I know. I know we have a tornado to discuss, if you want to skip straight to that podcast, here you go.
Hebrews 12:9 ” Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”
What a weird scripture to start with, huh? Not when you read this story.
I have a “Helper.” Any Enneagram fans out there? She is a one but also very high on the personality trait test is her number for being a “Helper.” My Hudson, my oldest daughter, is pure joy and I don’t think I have ever described her that way in my life. She is changing, at 10 years old and I have to constantly remind myself to water her like a flower. Just because I am not a “Helper” I have to be careful not to hinder, for what if God has set her appointments through me? How convicting.
There’s an ink cartridge shortage. Have you heard about it? I was unaware until recently. Hudson came home from school one day and in the middle of one of Hayden’s 3 years old screaming fits about not wanting to go potty, she told me she needed to print 92 copies of a study guide for the entire fourth grade on our printer. I yelled at her to hang on until I could hear her over the screaming. I got Hayden settled, took the dog out, broke up a fight between the girls and started dinner. Sigh. Hudson came to me again and asked me to print 92 copies of the study guide for the fourth grade. I asked her why her teacher is not printing this for the fourth grade, they still have printers, right!? She didn’t really know how to explain why her teacher was asking for a volunteer to print but she assured me that her hand was the first to pop up. Ya’ll, I’m busy. I have Christmas things to do, we all now have displaced tornado families to help, branches to clear, people to text to ask if we can donate here and there. We are all busier than usual in Bowling Green, KY there’s no doubt about it. But this happened before the tornadoes. What was my excuse? Life. 3 kids. Dinner. Baths. Dog. Gas. A busy mind. Social stuff. Working out. Printing a study guide off my printer at that moment was not on the list. What was the first thing out of my mouth? You guessed it, “why did you volunteer me to do this?!” Obviously my Hudson was not thinking all of the adult things I was thinking like 3 pages of a study guide for 92 children is actually somewhere in the 300 page range and that I didn’t have THAT much ink and paper on hand. Also, did she even know how expensive ink is? Also. I’m busy darn it. I reluctantly took the study guide to Staples during errands one day. I waited in line, I tapped my foot, rolled my eyes and after about 20 minutes of printing, the job was done. I paid the $100.00 tab on the machine with a knot in my stomach. It seems like dropping a hundred here and there during the holidays is just the thing to do. I called a teacher I love and can trust to ask why-oh-why did I have to print this for the entire fourth grade? Well, come to find out there is an ink cartridge shortage at school. All the teachers are fighting over toner and it’s so very nice of me to print the study guides for all these kids!
Humbled and humiliated at my attitude toward the entire thing, I handed Hudson the huge stack of copies to her delight. My Helper was SO pumped to walk into school the following morning and don’t worry, I told her how awful I was about the whole thing.
I have another short story to tell you and we will get on with it. Our neighborhood friend set up a hot cocoa stand for contribution of the devastating tornadoes. Still, 4,000 people are displaced. We jumped on the opportunity to walk to the hot cocoa stand, donate and help. Once it got too cold for the two youngest we ran home (almost half a mile mind you) to begin on dinner. Who comes running through the front door after ditching her bike in the yard with red cheeks and bright eyes to ask for more cocoa for the entire neighborhood? Wait, wait, wait. You have to understand. It’s cold. She is on her bike. My other two kids and dog are comfy on the couch watching TV. I can actually cook in peace. And now I am supposed to rig a way to get a bunch of hot cocoa to the front of the neighborhood?! Just like that? I was unkind. I told her to quit volunteering me for stuff when I’m not there, doesn’t she understand she cannot ride her bike with a slow cooker full of hot chocolate? Doesn’t she understand that me taking the hot cocoa in the car would require leaving the other two by themselves for a few minutes or getting them out of their comfy positions and dragging them along just so she could save the day with another batch of cocoa?
She is 10. She does not understand Mom-xiety yet. She just wants to help. The woman who set up the hot cocoa stand raised more than $800.00 for families displaced by the storms. And once again I am reminded that I am merely the Earthly parent. I discipline as I know best, but God knows far better than me. I should really consider that serving the kingdom of God is rarely planned on our end, rarely uncomplicated and will always require discomfort. Usually when we think of discomfort in serving we think of time and money, but do we ever think that serving will complicate even getting a hot dinner on the table? Or do we ever stop to think that we could stand in the way (cause someone to stumble … ahem) of God’s appointments? He made Hudson a helper. He made her a go-getter which by proxy makes me a helper and a go-getter. I not only have my own appointments to keep, but through me, Hudson has to keep her appointments no matter how tedious or annoying they are in the moment to me or the family. How silly for me to think I always know best. God gave her to me, but she is ultimately His. And He must have whispered in her ear long ago that she must help where she can, which includes drawing more than 20 cards for children with cancer, making a huge vat of hot cocoa for tornado victims and printing more than 300 pages of a study guide for her classmates.
I am humbled.
Heb 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God
Heb 13:21… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ.
Heb 13:13 … “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Heb 4:7 … “Today, if you hear his voice, do not Harden your hearts.”
So, none of this is on any of our recent podcasts! ha ha! Here are the last three and as usual, they’re good and full of free chicken as Shane always says.
Here is the link to GBC’s service last week, Shane’s message was so good but he too was getting the nudge from God to make sure we all know to keep His appointments.
Merriest of Christmas to you and yours, we will be back after the New Year with more podcasting but rest assured I will be deep in my bible until then to get a good word from the Good Word.
Thanks for listening and reading,