Thursday, March 14, 2013

No fruit today

Some days are so long, and so full of up hill battles in my little house full of children.
Some days I really feel like we make no headway at all,
that there is no progress, no growth or positive change in any way.
There are some days when I feel like I am wasting some of the talents the Lord
has given to me, to spend day after day after day training and working with little to no fruit
to show for it.
It can be so discouraging.

So the other day when I came back to these Scripture verses that I hadn't read in a hundred years, it was so refreshing and uplifting:

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labor of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

On days that are particularly stressful and full of yelling, belligerent children,
schoolwork that is not getting finished,
4000 pounds of laundry,
dishes up to my elbows,
and rain outside that keeps the children trapped indoors,
I always forget that the Lord is still at work.
What I see in my house is like a dormant tree in the winter.
Just because it looks "dead" doesn't mean that there is not life happening
on the inside that needs nourishment to produce the flowers
of spring and fruit of harvest.
The Lord has promised that there will be another season coming.
There will be flowers and a time of enjoying
the fruit of my labor.
In the meantime, I am commanded to.......rejoice.
How hard that is sometimes.

Apparently, my family is an anomaly in our church because of our size.
(I find it especially interesting that this is a fact in a CHURCH no less!!)
When we walk in together people have a comment on the number of children we have,
or how one child in particular is behaving at the moment,
or that they "don't know how we do it,"
or they smile as if offering some source of empathy.

A dear, sweet, precious older lady came up to me a while back,
and mentioned something to me about all our children,
and that she had written a poem
when she was in a season of caring for several young grandchildren.
She wanted to give me a copy of the poem,
and I share it with you here.
It follows up my previous thoughts quite well.

Scattered Toys
by Barbara Harvey

Thank you Lord for scattered toys
around my living room.
They tell of little girls and boys
whose joy dispel the gloom.
I know of other folks my age
whose home are neat and clean?
They'd trade their empty lonely cage
and table tops that gleam,
for just one little dirty face
on one sweet little child,
to scatter toys around their place,
to laugh and cry and smile.
Sometimes I get discouraged, Lord,
with all the work to do.
The jobs that just can't be ignored,
and then I think of you.
Do you get tired of all my mess,
and my complaints and gripes?
Yet you clean me up when I confess
and make my black heart white.
Please give me, Lord, the patience
to face each day with joy,
and clean up all the messes
as I love each girl and boy.

**Reposted from the archives**

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