapdragons, dame's rockets, fountains, cairns, catbird sightings and more kaleidoscope fun.