What Clarissa has been teaching me about seeds

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I think it’s easy to get frustrated with the people around me. Especially when I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time pouring myself into something for someone else and I don’t see much progress. Whether it’s helping a friend or trying to convince my five year old to eat an actual fruit or vegetable instead of a fruit squeeze and seaweed.

A few weeks ago, Tim and I were discussing Clarissa’s behavior. I said that I thought she would obey better when she was saved and actively following Jesus. Tim said, “I thought you said she was saved.” “Well, she says she believes in Jesus but I’m not really sure she understands sin and her need for a Savior.” Cue some interesting conversations with Clarissa that included, “So at gymnastics today one of my friends asked me what I was going to be for Halloween and I told her nothing. We love God.” I stand corrected.

Sometimes getting to church is such a battle on a Sunday morning and Clarissa says she doesn’t want to go. So then we finally get there, late as usual, and I get her all set up with her notebook to draw during worship time. Sometimes during the music time, she will tap me so I can look at her drawings. Sometimes they are polar bears hunting in Antarctica. But this week was different.

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The first time she tapped me wanted me to see the Earth with all of the islands and that Jesus was in the clouds. The second time, she had added hearts and said that all of the islands love Jesus. At the end, she said, “This is me. I love Jesus. Can you please write at the top of the page: I am happy that Jesus exists.” What?! Little Miss “I don’t want to go to church” is having a real moment with God.

So I just wanted to encourage my reader. You never know what God is going to do with the seeds that you plant. It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like what you are saying or doing isn’t going anywhere. But I was reminded this week that it’s not my job to make fruit happen.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

It’s my job to plant the seeds. It’s just my job to be obedient to do the things He tells me. God is going to do what God is going to do with those seeds. So keep plugging along with your kids, neighbors, and co-workers. We may not see the fruit of what we’re doing now. But God does have a plan for it.

You’re doing a good job!

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I’ve heard a lot of chatter lately about messing up our kids. Let me just encourage you. If you are worried about how you are messing your kids up, you’re probably not.

Newsflash. You’re not perfect. Never going to be. You are, after all, human.

But, God created you to parent your children. There is a reason that each of your children is growing up in your house. As much as every kid thinks that his siblings are the favorite and everything has to be fair, reality is that it doesn’t. Every child in your house is different and so you will have to parent each one differently. Each one of those children has a calling and a purpose. And if you ask Him to, God can show you what that is. He will tell you what they need. They don’t have to wait until they grow up to live it out either. The same Holy Spirit that was in the Disciples and is in you, is in them. God can use your kids to change the world now.

It’s not your job to make sure your kids follow Jesus. It’s your job to live for Jesus in front of your kids. Let them see you ready your Bible. Let them watch you love people well. Let them see you mess up! And ask for forgiveness. They need to see that you aren’t perfect. Pray with your kids. Read the Bible with them. Take them to church. They need to see what faith looks like, even when life is hard.

You plant the seeds. But at the end of the day, Jesus is the one who is going to woo your kids.

All you have to do is live your life. And pray. Ask God to give you wisdom in how you parent your kids. Pray that God would make Himself real to each of your children. That they would know Jesus from a young age. That He would use them mightily for His kingdom. And Trust. Trust that God is faithful. And He loves your kids even more than you do. He took joy in creating each one the way he or she is. His personality. Her smile. The way she won’t stop dancing when music comes on. The way that he wants to kill all the bad guys and save the day. God knows each of your children intimately. He has a plan for each one. Just trust Him. He wants good things for your kids.

You’re doing a good job with your kids. You love them. Well. And you want good things for them. God is going to use that.

Father God, I thank you for each parent who reads this. And for those who aren’t parents themselves, but mentor and love well. Jesus, teach us how to love our kids. Teach us how to train them. Show us what they need. Show us how to point them towards you. I thank you that you have a plan for each one of these kids. And their parents. That you have set these children in their family for a reason. Woo their hearts God. Make your love real to them. Even when they are very small. Grow their faith way down deep in their hearts so that they will never walk away from you. Give them a sense of purpose. Reveal their calling at a young age. May they never shrink back or run away. Teach them to be obedient. Teach them to step out in faith, even when it’s not popular. Even when it’s hard. And give us grace God, for the times when we fall short. That we would ask for forgiveness and move on. That we wouldn’t dwell on our shortcomings, but focus on what You are doing God. Teach us to trust You with our children. Even when we don’t want to. Amen.