Not that you can ever plan it, but we really wanted to have our children close together.
When our first son Tobi was just 6 months old, I became pregnant with our second child.
And so when Tobi was just fourteen and a half months old, I gave birth to our daughter, Eliana.
And when our third child, Spencer arrived, my daughter was not yet two years old and Tobi had literally just turned three.
“What were you thinking?” people had asked, understandably.
But it was no accident on our behalf … or God’s.
It’s been a really crazy past few years.
You can read all about here on this blog but when Spencer was just one year old, we packed up our life in suburban Melbourne and moved here to Northern Thailand to work as volunteers at ZOE Children's Home.
It’s been a whirlwind of experiences since then.
And life has definitely had its ups and downs.
There are parts of it that have actually become a bit of a blur, but what I do know is that God has had His hand on my life, and on my family's, the entire time.
My children (now 6, 5 and 3) are my delight. I get more and more excited about how God will use them as I see them grow and change.
Recently as I was making dinner, Tobi (6) came in to the kitchen and offered to help.
He started by washing the mounting pile of dishes for me, took out the garbage, went and had a shower and then returned to help set the table for the evening meal.
I was impressed!
I marveled to myself at how capable he’d become.
How after all these years of feeding him, nurturing him, caring for him and doing most things for him; how he was now able to give back… he was actually being really useful.
After all these years, he was ready to help.
Now I know that this transformation didn’t happen quickly or suddenly.
It’s taken years of patience. It’s been messy. And it’s been repetitive.
But it suddenly dawned on me that night how much more mature he was now.
What happened next was what often occurs when God wants to get my attention.
He uses scenarios, like this, where I am quietly mulling over something, to speak to me and explain something to me that He wanted to say.
And so it was, as I stood in my kitchen, spatula in hand, that it felt like God gently whispered,
“That’s also how I feel about you”.
“Every time that you develop and grow spiritually and you get your teeth stuck in
to a big piece of juicy steak instead of just drinking milk from a bottle.
Each time you feed yourself on My Word instead of just having it all cut up nicely into bite sized pieces.
Every time I see you helping to feed and teach someone else from My Word
instead of needing to be spoon-fed yourself, you are showing me that I can use you too!
The way you marvel at your little children and how much they are growing, learning
and becoming ‘useful’ is the same way that I feel about you.”
I’d never really thought about it like that before.
And as I stood and stirred my wok of fried rice, I felt encouraged that my commitment to grow more each day in the knowledge of His Word actually made Him happy… and proud.
Just like how I had felt about my own small son several minutes earlier.
So I encourage you today:
· Read God’s Word so that you know what it says.
· Study God’s Word so that you can begin to understand what it means.
· Memorize God’s Word so that you can use it when you need it.
· Live God’s Word and make your life-decisions based on it.
Let’s keep on growing up and being useful, shall we?
**A similar version of this post was recently included in the Mum to Mum magazine. Created and edited by Narelle Nettleback, this magazine includes articles by Narelle and other Christian mums with the intent to encourage, inspire and motivate mums in their walk with God and along their journey of motherhood. Narelle lives in Western Australia with her husband and two sons and blogs at Moments For Mum.