Calvary Love, Motherhood and Patience

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photo credit: Jacek.NL via photopin (license)

“If I have not the patience of my Saviour 

with the souls who grow slowly; 

if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) 

till Christ be fully formed in them, 

then I know nothing of Calvary love.” 

 ~ Amy Carmichael

Today, I am sharing from the MOM  Archives…a story  from when things were beginning to get hard communicating with my then budding preteen aged daughter.

I know hard places…dry places, the weary and broken places…I guess that’s why I look forward to the upcoming journey with Ann Voskamp through Faithway as she shares her online Bible Study– check out the link – to see if it’s something for you! Meanwhile, I pray this story/poem blesses you in some way today…

Holding back tears again, I stare at the framed print on the wall.

 It shows two cherubs and the Love verses from Corinthians.

 Ugh. I am weak and weary.

I feel sick.

Jealousy and envy tag-team me,

I double over,

wincing as I imagine the lovely mother-daughter scenarios

taking place everywhere else.

Anywhere else.

But here.

I forget sweet memories and truth.

I hurt deep.

There seems to be no consolation.

Just walls erected.

And one mom feeling defeated,

as her daughter reclines, throwing cheerios

across her bedroom.

Defiant rebellion.

Glorying in her seeming victory.

“I hate you”, she smirks.

The words fall to the floor as a

Cheerio bounces off my chest.

Good times.

I’ve already read enough words that should have me feeling all-powerful.

Quiet time, prayers, Scripture, wisdom, encouragement.

I shrink, and see the images again dance across the screen of my mind…

happy mothers, smiling, relishing their seemingly completely compliant children.

I remember her small.

Still defiant.

Hands on hips in the yard, looking at the house next door.

She stares long and hard. Her back to me.

She is wearing only undies or is it a pull up?

The memory gets blurrier with the years.

She looks back and huffs these words:

“I’m thinking about buying the house next door, so I don’t have to live with you.”

She is 4.

I ask God why He hates me.

Love is patient…

I am angry that this is the first line of 1 Corinthians 13.

I find myself seething.

I take a walk to get out of the house.

Dog walking is my version of Cheers.

Free Psychotherapy.

I step into a role where I am loved, cherished, outright idolized-

let’s face it the dog worships me.

I am the giver of walks!

My neighbor, Kevin with his wife has raised two girls.

Every time I walk by he shares a bit of wisdom.

Today I walk, and almost pass without conversation.

Not happening, God wants my ear.

We say hello.

We make some small talk.

I am not a good hider.

I just don’t do fake well.

He catches me, and somehow he is sharing wisdom again.

He says, “Ya know, I had two girls and it’s not easy.

If I had to give advice I would say this: patience.

I cringe.

He says a few more things about choosing my battles,

winning the war and we admire

the beautiful, unfinished, carved table he is sanding.

I know wisdom when I hear it.

I know God loves me.

I am that table.

God is sanding me.

I am not enjoying it.

I am not sure how I am going to look at the end of this journey.

I am not feeling beautiful.

Kevin comments on the detail,

“I’m a stickler about the sanding.”

He points out a mark on the leg.

“It takes time, but it’s worth it in the end.”

The table is exquisite but will be a treasure when he is finally satisfied

with his efforts and attention.

He sees the beauty yet to be revealed.

I know.

Patience.

*I wrote and shared this in July of 2012. A lot has changesd since then, mostly- my patience…and confidence in God’s faithfulness despite my lack.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Donna Woods
    Jan 24, 2017 @ 14:23:07

    Love this Dawn! I can remember…

    Reply

  2. Cecelia L. Lester
    Jan 24, 2017 @ 14:58:14

    My best friend raised two girls. She had difficult times with both of them. Our son had his own brand of rebellion. A lot of parents and children grow beyond those difficult days. Your neighbor was right; it takes patience and understanding.

    Reply

  3. lynn__
    Feb 02, 2017 @ 20:38:55

    Oooh, the sanding…it hurts, takes time, but (i’m trusting) will make something (me too) beautiful in the end. The strong-willed ones take extra patience!

    Reply

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