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Collecting Jars: A Mother’s Obedience

It’s Mother’s Day once again, and after going through every card in the store, my son settled on making one for us to send. The occasion can be an amazing day or a painful day for so many for a variety of reasons: recent loss, unfulfilled motherhood, a difficult mother relationship, abandonment, etc.

I’m not the gushy Mother’s Day type. I consider it the highest privilege and best job I’ve ever had, but we avoid the crowds and keep it low-key in our house. It’s sandwiched between my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary every year. There is plenty to celebrate in the month of May. We all simply want to be together. We don’t live near any of our family, so it has become a day to ourselves.

Collecting Jars_As I was preparing to write on the topic, I wanted to focus on an often overlooked mother in the Old Testament. She has much to teach us, and yet, her name wasn’t even included in the account. She is simply “the wife of one of the sons of the prophets.”

Ever feel like a description like that one? (Well, maybe not the prophet part!)

2 Kings 4:1-7, ESV, Anonymous author, possibly Jeremiah the Prophet

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”

And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”

Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.

Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.”

So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her.

When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

First, let’s take a look at her situation. Her husband Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What Your Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

What Your Mom Really Wants for Mother's DayJust as I was wondering: “What will I write for Mother’s Day?” my friend Tammie Wommack sent me a message that she wrote a piece communicating what her heart wants to say to children and mothers out there about what’s really important on this Hallmark holiday. You see, Tammie has known the incredible grief of losing a child, and as her head comes up from feeling shoved under the water for so long to catch some air, her perspective brings tremendous clarity. As I was about to get this piece up on the blog site, Tammie messaged me one more time with her overriding heart’s cry:

“Moms want their kids to let them know how they’re doing as a mom. I so wanted reassurance when Joshua died that I had been a good Mom.”

I’m so grateful God put this on Tammie’s heart this Mother’s Day. She has allowed herself to be a vessel to bring hope, love, and strength to others on what is surely a painful holiday. I just love that she is willing to serve us through her very difficult walk in life.

[Please know that Tammie and I both recognize that not every mother has been who she needed to be with the call on her life to nurture a child. We know that some women out there miss their mothers who have already passed from this life. We acknowledge that some women are yearning to be moms and have their dreams yet unfulfilled. Some ladies may be waiting for rebellious children to show their appreciation, and it looks to be a long wait. While we acknowledge these very real and difficult situations, we also agree that there are other women in our lives whom God gives us who could benefit from Tammie’s “make the time count now and show your love” message. If Mom (or being a mom) isn’t your reference point, may I suggest you read this with an influential person in your life in mind. I just know you’ll be blessed. And if you’ve known the incredible heartache of losing Mom or a child, take some peace, healing, and comfort from what Tammie has to say. It’s for all of us, really.]

And here again, amazing us with her joy and deeply rooted wisdom, is Tammie…

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Fart Buckets”

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If the word “fart” in the title has already turned you off, no worries. I get it. But for those of you intrigued enough to read more, you are about to learn what “fart buckets” are.

I used to have a few favorite bad words. I wasn’t always public with them. Sometimes I’d only share them with a few friends who could handle it. I was selective with my usage, like a bad word snob. After all, words are everything to me, so even my choice of a zinger now and then was carefully thought out and expertly delivered, sometimes even in the heat of anger. Every once in a while the mouth still tries to overpower my self-discipline of cleaning up my vocabulary and leading an exemplary verbal life in front of my children, and even in private. But “fart buckets” became, somewhat unconsciously, a combination of my desire to clean up my act but still hang onto the potty humor that I admit I really have a hard time severing myself from. And we like to laugh a lot in my house about the raw stuff of life. Humor gets us through so many darker, heavier moments. And so to lighten things up, “fart buckets” became my standby exclamation of surprise, although I really didn’t realize how frequently until—well, until Mother’s Day 2014.

Upon going through the weekend paperwork of my youngest son’s (8 year old) homework/take-home folder—which in and of itself I should get a paycheck for, times 3 kids—I discovered what was meant to be a surprise for me for Mother’s Day. I was certainly surprised by it, but lacking self-control in this department, I took a quick glimpse. Oh, it was a surprise all right! It read like this:

My mom always says: “fart buckets.”

My mom looks pretty when she cooks dinner.

My mom likes to cook pumpkin muffins.

My mom makes me laugh when she says, “fart buckets.”

I love my mom because she’s nice.

So, several of those lines are just plain lovely. Really quite sweet. But twice? Twice on the “fart buckets,” Little Man? Seriously? I took in my breath for a minute upon reading this. It said a lot about me. It said a lot about him. It said a lot about our relationship.

And I loved every minute of it.

So, I secretly rushed it over to my husband and laughed raucously until I cried. Tears poured out of my eyes. Because I make Little Man laugh. Because he sees me as human and not on some ethereal pedestal that he can’t reach. Because I’m real to him. Because he chose those words to reflect me. And because laughter and playfulness had recently returned to him after a dry spell of worry, I celebrated this. I wore it with pride. I smeared it all over my personal social media account. I framed it and drew an arrow to point to it.

And I thought of a teacher who was a bit more on the reserved, hold-it-all-in side, and it made me giggle because when she saw this, she asked him: “Does your mom really say that?”

And he proudly said: “Yes.”

And she said: “Okay, then, as long as she really does.” [Points for her for not shutting this moment down.]

He had perfect spelling and punctuation, which also delighted me.

And that just put the biggest smile on my face that he could be that free. And when he asked me if that bothered me (which did not seem to be his goal), I was so happy to be able to say: “No, Little Man, it doesn’t. I think it’s awesome.”

And that’s not my ornery side talking. It’s just me celebrating his freedom and this amazing level of being comfortable with each other. And for this reason, I’m pretty certain that “fart buckets” will not ever leave my vocabulary completely.

Not ever.

 

 

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