The Farm

IMG_8255The kids, my mum and I, this week, spent 3 glorious days on a farm, belonging to my aunt and uncle who are also my Godparents.

While we were away I began reading the book of Luke and read a prophesy about John the Baptist.

Luke 1:16-17 says,

He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people for the Lord.

I could not stop thinking about it. It became a mantra for my holiday. It stopped me running off to my room to lie down, and catch up on 12 years of sleep, even when my beautiful aunt offered, because here was an opportunity just to be with my kids, an opportunity to turn my heart to my children. To be completely present, to share some joy together.

It came after a hard year. A year of; kids with broken legs, kids learning to read, kids not sleeping, 3 kids with 3 sets of braces, kids not eating, kids being 2 and a half, kids coughing all the time. It came after a long two months of my husband working soo hard. It came after my own serious illness.

It came on the back of a friend of mine saying to me last week, “It’s time Lauren, for more Mary, less Martha. Your family won’t fall apart anymore if you stop working and sit down, just for a moment, they are all old enough.”

It came after writing the piece about doing Something Beautiful For Jesus. It came just when my heart was ready to hear it, don’t you love the way God opens our eyes just at the right time! It came after God had sent my own John the Baptist to make straight the path, to make me ready for the Lord.

It came on the back of my own mother, turning her heart to me, by agreeing to come on the holiday with us.

He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people for the Lord.

As I turn my heart to my children, as I listen to the wisdom of the righteous and obey it, my children are made ready for the Lord, even as I am made ready for the Lord.

We loved the farm. I am so grateful that God gave me a heart to enjoy my kids this week. Over the 3 days, I watched their smiles relax and felt their cuddles increase. As I turned my heart towards them they responded with kindness towards each other and thankfulness towards my aunt and uncle and their Grandma. It was a beautiful time.

I encourage you today, if you have children, be encouraged to check yourself often, none of us plan to be Martha, I didn’t. Until my friend said it, I could have sworn I was being Mary. Martha herself didn’t plan to become a euphemism for missing the mark with God that day. She just wanted to have everything ready, for her guests and for her Lord. She was one of Jesus’ best friends, He went to her home because he knew she was a wonderful hostess. But God says the simple act, of turning our hearts towards someone, is what makes them ready. Not the preparations themselves.

Turning our hearts toward our children, in the style of the Father God; accepting before they deserve it; abounding in love and slow to anger, is what will make them ready. It doesn’t mean we do nothing to prepare. It doesn’t mean we are lazy. Sometimes I think when we think about Mary and Martha we are tempted to think Mary was lazy all the time and Martha did all the work all the time.

Luke 10:38-42 says,

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the LORD’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “LORD, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the LORD answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

As I think about my aunt, I have a new revelation of Mary. I think Mary was like my aunt. Over the 3 days, I watched. My aunt is renowned as a hostess, and I could see why. She was prepared for us in advance, she had asked me all kinds of questions about what the kids liked before we came. She made everything look so easy, the rooms, the meals, nothing was a bother, the home was ours to use, nothing was held so tightly that we couldn’t just relax and be ourselves and she had so much time for us. I know that my Godparents are very busy people, by their schedule, but never once was my aunt distracted from giving her heart to us, by any preparations.  She merely enjoyed us.

If we simply love our children when we are with them, turn our hearts to them without distraction pulling us away, it prepares them for the act of turning their own hearts to God; doing the one thing that is required of them. I want to encourage myself, and you if you need it, to be prepared, but not distracted by the preparations or anything else. I want to encourage myself to turn my heart fully to my children, in the way the Lord turns his heart fully to us. If we have the Spirit of God, we too can give our whole heart to more than one person at a time, without being distracted.

2 Timothy 1:7 says,

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

I hope you are encouraged, be blessed, I pray that you and I will turn our hearts to our children, without being distracted by all there is to do, and thus make them ready to meet the Lord himself in their hearts.

Lots of love,

L

© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @ http://godhelpmei.com

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