Late Bloomers

image

“Look at these blooms!”

I have just returned from a trip with my mother to see my brother and sister-in-law in Eugene, Oregon. I fully expected to see our flower beds in that dried out, dead leaf state that results from a freeze.

But it is October 31 and we have not had a freeze yet!

These late bloomers are especially beautiful to me because they are unexpected.

These flowers are showing off their beauty “out of season” and therefore are that much more enjoyable. This caused me to think about the seasons or phases in our lives and the fact that this delay can create a special appreciation….if we recognize it.

As parents and grandparents we are often looking for developmental milestones in our children. These can be as varied as –

  • talking
  • walking
  • hitting a baseball
  • riding a bike
  • reading
  • writing one’s name

When there is a delay in reaching one of these “milestones”, it can cause anxiety. Yet, often children develop at various rates because not everyone is on the same developmental time-table. Each human is an individual. There are so many variables in life that affect development.

Each stage of a child’s life becomes more precious if we enjoy it for what it is. a “season” or “stage” of life. Some mother’s lament the passing of the baby stage while others look forward to meaningful conversations with their teenagers.

Wait….are those meaningful conversations possible?

YES!

A well-known passage of scripture in Ecclesiastes  3 addresses the various seasons and times in life. We often read this in regard to major life events. I think several of these verses apply aptly to raising children.

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

God has a season and a time for everything. It may not be according to our timing, in fact many things probably WON’T be according to our timing.

Yet God in His infinite love and wisdom will carry out His plan in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

If they are precocious and do things “early”, enjoy that season.

If they progress at a “normal” pace (whatever that is), enjoy that as well.

If they are “late bloomers”, enjoy the surprise and joy of accomplishment with them. The wait can make it all the more sweet.

Above all else, remember – God is faithful.

Advertisements

One and Only

image

“MOM!”

“Nana is right here, Adella”

“MOM!”

Our granddaughter, Adella, had fallen. Her mom had stayed at the house to get the bike trailer attached so they could go on a bike ride together. We had started to the park with her brothers so they could play soccer.

When Adella fell, all she wanted was her mother.

Nana would NOT do.

I tried everything in a grandmother’s bag of tricks –

  • distraction “oh, look at that amazing crack in the sidewalk”
  • empathy “I want my Mom, too, when I am hurt”
  • humor “let’s cut off the leg that hurts”

And when all else fails,

  • bribery “I will buy you a milkshake”

Nothing worked.

When an injured child wants their mother, mother is the one and only person that will do.

As Christians we should be that way with our Heavenly Father.

God should be our “one and only”.

Yet in our culture, think of who and what we go to for “help”-

  • the media “google that”
  • friends “rant on Facebook”
  • move to a new location “I am out of here”
  • alcohol, drugs “self medication”
  • distractions “partying, media, devices”

God wants us to come to Him. In fact, He wants us to come to Him FIRST!

John 6:66-69 says the following in the Amplified translation –

66 As a result of this many of His disciples abandoned Him, and no longer walked with Him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve [disciples], “You do not want to leave too, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You [alone] have the words of eternal life [you are our only hope]. 69 We have believed and confidently trusted, and [even more] we have come to know [by personal observation and experience] that You are the Holy One of God [the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

God is our one and only hope. In our troubled times, and we all have them, as parents, grandparents, yes, and as nations, we must go to God for help.

I love the way Peter, in verse 68 says “You alone have the words of eternal life, you are our only hope.”

Just as our children and grandchildren want their mothers, we must go to God as our source of help, comfort, and life.

God is our one and only hope.

 

 

 

Washing Up

Doesn't their mother bathe them?

“Stay right where you are. After I take a picture, I am going to hose you both off!”

I am so glad I took this picture over 30 years ago. These daughters would probably not remember the time they played in a mud puddle in the yard and finished by smearing mud all over themselves.

They had a great time, then it was time to wash up.

It was a process.

  • hosing down to get the clumps of mud off
  • taking clothes off on the back porch, then quickly running to the bath tub
  • washing their hair repeatedly until I could see their scalps

By the time they were clean, the “fun” of the mud had worn off. As the mud began drying, it did not feel so good on their skin. The scrubbing process also bothered them, washing their hair 4 or 5 times in a row wasn’t pleasant.

I was thinking about the way our culture affects us as parents and grandparents and the idea sprouted in my mind that we often need “washing up” from all the dirt and filth around us.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 Paul is giving instructions to the people in the church in Ephesus. In this verse Paul is asking husbands to love their wives as Christ Jesus loves His bride, the church.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.

God’s word cleans us!
How does this happen?
We live in a world full of unclean thoughts, evil actions, and just plain nasty language. This can fill our hearts and minds if we let it. Yet we don’t have to wallow in the mud of our culture.
If we read and meditate on God’s word, we replace the dirt all around us with God’s cleansing thoughts and we are WASHED BY HIS WORD!
What an amazing blessing!
The challenge for each of us is to aware of the dirt and brush it off as soon as possible. We need to help our children do this as well. When they repeat ugly, unkind words, we can ask them – “Please say that in a more kind way.” Memorizing scripture is a way to continually “wash” our minds throughout the day. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another”. Ephesians 4:32
This also means that we must watch our own words and actions so that we can be examples of someone washed by the word of God.
Our culture so desperately needs the influence of those who are clean, washed by the word of God.
I pray we will be mothers and grandmothers who are “washing up” with the water of His word, helping to wash the little ones we love.