three promising words

I had this series of thoughts a week or two ago, and they seemed quite blogworthy at the time. But like many good things (encouragement, fresh fruit, open soda) they seem to have lost some of their sweetness over time. But in the busyness of today, I find that I am using these thoughts to encourage myself once again, and so perhaps it is timely to pass them along. 

One of the frustrations of being a mom is the decisions I face, decisions that seem so big and heavy and weighty in the big scheme of things. A few weeks back I felt like I was pondering things in the lives of each of my kids, questions like:

  • Homeschool next year: less curriculum? more curriculum? Can I really raise the bar and add a baby? Should we join a more formal group? How do I break some bad habits I formed this year?
  • Ella: what do I do with her doing school? How do I bring some order to her bedtime? Is she ready to potty train?
  • Isaac: what are realistic academic expectations for him? How do I coach him through his rocky wakeup routine? Is he falling through the cracks?
Ok, so as I write them they don't really sound all that weighty. But they are the stuff that my day is made of, the interactions that constantly repeat themselves and make me say, "Why are we still doing this when it's not working?" 

As I thought about these and a multitude of other organizational topics, needs of friends, outreach opportunities, and more- this came to me:

As a mom, I need many things.

I need energy, and for that there is sleep (an option I don't seem to choose enough) and diet coke and small doses of coffee for the very fuzzy mornings (and red bull for when the years of pregnancy and nursing are over!)

I need ideas, for which there are blogs and books and veteran-mom friends who have tried and true ideas to offer.

I need back up, which my husband, mom and friends are happy to offer when I cry for help. 

I need encouragement, which is usually just a phone call away if I will dial and admit that I need it.

But more than anything else, I need wisdom.

Sheesh, just wisdom? There are websites and books and seminars and experts. That should be easy. No, I find that no one can really tell me how to parent my children. They are unique, their needs diverse- I can't even parent each of them the same.

I remember back to the speaker I heard from Mali, Marthe (a Malian pastor's wife) who said we do not need the wisdom of men that is found in books, we need the wisdom of God that only He can give to us for the needs of each day.

And then I think on this, the very great promise of James 1 that is carrying me through this chaos called early childhood:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."- James 1:5

What has struck me lately about that verse is the phrase "without finding fault". Sometimes I have a very subtle idea in my mind that if I made the mess, I need to fix it. That perhaps God does not want to help me undo things that I did not consult him on. But I think James 1:5 tells me differently.  He does not find fault with my mistakes, with the fact that I really botched up many areas and need His wisdom to restore them. I only need ask- and wisdom will be given.

Isn't that freeing? When I think of the difficulties of navigating relationships, the land mines ahead in the teenage years, the many questions in my mind that seem too big to even engage- I can answer them all with the peace that God will give me wisdom, for He has promised to. 

Without finding fault. Three promising words. And a good example- that if others seek my input, I might try to guide them without finding fault

(It is good to note that the next verse does have one stipulation- that when we ask Him we must believe and not doubt. See James 1:6 for that)

I feel like in light of that verse, I can "laugh at the days to come". I can trust the decisions I make. I can commit my ways to the Lord and move ahead in confidence.

Wisdom is there for the taking. Dear friends, ask in faith and find it in abundance. 


Victoria said...

Right on! I've been carrying around that very verse on an index card, which is now very tattered and wrinkled from being pulled out and shoved back in my pocket for the last week. Still pondering what the next verse means. Does it mean doubt that God WILL give wisdom or doubt what He gives as wisdom? I find myself not only asking for wisdom, but the wisdom to recognize it as wisdom. I could be in a downward spiral here.

Christy said...

I loved this post. I often tend to turn to books written by "the experts" whenever I am lacking, and need the reminder that God is the one true giver of Wisdom. Well said!!

Tawnya said...

And especially after crying to myself in the shower this morning, this post was written for me to read tonight. Thank you Becky!