Sometimes I wonder why my house seems always to be a mess, and my desk remains awash in papers and overdue projects. I need only reflect on days like today and the reasons become crystal clear. If only my calendar could predict such days, and give me a little advance warning…
(Apple, can that be part of the next iOS? Pretty please?)
My kids are not yet teenagers, so I’m still not entirely prepared when clear skies cloud over, and seemingly calm seas gust into a choppy gale of emotion and free-flowing tears. Today, one child was beset by friend-troubles, while another was devastated that his favorite video game system (which he doesn’t own) was discontinued last year, never to return.
Mothering takes so much wisdom, doesn’t it? It’s easy for me to forget that simple reality. Then I encounter a day like today: seemingly one child after the other — clamoring over and shouting down each other in their
demands pleas for my attention — needing assurance, compassion, or a verbal kick in the britches.
And traffic control is only the first hurdle. On its heels comes the need to listen to the outpouring of their hearts and minds, and then to respond with wisdom.
Even in my advancing years, I’m still tempted to glance over my shoulder in search of an “adultier” adult. Surely, I can’t be the chief sage here? Isn’t there another mother you could ask? She of the dry humor and sarcastic quips is, at times, woefully under-equipped to listen with love, and respond with wisdom, when my children’s hearts need nurturing and tenderness.
I’m their mother. I love them to the ends of the earth. And yet: wisdom is not a given.
There are many times that I blow it. I don’t respond with the wisdom, compassion, and grace they need. I can be glib and ungentle. Sometimes I lecture like it’s a paying gig. Or I jump to conclusions, in my haste to resolve a problem and get back to the “important” things.
Fortunately for me and my children, while wisdom is not a given, it can be given.
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Far too often, I find myself dispensing “wisdom” from an empty vessel. And it’s exhausting. It leaves me drained and dissatisfied. How can we hope to address the needs of our children, if we don’t first consecrate ourselves by the asking and receiving of wisdom from our Father in Heaven? We ourselves must first be filled, and for this, we must ask.
It’s a humbling thing, asking for help. As adults and mothers, we should already have this figured out, shouldn’t we? By acknowledging our need for wisdom, we’re admitting we have an inadequacy. A chink in the armor, so to speak. But if we are to truly shepherd our children’s hearts with the love and wisdom they need, vulnerability is required — of them and of us. If they can ask for our help, surely we can (and should) ask for His.
Our request will not return empty. We have His promise.