Tag Archives: strength

Gently

We were outside playing and pulling weeds.  Then, we decided to fill the watering cans.

“Flowers need to be strong!”  His little nose wrinkled up when he said it, and he flexed a tiny fist.

I thought only of the bright fuschias, reds and pinks in our meager flower beds.  Strength just didn’t seem to be a characteristic.

Gently wateringDo all little boys revere strength?  From the moment they can compose a sentence, they claim the boast for themselves.  “I can do it!  Look how strong I am!”  Precious young man, may you ever be willing to help.  While this mama brags on her son for his growing muscles, she also recognizes another need.  And yet does not voice it.  Little boys need gentleness.  Enter my job as his mama.  In learning to stop and use a gentle touch, in being compelled to slow down and rein in their impulsive, continuous movements, they just might grow into stronger men.

Carrying water requires strength.  Helping carry one another’s burdens requires even more.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…” Galatians 6:2,9-10

In knowing what it means to brush a petal softly, to pull a weed tenderly, a boy might one day know how to use his inner strength when it is most needed.  One day he might be a man who knows the strength it takes to embrace gently.

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Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves….Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10,12

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Tiny, cold droplets of joy

Like the tiny, cold droplets of Chinese water torture,

so is yet another negative word from a child’s lips.

I crawl to bed, feeling not so much the physical weariness of a mother with toddlers, but  the emotional paucity of one who has battled with discouragement, and lost…yet again.  I am not sure whether our daily struggles are more related to emerging adolescent grumpiness, or a more serious condition related to A’s Asperger’s, but I am often utterly exhausted.  One can smile through an occasional grouchy day, or lightly sigh through temporary bouts of bad attitude.  Yet the ever present negativity?  It affects me…deeply.  It is wearing me down.  Like tiny, cold droplets.

Nehemiah said,….”This day is holy to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:13b

Do not grieve?  There is joy even after every sigh?  In the midst of the constant complaining?  During the meltdowns induced by rigid thinking?  I ache at the evidence that my child seems so unhappy.  So ungrateful.  My anxiety swells as I contemplate his future, and blame myself for his lack of thankfulness and confidence.  How will he rely on God for his strength?  Does he see the beauty around him?  Within him?

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:18-19

Hold me, LORD.  I cannot sleep reflecting on how many times my foot has slipped.  I have spoken the wrong word.  I have yelled the wrong phrase.  I have used the wrong tone.  A rough hand.  An impatient gesture.  A harsh look.

Anxiousness.  Negativity.  They are creating something ugly in our home.  And my foot is slipping.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me…He has sent me to…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

I have read these verses over and over, praying that I will receive an epiphany…or a glimmer of understanding to their significance.  Because, honestly, there are many days like today when I truly have no strength, much less joy.  These are the days when the force of gravity no longer feels like it is pulling me down, but is the only thing holding me up.  There may be a thin line that I cling to in desperation, maintaining my focus.  And I know it is not joy.  It is not even strength, but perhaps the hope of joy, the hope of strength.  I trust it will eventually be mine.  I trust that the joy may one day belong to A.  May I, then, grow and stretch through my sorrow, anxiety, and weariness.  May A one day be an oak.  And may the LORD love his every leaf.

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