Archives For children
My daughter recently went with me to a speaking engagement where I shared the journey of my pregnancy with her (you can read about it here). It was one of the most distraught times of my life. Although Cauri had heard the story many times, she had never heard the feelings I experienced during that time. It moved her to tears to know I loved her so much.
And that broke my heart.
I realized although I sometimes share reasons for my teaching or discipline with her, many times I don’t share what I’m feeling.
So my dear, darling, challenging daughter, I want to share with you what I feel almost on a daily basis raising you.
I wake in the mornings and feel worried.
Worried that your heart will be hurt by unkind peers or impatient teachers.
Unfortunately, as the morning continues, I feel angry.
After fighting to get you out of bed, we argue about running late, lost homework, complaints about nothing to take for lunch, and leaving a huge mess in the kitchen for mom to clean since you “don’t have time.”
When you leave for school, I feel relieved.
Relieved we have time to get over ourselves and come back together in the evening for a fresh start.
Relief quickly turns to sadness.
Sadness that I am the one who caused you hurt before the day even had a chance to begin.
The day is then spent feeling helpless.
Helpless as I wonder about your day. How the test is going for which you spent so much time studying, if your friend is still upset with you and turning mutual friends against you, if the bully who sits behind you in two classes is calling you “stupid,” again, about your decisions and if they are wise or made out of emotion. And knowing you’re dealing with all of it away from me and beyond my help or rescue.
By the time you waltz in from school and you look content and happy, I feel reassured.
Reassured all went well during the day.
Reassurance quickly turns to feeling irritable.
Irritable from the complaints over what I’m making for supper, from all the arguing between you and your siblings, from all the things I’m trying to remember: which kids have activities, who is driving what carpool, everything on my to-do list that did not get finished earlier in the day, how much homework each of you has for the evening, calls or emails I need to return before the evening is over. I’m irritable and don’t listen well. I’m short with my words and yell.
As the evening progresses, I feel tired.
Tired from not knowing how to help with homework, from not knowing how to give you direction with your life question, from the sibling arguments, from disrespectful talk toward your dad and me, from feeling unappreciated after having worked at my job and on the house and taking care of all your needs throughout the day, tired from my brain working in overdrive, and tired from all those feelings I’ve been experiencing.
When the evening is over and we all go to bed, I feel guilt.
Guilt over not handling your questions well, not listening when you were trying to tell me something important, saying things to you I shouldn’t have, not having all the answers to your needs.
And guilt for feeling worried, angry, relieved, helpless, irritable, and tired. All of which reminds me of my shortcomings as a mom.
I leave my bed to check on you sleeping kids and I feel thankful.
Thankful God gave me such wonderful kids, thankful all of you are tucked safely in your beds in our warm house, thankful you made a decision to accept Christ’s sacrifice and are guaranteed eternal life, thankful you are mine.
I feel thankful and I kiss you on the forehead as you sleep.
And then I pray! I give all of my feelings and all those things out of my control to God.
Through it all, I feel indescribable love for you.
But know love is MORE than a feeling. While feelings change, my love for you never does! And that love, dear child, will never be compromised!
© 2015 Connie Davis Johnson
Took a walking tour of Gonzanama yesterday. Since white people are a rarity around here, we created quite a stir. People were coming out of their houses, sticking their heads out of businesses, and stopping their cars to stare at us. It was quite funny.
The people are very friendly, especially the children. The children have a hard life. Many work during the day to help their families and then must attend school at night. As we drove through town at 9:00 last night, we saw children walking home in their school uniforms carrying backpacks. It was a strange sight to see after dark.
We’ve had the opportunity to visit a couple of family homes in Portete. Both homes were very primitive. The toilet and shower were outside. And they were equipped very sparsely. Most people in Portete do not own a refrigerator or have other items that we feel are a necessity in America.
Houses are tucked into the mountainside making them only accessible by rocky paths or steep stairways. Although they have challenges that would stretch the average American beyond imagination, they are joyful and make it work.
We were privileged to have one family invite us to their house and make us lunch. The dad cooked the meat outside. He used a pan that fit into a chair that was missing the seat. He then set up a blowtorch underneath the pan. The picture is above.
The blowtorch kept falling and at one point caught the “nearby grass on fire. The daughter calmly walked in the house and brought out a bowl of water to put it out. He then cooked plantains in the meat fat. It wasn’t the healthiest of meals but it was excellent!
We led another day of VBS and loved on many kids. They loved every minute of our time together. They especially enjoy having their picture taken so I can’t wait to share those with you.
Last night we attended a women’s bible study held in a family home. The hunger these women and children had to learn more about Christ was incredible. So many Christians have lost that hunger somewhere along the way and it made me realize how we need to be intentional about holding onto it. Loving the bible, loving to meet together, loving our leaders, loving each other, holding each other accountable, sharing it with others. That’s what I desire.
Today, we will lead our last VBS with the children. All of us are very excited to work with these kids again. Today, we will be explaining how to come to Christ and allow Him to bridge the gap between them and God. We want them to know God sent His Son to die for our sins. He took our place when our punishment was to be death. Our desire is for them to realize the unfathomable love God has for each of them to offer such a gift as His Son to die in their place.
They can have eternal life in Heaven with a Father that never fails them if they just believe and pray asking God to forgive them of their sins. If you have not prayed this prayer, have questions about God and this gift He offers, please message me. I would love to speak more with you.
Please be praying for us today as we work with the kids and as we visit the same family who fed us lunch the other day. A couple of people will be sharing what God has done for them with this family. We are here to be the hands and feet of Christ. Pray that He will use us in powerful ways.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:16-18 (The Message)
Disclaimer: These blog posts and other social media activity contain my own personal views & opinions and may not represent the views, beliefs, or ideas of my teammates or the church I am involved with currently or have been involved with in the past.