Monday, August 13, 2012

Motherhood and Seeing Jesus




1. Have you seen Jesus?
Have you heard of Katie Davis

A few months back the pastor at the church we attend gave a brief overview of Katie Davis’ story in a sermon he preached. Though the story was moving I was not at a point in my walk where it had much impact past Sunday morning. However, this past week a friend reminded me of her journey and I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I put it on my “to do” list (i.e. the list of things that IF the kids nap at the same time, or IF they go to bed on time and actually fall asleep, I will get done in the next couple days… or years. :)  ahhh the joys of motherhood!)
When the kiddos went to bed at 9:00 last night there was minimal crying/getting out of bed to pee/I only got called in twice for more hugs and kisses. So I went to http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.ca  and started to read.

Katie Davis: June 15 2012
“People expect romantic, and all I have is a wildly disorganized bookshelf and dirty children shrieking with too-loud laughter. People expect that the days all hold life-saving medicine given to children on the brink of death and profound revelation and while some do, most consist more of peeling potatoes and wiping spills and listening to recited memory verses and biting my tongue as spaghetti sauce splatters everywhere and I light the pot holder on fire, again.”

            Motherhood. There are moments of beauty in the journey but on a day to day basis it can be nothing more and nothing less than a mundane, never-ending lesson in patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, selflessness, and a constant humbling awareness that we are impossible sinners who have absolutely no chance at even a semblance of loving these precious little lives in the way that we are called to… except by the Grace of God. 
Now, apart from this understanding, my story and Katie Davis’ story hold few parallels:

I am a mother to two… she is a mother to fourteen.
When I tucked Braden and Talia into bed tonight, they were safe and sound in their beds in British Columbia, Canada…in a country where fevers don’t kill babies and toddlers because Advil and Tylenol can be found at the gas station down the street. Where antibiotics are paid for under MSP… and in the event of an emergency the nearest hospital is ten minutes away and an ambulance can get to my house in five. When they wake up in the morning there will always be food eat, and clean water to drink and PLAY in. When I meet with my Moms group or spend time with friends during the week, their children will not be malnourished or have bodies ravaged by the HIV virus. There will not likely be a need to open my doors to strangers and invite them to live with me and my children while I nurse them back to health. And when I get exhausted by sleepless nights and the daily “grind” I will only have to look my husband in the eyes and he will send me off to go for a run, or have coffee with a girlfriend.

            And yet:

I am a mother. She is a mother. And though I do not know her personally I imagine that the prayer she prays over her little ones would echo the prayer I pray over mine as I go into their rooms and cover their sleeping bodies with their blankets and lay a hand on their chests just to feel them breathing.

“Thank you Jesus for my beautiful babies. Lord would you wrap your arms around them and protect them when I cannot, and would you daily draw them closer to you. By your grace would you open their eyes to you and give them the faith to believe and trust. May they see Jesus in me and the world around them, and may they live to enjoy and glorify you here today and into eternity.”

For those of you who know mine and my husband’s story, you know that in the past few months God has opened our eyes to him and given us a faith to believe and trust in him. 

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:1-10 NLT


And by the Grace of God, everything has started to change. Where once I lived in worry and anxiety (bordering on paranoia) because my greatest fear was that something could happen to my children, I now live in peace. Not dismissing or diminishing the responsibilities given to me to protect and responsibly care for the precious gifts that are my children, but living in the trust that as we walk with God in obedience to the Spirit’s leading, He will hold me, my husband, and my babies close to His heart and lead us into His perfect plan for our lives, for His Glory and our greatest Joy. 

            I have seen Jesus. I am a follower of Christ and a mother… and in motherhood I catch a glimpse of God’s selfless love for His creation. If I could give Jesus to my precious children I would do it in a second. I would suffer eternity apart from my beautiful saviour if in doing so I could grant my children eternity WITH him. Instead, I walk in faith, and allow my most fervent prayer to be that in His great mercy God would open their eyes to Him and grant them the faith to believe in His Son. I pray that God would protect them and keep them safe, because I am their mom, and I never wish to see them suffer in anything. I would like their testimonies to be that there was never a moment when they did not know, love, and trust Him for their salvation, their identity, and their joy. But if their safety, and their coming to Christ cannot coexist… if in our following the Spirit’s leading, or in spite of it, I must watch them walk through tough times, I will continue to pray that His will be done. Because they need to see Jesus; I need them to see Jesus. 

            In a post from February 2011, Katie puts it like this:

“Strangers eat at our table, bathe in our showers, sleep in our beds, share our everything. And I fleetingly wonder if it wouldn’t be better for my girls if I maintained some semblance of normal, but He shows me that HIS definition of family is not at all limited by my own.

I want to see Jesus.

I want to see Jesus and if I don’t step out, how can He come in? If I don’t give all of myself, my home, even my family, how will He be magnified?

Do I want my children to be safe? Absolutely. Do I want them to have a “normal” family dinner sometimes and be healthy and not be subject to the rage of an alcoholic or the hurt of friends dying and siblings leaving? Of course. But more than that I want to take a cue from my baby girl.
I want to whisper to them excitedly each morning, “Look, Jesus.”

I want them to see Jesus. In my life. In my actions. Lifted High. Magnified. In our neighbours, no matter how sick or dirty. In our home.

I want the best for my children, I do. And I believe with all my heart what is best is for them to have a mother – a crazy mother even – wide-eyed in wonder, recklessly chasing after her Savior.

More of Him. We want to see Jesus.


For His Glory,
Amanda


"But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord - who is the Spirit - makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."


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