"But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him." 1 Cor. 8:3
Anyhow, for the last couple of years at Christmas time, I have just been amazed, and in awe of this concept: Emmanuel, God with us.
I love the Casting Crowns song:
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel...
As a momma, we all go through different seasons. There are seasons where you feel like you can barely catch your breath. Like the waves are crashing over you and you just don't have enough in you to do all that needs to be done, taken care of, disciplined, washed, and put away. The Lord was so sweet to me. I was at our homeschool co-op, feeling like I had just barely made it there. I was scheduled to be on prayer team, which is normally my favorite, but for some reason, I just wanted to sit in a chair and not get up (and eat the delicious food!). (The Lord KNOWS me so well!!) Well, for some reason, that day, none of the food was appetizing. So, no reason to stay and eat... might as well go pray!! It ended up being me with two other lovely, godly women. One of which has 8 kids!! They so sweetly encouraged me and prayed for me, and then we all in turn praised God and prayed for the other families there in the co-op. But my dear friend with 8 children (most of whom are grown now) said something, something that would not have meant the same to me unless the Lord had already been working out this awe of Emmanuel in my heart.
She said, "There were days I would come to the door, holding the baby. My husband would walk in the door and ask what we did that day. I would tell him, 'Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We didn't get anything done for school, we didn't clean. Nothing!' And he would respond...."But, who was with them?" "I was." "That's all I ask. That you are with them."
I thought about that.... It is amazing that our truest, greatest need is to have the wrath of God removed from us. And the way that God did that was to be with us. For Christ to enter in, to be near us, to be for us, to be with us. And then He bore that wrath on our behalf.
Being a mom, especially of a large family, is sometimes exhausting, overwhelming.... And homeschooling sometimes adds a responsibility that can make you lose sight of what you started in the first place. But as I relayed the story to my husband, he emphatically agreed that my job is not to produce rocket scientists, or presidents, or engineers. My job, is to be with them. My job is character training, under the leadership of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. My job is to be honest about my own failures and short comings, and to always point them to Christ, who bore God's wrath on my behalf too! And what the Lord develops from their personalities and their gifts.... well, that's His job.
I saw this verse in a new way this week... I have had the first part heavy on my heart the last two years, the second part was heavy on my heart this week:
"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
Just trying to spend my time with the kids these days being with them. Not distracted, not busy, not overwhelmed.... just with them. And whatever we get "done" is just a bonus. (I do normally find that when I am truly "with them", we seem to accomplish so much more. Hmmmm......)