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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mother of the Year

If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

This morning, as I sat on the porch swing with my Bible and devotionals, I realized that my heart was full. Absolutely full.

I thought of my oldest son - presently in Africa on a mission trip - serving God's people and so in love with doing so. He is most alive, most himself, when God is using him in the Kingdom.

I thought of my next 3 children - all teens - preparing for another summer internship at church. They look forward to it every summer. It's a time of Bible classes, serving in the community and friendships. They look forward to being in the house of God, with God's people, learning a little, sweating a lot and serving people in inner-city situations that they don't even understand. They'll spend the internship memorizing Bible truths one day and scrubbing toilets the next. One day they'll take a test on 2 Peter and the next day they'll serve and give in areas of town that most people avoid. And the thing that fills my heart is that they love being a part of it all. They love learning about and practicing being more like Jesus.

So, this morning, as I sat on the swing, seconds away from crowning myself as "Mother of the Year" for producing such selfless and Christlike children, God slowed me down just a bit and reminded me of a few things. Oh, yes He did.

He reminded me of a time years ago, only seconds after learning I was pregnant with each child, that I knelt and dedicated each child to Him and to His Kingdom and to His will - pregnancy test still in hand! (Oh I am a definitely gettin' that award now!) He reminded me of that agreement that I made with Him on 5 different occasions, with each discovery of pregnancy. And then . . . .

He reminded me of how many times I had forgotten that agreement. I was reminded that, though I'd asked Him to reign in my not-yet-born children's lives, that I had doubted Him many, many times.

He reminded me that through the years . . .

When a long-term illness had visited, I believed that God had forgotten our agreement.

When my strong-willed toddler or aimless teen drove me to tears, I thought God had forgotten our deal.

When job losses left no money for lessons, clothes and sometimes school books, I wondered how God expected me to get these kids ready for His Kingdom if he kept allowing my supply to dry up.

When learning problems plagued some of my children, I thought God was being cruel.

When the enemy attacked my marriage, I thought, "God, how in the world am I going to prepare them for Your work in this environment?"

In a nutshell, God reminded me that through the years, at virtually every illness, loss and difficulty, I had suspected that He'd forgotten our deal. I believed the enemy's whispers that the dedication of my children - even before their births - had only been remembered by me. God had forgotten. I looked upon the difficult years and I doubted. And feared. I saw the difficult years and came to the conclusion that if my children were to grow and become like Jesus and walk in their Kingdom purposes, then it was up to me.

(Prideful and clueless much?)

It was then that the Lord began to make clear to me that, not only had He NEVER forgotten our agreement, but that He had orchestrated everything in our lives to bring about my very petition.

While I had been distracted by long-term illness, God was teaching my children to be thankful for health.

While I had wasted time being frustrated over financial loss, He was teaching them to be content with what they had.

While I fought discouragement over relationship woes, He was teaching them that He can heal ANY SITUATION.

When I was convinced that learning problems would crush all potential, God taught them how to be over-comers.

While I spend too many years fretting about how our circumstances were so far from perfect, while I complained that our "wilderness" was too difficult, He was busy using the wilderness to build character in our children. He was equipping them for His Kingdom. He was keeping His end of the deal.

He had been faithful.

So I laid my Mother-of-the-year crown down at the feet of the only One Who deserves it. The Faithful One. The One who knows what we are made of and loves us still. The One who remains faithful to His promises even while we doubt Him. And I am grateful to finally learn, as a wise person once stated:

"There are some things that can only be learned in the wilderness."

Thank You Father, that Your ways are not our ways. Thank You that even when we fight You in the wilderness and complain about it's difficulties and doubt Your goodness in the midst of them, that You are faithful to use them to mold us and make us into the image of Your Son, Jesus . . . which will truly and fully be the answer to every prayer ever uttered. You are Faithful . . . and I am undone.

In Him. . .

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog: All Things Work Together...

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Blogger dianne - bunny trails said...

What a beautiful post. He's so faithful - not only to fulfill His promises, but also to sweetly remind us of His sovereignty. Thank you for sharing. :D

June 14, 2009 at 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Mary McKinzie said...

Darnelle, thank you so much for sharing a cup of rich coffee with me on this beautiful Lord's day morning! It is so true how we are such small flecks of paint on the brush strokes in God's portrait of our lives. His faithfulness, vision and plans are all finite and while He sees the completed portrait, we are caught up in our flaws and poses during each stage of its progression. He is the Master of our life's portrait and we realize upon the unveiling that, in spite of our many flaws, yes the culmination of our unfaithful acts, we are so beautifully blessed because only He could capture our reflection of Him in the final masterpiece.
Forever captured in His reflection,
~Mary M.

June 14, 2009 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger PW said...

Thank you for this reminder as we deal with various situations in our family's life. thank you

June 14, 2009 at 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Wow - what a way for God to reach out and speak to my heart from your experience. Still in the early years of marriage & motherhood, I've found myself asking these same questions - and I am thankful that you shared your struggle and God's words to your heart. They spoke to mine, too.

June 14, 2009 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger TCKK said...

Thank you for sharing this. It's just what I need to hear. I will be showing this to hubby too. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement.

June 14, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This truly spoke to my heart today. A God moment, written just for me as I have been feeling that He has forgotten my prayers for my daughter. He is ever faithful. Thank you for sharing.

June 14, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...


This is one of the best devotions I have read about faithfulness and our children. Your words spoke to my heart... the truth that God is always faithful and knows best. He never forgets our prayers for our kids.

Thank you... I am going to go and just squeeze my daughter now. Love you....

June 14, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Christine Smith said...

This is beautifully written and enjoyable to read. I like the "Mother of the Year" image because so often I'm frustrated by not fitting into the crown. No matter how many mothering mistakes I make, my children still love me. That's the power of an amazing God!Blessings!

June 14, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Dana Hope said...

Darnelle, I loved this post. I went to your personal blog but couldn't find a way to contact you. I would love to share something with you in a more private setting. How can I send you an email? mine is Thanks so much!!!

June 14, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a precious post, bless you dear.

June 15, 2009 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

This is a very powerful post. Thank you so much...sometimes we all need reminding!

June 16, 2009 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

What a powerful, anointed word. Beautiful.

June 17, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Cathie Heath said...

What a beautiful post!

God bless you and your family.

June 27, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

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