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Tending My Garden - Encouragement Café - August 3, 2016

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Tending My Garden
By Sarah Strickland
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 NIV

As I sit here thinking about Spring and Summer, and the beautiful changes it brings to the world around us, I can't help but think of my boys who are also experiencing beautiful changes in themselves.  At 10 and 7 years old, they are really beginning to see life in a new way, and experiencing emotions differently.

But I realize that as we've “wintered over” as a family, being comfortable with each other and in the love we have for each other, that as a mom I've grown some weeds in my heart’s garden.

It's so hard sometimes to look back and remember all the thoughts I had at those ages and how goofy I was. But I always felt accepted and loved, and free to be me.  Looking at myself now, I see how frustrated and anxious I've allowed myself to become with my boys.

Instead of easy laughter, I find myself experiencing easy anger, or being snappy with them for no reason.  When I allow myself to yell at them it causes me to feel such sadness, letting my heart’s weeds grow roots that are harder to pull out, and I lose a little of the excitement Spring and Summer bring with them.

I know my boys know how much I love them, but I don't want to look back with regret on this season in our lives and realize I didn't tend my garden as well as I could have.  

I want to love this time with them; enjoy who they are now and continue to enjoy the young men they are quickly becoming, instead of letting the weeds of anxiety, frustration, and anger overshadow the beautiful flowers they are blooming into right before my eyes.

With daily prayer and Scripture reading, I can find new ways to use my words and emotions to make my boys feel loved and understood.  

I am reminded what special and unique gifts each one is to my life.  James 1:19 reminds me to close my mouth and listen to what my boys are telling me, before I blurt out my frustration with them.  I have hope that they will always want to come to me with their thoughts, fears, questions, hopes and dreams.

For them to feel safe, I have to create that environment for them in the way I choose to react and respond to their words and actions.

Remember how special your children are, that they are a heritage and reward from God.  Like all the different kinds of flowers, each child is unique and loved by God.  He made each one different, with different personalities and different challenges.

As a mom, take time out often to pull the weeds from your heart, and allow yourself to enjoy watching your flowers bloom.  Try to set aside 15-20 minutes at least once each week to think of new ways you can love on and respond to your children.  Write down your thoughts for a quick reminder.  And remember to lift them up daily in prayer to our Heavenly Father. 

Dear God, thank You for the beautiful children You have put into our lives. Please help us to love and nurture them in ways that will honor You. Help us to realize what beautiful flowers they are in our heart’s garden, and help us to keep the weeds from overtaking their innocent beauty. Thank You for the awareness You bring to us, allowing us to begin the process of pulling the weeds so our flowers can thrive.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2016 by Sarah Strickland.  All rights reserved.

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