Today I'm linking up with all the other women in the Good Morning Girls Summer Book Club where we're studying Sally Clarkson's wonderful book "The Ministry of Motherhood". This week we're learning about the gift of Inspiration.. how do we inspire our children to get a sense of the awesome power and presence of God in our everyday lives and how do we inspire them to reach out to others and show them God's love.
In Chapter 7, Sally tells us of a time she and her daughter just dropped everything on a particularly stressful day and ran outside to look at a spectacular sunset, which lifted both their souls out of the doldrums. She says "Its so easy for our human spirits to get bogged down in the tangible realities of each day.." Oh how true this is.
I'm so guilty of rushing around all day without stopping to 'smell the roses'. When my little daughter points out a pretty flower or butterfly, its an automatic response that I give her most times. This study has brought to my attention that I'm losing out on a valuable opportunity to teach her about how God created all this for us because He loves us.
Recently, we had a heavy downpour and there was some thunder.. we're in for a lot more of this weather as the rainy season/hurricane season is upon us. Lillie absolutely hates thunder and although we laughed when she dove under the covers to hide, I realise it was a timely opportunity to teach her about the awesome power of God. A God, so powerful He could create strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning but gentle enough to give us beautiful rainbows, gentle breezes, awesome sunrises or sunsets and a sky full of night stars and a gorgeous full moon.
I should be showing her, showing all of them, how this same God has us in the palm of His hand and He is strong enough to take care of us and loving enough to want the best for us.
In this same Chapter 7, Sally points out how life was often hard on the disciples, but Jesus would help them to experience the presence of God to inspire them by using all the things that He had created. He also ministered to many people this way, encouraging them to think beyond their individual situations and hardships to the God of all creation who would provide their needs.
She quotes Matt 6:25-26 "That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father fees them. Are you not worth much more than they are?"
This verse is very close to my own heart. I have always felt closer to God when I am in His creation. I used to sit and pray looking out my bedroom window. It was in one of these times that God made a covenant with me using a little bird outside my window... this is the very same scripture that confirmed this word I received.
Yes, the awesome power and majesty of God present in His creation always lifts my spirit and I know that it can do the same for my children. Recently, I was having a particularly bad day and my eldest daughter and I had an argument. I went to her room to make amends and told her how I had been overset by all the things weighing my mind and somehow the dam broke while I spoke with her and tears poured from my eyes as I tried to explain why I'd been so uptight.
Suddenly she touched my hand and said "Look". I wiped my eyes and looked.. outside her bedroom window was a little bird in a nest. Fresh tears poured from me as I realised this tangible evidence of God's love and covenant with me.
Unwittingly, my daughter had showed me the very thing I needed to see... a reminder that no matter how bleak things look, God ALWAYS keeps His promises and we would be okay.
This week I've made a commitment to use the opportunities that present themselves to point out to my children the presence of God all around us, especially the youngest whose sense of awe is still easily inspired and who can become excited just by seeing a strange bug.
What I have learned mostly from the chapters I studied this week, is that it is not enough for me to pray for my children, or enough for them to see me living out my faith, these things are certainly important, but I also have to be intentional in how I bring them to their own sense of God, their own relationship with Him.
I'm lucky in that all of my children love nature and animals and being in the great outdoors, thanks to this wonderful book, I now see that I can use this love and fascination with God's creation to also inspire them.