Early morning times with my children are my very favorite moments as a mom. I often learn more about each of them, and what they are learning about Jesus. I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their questions, and when they beg for me to not stop reading.
Just the other day, I could feel their restlessness. The baby was hanging upside down on the couch, the teen had her eyes closed, and the youngest gentleman was laying prostrate on the floor with his face planted into the carpet. It was a Monday. Sometimes, I pray the enemy away from my home on Mondays. This particular weekend prior had brought much frustration to me. I found our home uncharacteristically cluttered, the children arguing around the clock, and their whining about what we weren’t doing had settled one thing in my mind. We were missing something in the middle of this valley journey.
I put my Bible down. I told them that I was going to go around the room and would like them to each answer this question:
“What makes you happy.”
I had their attention now. Running with it, I began with my answer. And then the son.
Building forts. Ice Cream. Getting up early with Dad.
Living in our big, country home. Having siblings.
Reading books. Writing letters.
And the lists continued as we circled back around to me.
How many hours have you taken to independently read your Bible, or serve another person this week?
If you were to wake up tomorrow morning without running water or given a meal until late evening; you were the sole care-giver for your siblings care and provision, never knowing what “free time,” was ~ would you still be happy?
If you didn’t have school supplies, books, a mother or a father, or family time around a bountiful table every day, would you be happy?
But most of all, if you never knew of these things to make you happy, would you praise the Lord any ways?
What if you had to sleep on hard red clay floor, without water for showers or baths, and your mama was not there to comfort your fears at night? If you had never tasted ice cream, or didn’t know that it even existed?
The long, quiet pause in the early morning hours was like a pre-dawn wake up call for my children.
And then I said, “You have been given so much. And we do not live in luxury. But, when we lost sight of the value of every little thing that God has given us, and do not care of it lovingly, tenderly, what do you think this is telling God?”
He does not care about your bike. He does not care about your books. He does not care that you didn’t have enough screen time this week.
He does care that you do not love your brother or sister enough to put them first, or to stop an argument before it happens.
He cares enough that He shows compassion on suffering children all over the world, without a bike, or a ball. They do not have a mother, or water, and screen-time, and yet, they worship Him with un-abashed praise, while we complain if we have a boring week, pining away and school work and chores.
God has given us two hands–one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns
made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing. Billy Graham
He cares if we allow our possessions to become our happiness. He cares that you don’t consider Him important enough to just open the Bible on your own. He cares if you are not treating your body as His temple. He cares.
He cares if you are not able to forgive. He cares when we our happiness is more important that His creation and gifts to us.
The son is quietly picking something unseen out of the carpet, the toddler is in my lap thinking about her warm jammies and special kitty. The teen is second guessing her book time and the complaints about not being able to take another trip to the library.
If we do not take care of what we have: things, relationships, our health, our time with God ~ then we are poor stewards.
Stewardship looks like: A clean room, a savings jar, a loving word to a sibling, a clean “row” in the car or van, putting things away, eating a balanced diet, exercise and rest. It looks like attentiveness in wisdom moments, and perseverance when we are doing our chores. Time with God, and time in His Word.
Stewardship sounds like: Thank-you’s vs. Complaining, Initiative, worship when we are weak, gratefulness when we have little and compassion when we can give to those who have nothing. Talents and gifts being used. I love you.
Stewardship is Biblical.
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: but your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 Yet seek ye his kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell that which ye have, and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief draweth near, neither moth destroyeth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Oh, the treasure’s we have and hold dear. As my children and I answered our own heart questions, I was challenged to ask this: