Lean Hard

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“Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of thy care;
I know thy burden, child, I shaped it;
Poised it in My own hand, made no proportion in its weight to thine unaided strength;
For even as I laid it on, I said
I shall be near, and while he leans on Me,
This burden shall be Mine, not his;
So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love.
Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds.
Yet closer come; thou art not near enough;
I would embrace thy care so I might feel My child reposing on My breast.
Thou lovest Me? I know it. Doubt not then;
But, loving Me, Lean Hard.”

~May Prentiss Smith

I have been battling my thoughts for a few weeks and this past Wednesday, I shared with a friend about this struggle. She encouraged me to take my burden to the Lord, to really draw close to Him. She referenced a poem someone had shared with her during a particularly trying time in her life, and yesterday she emailed it to me. I love it. I love it so much I just had to share it.

If you, like me, are struggling with something (thoughts, circumstances, or some other trial), I pray this will be an encouragement to you.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  ~Matthew 11:29

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. ~Psalm 55:22

Like Your Children, Don’t Just Love Them

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“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” ~Matt. 18:10

I recently had the privilege of attending my first homeschool conference. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I figured I would hear about the “latest and greatest” curriculum, and of course listen to others share ideas for improving our homeschool for next year. And while I did get those things, I also received encouragement. Encouragement I was desperately needing.

I homeschool not because I am against public school (I have a degree in both elementary and special education, and I have one child who does attend public school), but because God has called me to raise my children for His honor and glory (2 Peter 1:3).  Now, I didn’t start homeschooling for that reason, but the more time I spend with my children, the more I fully understand my role as their mother and truthfully, the more I learn about my God.

If you know me well, I mean really well, then you know that I never planned to have a large family. When my husband and I began to talk “marriage” while dating, family size of course came into the discussion. He is from a family of five and I am from a family of three.  He wanted a big family, but I was happy with 3 or 4 children.  After the birth of my fourth child, I was content with our life. We had two boys and two girls and lived in a medium-sized house that fit our needs perfectly. Our mini-van was great in that we could all fit inside with extra seating space, and life was genuinely good. Until I found out I was pregnant when my youngest was 7 months old!

We now have a total of seven children, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that daily life was sometimes challenging. There is a 10-year span between my oldest and youngest. Sometimes, most times, I view my children as a nuisance rather than as the blessing God says they are (Psalm 127:3-5).  I was convinced that my children woke up each day with one goal in mind: annoy me until I caved to the pressure!  Occasionally they did this individually, but typically they plotted together (there is unity in teamwork!).  Because I viewed them in the wrong way, I didn’t like them. Imagine being pecked to death by little ducks. That explains how I was feeling.

But my viewpoint was wrong!  And not just wrong, it was sinful!  Jesus holds a high view of children, mine included!  In the above verse, it clearly states that they have angels who watch over and care for them.  And not only that, those angels report to God the Father Himself- talk about convicting!!

I left that homeschool conference not just better able to teach my children at home, but to better mother them.  Have I perfected gentleness, patience, kindness, and the other fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24?  No, of course not!  But, I am working on it, and I am liking my children in the process.