Mom, Get Out Of The Way!

“…and when you begin to see that person in the middle of a difficult and painful struggle, don’t try to prevent it, but pray that his difficulty will grow even ten times stronger until no power on earth or in hell could hold him away from Jesus Christ.” 

The above quote is an excerpt of my devotional reading this morning. I had to share it because it’s the exact opposite of what I do when I see my child, husband, or any loved one going through a difficult time. As caretakers, women naturally want to take care of a situation. We want to fix it and make it better. It’s hard watching someone go through a storm and if we don’t step in, it appears we don’t care, but the devotional is saying that we get in God’s way and try to be “amateur providences” in the lives of others. Ouuuch!  I remember my mother saying, “If I could live your life for you, I would.” I believe most mothers feel this way, but we have to learn when to get out of the way. This is one of the hardest things for me because I feel like I’m called to protect my children from falling, and to be a helper to my husband. In reality, instead of helping, I’m hindering them from a closer walk with their real Helper! 

We are called to help and protect to a certain degree, and then allow God to be God. Sometimes I go overboard with my help. Mama can’t always come to the rescue – although this mama tries to. My phrase is, “Call me if you need me!” I guess we need to establish a balance – recognizing the limitations of our earthly role, while realizing the magnitude of God’s power. Bottom line - know when to get out of the way!

Who Is That?

Years ago, when Firstborn was just a toddler, I remember pointing at the television, and asking him who the person on the screen was. Firstborn’s reply, with amazement in his eyes, was, “Jesus!”  Of course he had never seen Jesus or even a fictitious picture of him, but he associated the person with Jesus because Jesus was the only conversation Firstborn ever heard from this person.  This “Jesus” was my previous pastor in San Diego, California, Pastor Timothy J. Winters, who went home to be with the Lord over the weekend. Since I heard of his passing, I keep thinking about Firstborn’s association with this great man of God. Wouldn’t it be nice to be associated with such a loving person as Jesus? 

I wonder who I’m associated with? I laugh when I think about this because my walk is far from being like Jesus – more like the wicked witch of the East. Pastor Winters was, without a doubt, a true servant and friend of God’s. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he strived for perfection and his walk was so focused that it inspired others to follow Jesus’ example also. Pastor Winters’ words frequently rewind in my head as they obviously did for my young toddler so many years ago. Hmmm…what words do I leave for others to marinate on? Pastor Winters gave me pre-marital counseling, and financial teaching every first Sunday, but most of all, he taught Jesus in his expository style of preaching. Pastor Winters recently retired, but his words are still working.

Think about it…regardless if we use our words to gripe or gossip or to encourage and edify, the words we choose will go before us and define our character, and linger on after we’re long gone. We are what we speak! Thank you, Pastor Winters for not compromising your words or worship. Your legacy lives on.

The Sarge In Me

Friday evening, I asked Secondborn if he finished reading his book for a project due this morning. He told me he had a few pages to go. I was surprised because Secondborn doesn’t like to read. Secondborn’s answer didn’t settle well with this mama. The title of the book is, Bucking the Sarge, so I asked him who Sarge was. He said it was a lady. I asked what branch of the military she was in. He said he didn’t know. This mama knew Secondborn didn’t read his book. I finally got him to admit his “few pages” were actually over one hundred pages. Nevertheless, Secondborn was on lockdown, and we spent the entire weekend reading to each other. His project was to create a game based on the book, so he named his game, Sargeisms. 

By the way, Sarge was not only a lady, but a mean, cold, in-your-face, rich mother whose son’s friends mocked her ways and words for fun; they were also afraid of her. Hmmm…am I anything like Sarge? I told Secondborn he would thank me later for making him buckle down and read the book. Sometimes a mother has to be a Sarge and do what’s necessary. Our children may dislike us for our decisions, but will appreciate us later. Children, from toddlers to teenagers, sometimes need a Sarge to help set priorities, focus, and to do the right thing. 

As mothers, we have to stay on top of our children, behind them, and in front of them. Sarge’s son ended up taking all her money and leaving the city; Sarge was tough. Hmmm…was the book for me? Well, I enjoyed it and the ending reminded me that when I turn into Sarge, to always show love in my actions – it makes a difference. There can be a sensitive, sensible side to the Sarge in me, too!