Often life is hard, but God is always good

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Are You My Mother?

Are you my Mother? bluebird

Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman

“He shielded and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The Lord alone led him;” Deuteronomy 32:10-11 NIV

Are you familiar with P.D. Eastman’s classic children’s book, “Are You My Mother?”: The newly hatched bird emerges to an empty nest and begins a prolonged search for his mother, asking extremely unlikely candidates, “Are you my mother?”, until his own mom returns to his nest with a worm and his heart is filled with a rush of recognition and affection.

I want to point out the parallel between mother love and God’s heart for us. He is like a mother in his protective, compassionate, and intense emotionally-connected nature. When his protective nature is described using the analogy of a mother eagle who “stirs up its nest” and pushes the fledglings out to fly, we are not shown a God who leaves and flies away as the babies tumble earthward. Instead, in this Scripture, the mother eagle spreads her wings and carries the young eagles on them. Our motherly instinct is to allow our kids to grow and be stretched, but we do not leave them. Our hearts, our prayers, and our help remain entirely present for them.

When my son married, my mom’s heart expanded to include his new wife and stretched, with acute pain, to accept his independence, yet at the same time, I am intensely connected to his well-being, and that of his new family.

In addition, we, as moms, feel for our kids when they have physical or emotional pain: injuries, sickness, heartbreaks, or disappointments, God feels for us as well. “Jesus wept” (John 11:23), often used as an example of the shortest verse in the Bible, represents the loving sympathy of God for those two sisters who lost their beloved brother Lazarus.

Our Heavenly Father is depicted as a mother who wants to gather us up under his wings like a mother hen (Matthew 23:37). The Lord is “compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8 NIV) This truth is echoed in Psalm 145, and 86. We can trust this warm, protective love of God and “like a weaned child” can rest upon his breast in trust and contentment. (Psalm 131:2 NIV) Let’s open our hearts to be mothered by God.


Am I Truly Grateful?

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” I Timothy 6: 6-8 New International Version

When I was a new mom I had the privilege of babysitting my friend Molly’s five young kids.  They lived in a two-story with lots of space, comfy sofas and fun toys.  I left my controlled first-child environment every month to enter her world of mud pies, kids running over to neighbors, and boys up trees.  It freaked me out, but it was good training for my uptight first years of parenting.

One of my most memorable nanny visits included serving the kids their dinner and then putting them all the bed.  No complaints and no whining erupted during the consumption of the healthy stew of rice, meat and veggies.

Then John, the six-year-old, piped up: “Hey, I think we should have ice cream for dessert!”  I yielded to the chorus of eager voices and pulled the half-gallon container from the freezer and opened it.  My heart fell!  In the corner of the carton was a small leftover lump of ice cream.  “Oh no”, I thought, “they will be so disappointed.”

All heads were bent intently over the open container and four-year-old Ben looked up at me and exclaimed: “Yay! There’s enough for each of us to have a spoonful!”  A rush of hands sought the cutlery drawer and passed spoons out.  In a daze, I held the carton steady as they dove in and came up with beaming smiles, smacking their lips with gusto on their small morsel of sweetness.

Photo Credit: Cascadian Farms

Photo Credit: Cascadian Farms

Seventeen years later I am still telling this heartwarming story to others and to my own heart.  Contentment with what I am given by God is a great benefit.  “Great gain” says the Scripture in the Bible.

What do we gain by godliness and contentment mixed together?  Where do I begin? Enjoyment of what we have, calm hearts, peaceful relationships with others are just a sample of the realities.

What inspires you to live life with contentmenl?

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