Tea and Oxen

Oxen

Up at 6:00 a.m., attempting to jump in the shower before the little ones open their eyes.  You wonder if they can hear when you open your eyes, because so often they begin their fussing as soon as you peek at the new day.  So often your day begins before you are spiritually, mentally, or physically prepared.  Once again you feel slightly out of control and a little cheated of that hope for the morning peace, maybe even that short devotional time.  Once again you’re moving at the speed of light, almost like trying to run in front of a fast moving train! If you don’t get them breakfast fast enough, you have fits and tears until the food hits their tongues.  The laundry sits in piles in the hallway, and you can’t seem to get near enough to it to deposit it into the washer because of diaper changes, storybook time and the play dough set-up squeezing out all the tasks that are so vital to keeping your world turning.  You feel discouraged, depressed and defeated!  Has it ever crossed your mind (as it has mine), that if only you didn’t have these little ones demanding so many of your designated daily minutes, that your house would feel warm, fresh and inviting?  You’re table would be ready to receive your sisters in the Lord for the slightly sweet cup of tea and the smell of freshly baked coffeecake (vs. the smell of dirty diapers) would sift through the air and fill your home with the invitation for fellowship?  Hmmm….

Have you ever heard or actually stopped to think about Proverbs 14:4?  I love this verse.  As is often true of God’s Word, it has the ability to set my mind straight, comfort me, encourage me and give me the determination to push on for the prize!

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,

but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

Proverbs 14:4

As we long for that “manger” that is in order and the sweet fellowship around our dining room table, truly what is valuable is the precious task that God has ordained for our lives, to bring up our little “oxen” in the admonition of the Lord.  We have to keep our eyes on what’s to come, not on this present day.  Our manger could be empty and would be peaceful, but what could that do for the Kingdom of God that would be as much a privilege for us as having those little lives trained up to become the next generation’s Christian workers, bringing in the harvest for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom?

Mommies, be encouraged!  The hand that rocks the cradle, truly rules the world.  Say “yes” to God and allow Him to use you to impact the lives in your home!  Only then will they make the difference for those who will grow up in homes and schools with no God.  Work to bring your children to the place that their knowledge of the love of Christ will spill out as an offering to the future adults in America, that they may know the living God, and the life of transforming grace. Teach your children to Love God with all their heart, soul and mind, and love their neighbor as themselves (Matt. 22: 37-39) and watch the fruit that will be gathered as a result!

You missed your morning devotions?  After breakfast, sit down with your little ones and share a morning devotional with them.  I have sometimes been more effected by the children’s devotionals than some of my favorites.  Purchase small little baskets, so when it’s time to do the laundry, your little one is by your side helping with his own little basket of laundry.  Allow him to empty the dishwasher (of course previously removing sharp knives or easily breakable items first :0)).  That’s when you have the opportunity to pour into his heart with your words of wisdom, instead of promoting the worldly wisdom of some foolish stranger on television.  If you involve them in the duties of the day, instead of being a distraction, they become a part of the family team.  They will feel so productive, as if they are part of the solution instead of the problem.  Kids love to be an important part of the family!!  They won’t be getting into trouble, just to get your attention.  It will take a little more time and patience for you to get the duties of your day completed, but it beats not doing them at all.  And in the long run, your little ox is growing into the strong ox that will till the fields and gather the fruit for Heaven.  Your investment, your joy, your treasures! It’s so much better than a cup of tea!

Sharon Cannavo


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