Galatians 5:22-23 The Message
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
It’s early in the morning when I hear a faint knocking on my office door (an office tucked into the corner of my closet). I smile knowing what I’ll find when I open it, a little toddler girl in wrinkly pajamas, missing one sock, clutching a blankie and baby doll and looking for mama. It’s the same routine nearly every morning.
5:00 a.m. This modern mama rises early for time with Jesus and work on several jobs that can’t happen in the 9-5.
6:30 a.m. My husband slides out of bed to give our little one a bottle and cherish some morning snuggles before she’s awake enough to come find me.
“Up” she says, rubbing her eyes. And up she goes for morning hugs.
“Sit sit” she says and we drag one of her little green chairs into my office, where she climbs up and works like mama. Pen in one hand, paper on the desk. Colorful envelopes flying everywhere, an office soon destroyed and little hands waking up to discover the joy in touching every key on my keyboard. Every. Key.
I look down at those little hands, trying to do everything I do and realize that there is so much I need to teach her. So many lessons to sow in her heart. Seeds to plant. Talents to discover and celebrate. She may be learning the big things like colors and numbers at daycare while her daddy and I work, but the stuff that will shape her heart and her character? That will be learned by observing what we do, how we act.
What am I teaching her? Does she see my work in the mornings as modern Proverbs 31 work? Will she develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion, and a desire to encourage others because she sees it demonstrated in her home? And what will she learn when I slip up, when I face failures or challenges – when the true fruits of my flesh, and not the fruit of the Spirit, are shown to the world?
It can be overwhelming. Until, with grace, God gently reminds me that I am not the one who has to finish the work. It is his to take to completion, mine only to faithfully live out the best I can with this sweet little sponge of a toddler. So I include her in my morning routine, point out faces of my dear Twitter and Facebook friends, read to her from blog posts I write and praise her when she draws beautiful scribbles on scraps of paper in her attempt to be like mama. This is my modern motherhood.