by Susan Sampson

Silence.  As I began to review my notes, that was the word that spoke the “loudest” to me.  The Lord is so kindly shepherding me in my parenting and I am so thankful.  I desperately need His help.

If I was growing an actual olive tree in my back yard, I don’t think I would yell at it to get it to grow.  Please forgive me, Lord, and thank you for your mercy and grace!

My Scripture from last week was Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”  My children are now 15, 12, and 10.  I see now that for years I left them to themselves.  I did not carefully tend my tender olive shoots.  I did not see them then as tender olive shoots.  I was completely self-absorbed in my agenda.  To this day, I continue to battle against selfishness, but the Lord has been so kind in softening my heart and growing my love for Him and my children.

My hearts’ cry for myself, but especially for moms with young children, is to please hear now what the Lord is asking of you.  Tend your garden carefully and diligently.  Diligence is the opposite of laziness.  If you are in this study with very young children, you have been given an amazing gift.  Please, I implore you not to squander it.  Lay down your agenda now.  Make the time now.

I let the world disciple my children in many ways.  And it is so very challenging trying to change our ways now that they are older.  But with God all things are possible. He is in control at all times.  He is teaching me to trust Him.

My flesh always wants the easy way out.  I love comfort and ease.  I love peace and quiet.  I just want them not to argue, so the TV is an easy way out.  I just want to drive in peace, so the movie player in the car is the easy way out.  Please don’t ask me any more questions, I just want…silence.

I think now of another moment there was silence in a sense.  Jesus, while bearing all of these sins of mine and of yours, heard nothing but silence from His own Father.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).  This was His cry so I could be made right with God.

He saved my life in exchange for His life so I could live my life for Him.  The Lord has given my husband and myself  3 precious gifts fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.  His call to us is clear in Matthew 28 to teach them to obey His commands.  His call to us is clear in Deuteronomy 6 to teach them diligently His commands.

The word apprentice is so very helpful because I know my flesh wants the easy way out.  It’s much easier for me to yell out the order, “Go clean your room” than to come alongside and shepherd them and train them and patiently teach them however long it may take.  The Bible tells us that Christ has “unlimited patience” (see 1 Tim. 1:16, NIV).

Why do we not see that our children are so much more important than our pet projects (remodeling, decorating, scrapbooking, crafting, shopping, exercising….)  Will we make the time for them?  Will we invest in the eternal?  Will we let go of our fear of what others think?  How will we respond?  What legacy will we leave?  My scrapbooks aren’t going to heaven with me.

We have been given God’s amazing grace.  We have been given Christ.  Grace is in us.  Jesus is commanding us to walk in His ways.  To follow Him.  To uphold His Word in our home and with our children.  “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” (Ps. 128:1).

Time to go in the grace of God and tend our tender olive shoots.


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