Apr 12, 2007

Riches Beyond Measure

I am a rich woman. Rich, because I am beginning to receive and understand the depths of His great love.

I am also rich because I have 3 wonderful kids who bring me so much joy. (and heartaches too!)
I often chat with mom's who are in the early years of parenting. I remember those days so well. Due to having a handicapped child, I have had the blessing of changing diapers for over 19 years. God has just released me from that responsibility and I am truly grateful!!

My oldest will be 20 years old in a few weeks, and I have been reminiscing about my journey with her. So many times when she was young, I felt like I was not able to give her the time she deserved. Due to her sister being very ill, and severely handicapped, my time was allotted differently than I had dreamed of in being a mom.
I would often worry how she would "turn out". I used to pray and ask God to make up for the lost time, or send someone to help pour into her.

He heard my cry and, He never let me down.

Although I was not always able to see with my natural eyes, He was working.

Today I often look at her and I am amazed. Amazed that she is my offspring. I am amazed how God stepped in and covered every little detail, and even more amazed at the beauty of Jesus that is reflected in her life.
Although she had to be exposed to many difficult situations as a young child, God met her at each one. I had to learn to let go of her, and place her in the the Father's hands. She in turn eventually learned to go to God to help her solve her problems and deal with her issues. I am only a secondary parent. God is her perfect Father.

Yesterday Alyssa made me a card. She carefully plucked all the petals from 2 daisies that were in an arrangement that she bought for me. She intricately glued them to the homemade card, and wrote scriptures and words of encouragement just for me! I was overwhelmed at the detail and the accuracy of the words that she expressed to me.
This is the scripture she wrote in it found in Phil. 3:12-14

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

She reminded me that even though I have days where I struggle... when she sees me going to Jesus (with all my faults), she has hope. Hope that I am choosing to allow God to break strongholds, and hope for greater freedom for her. This makes me want to keep pressing on, knowing that all I learn in Christ WILL bear fruit in my children.

To all the mom's who are weary, or discouraged or worried. Remember that despite your greatest efforts, or your greatest failures........... He is there with you, watching over your children. He is guiding them and you. He will not leave you, or forsake you, even when you miss the mark.
Ps 27:10
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.

If you are overwhelmed with the daunting task of parenting...... ask Him to step in and make up for lost time. He is the restorer of all things. He can do what no one else can, not the greatest parenting book, or even Super Nanny.


Rhonda said...

You gave her over to God and He has richly blessed you for that. You have a wonderful daughter who is such a treasure. And in only twenty years she has touched so many lives.

I love your Alyssa, as so many others do too. She has already sown many seeds. What a beautiful flower she is blossoming into.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the kind words Rhonda. I am overwhelmed that she is my daughter and now my friend. Life doesn't get any better than that!

Shari said...

Ryan was connecting with Alyssa on facebook...I got a peek at her photos, etc. It's so different to see her hair dark. Amanda wants me to color her hair brunette come the summer. I am now just happy to hide all my white hairs - nasty!!

I loved the photo of Lindsay in her new room. She truly looks like the princess just sitting on her throne ready to give everyone their orders (her folded arms are a hoot!) You may need to purchase a crown for Lindsay's head!

Cheryl said...

Thanks Shari! Lindsay really is our princess and God's
I just signed up with Facebook too and put all her photos on it.

Amy said...

I have thought that often during my pregnancies, if I was giving my child/ren enough time (Hannah, and now Isaiah and Hannah) b/c I spent (spend) so much time laying down...but I know God looks after them so much better than I can.
thanks for the reminder.

Roxanne said...

I am learning to give my children over to God.
When I became a parent I never imagined that I would come to a time when I would be told that my time with my children would be limited to evey other week. The loss is HUGE!
I cherish the time that I do have with my children and must remember that when they are not here God is with them and He is with me.

Jen said...

Thank you for the reminder Cheryl.

I have prayed for my kids since I was a kid, and one of my most constant prayers is, "God fill all of the gaps".
No matter what kind of parent we are, we have days that we shine...and many we fall very short.
I have learned to trust my kids to God, and was just saying to an old friend, I have learned to relax as a parent and a person, by watching my kids sale through their phases...and even when it is a rough sail...they come out wonderfully.

That is the Faithfulness of my God!

Bless you, we love all of your kids.

Cheryl said...

Roxanne, I know God will answer your prayers........ and Amy, He understands and makes up the difference.
You are both doing such a tremendous job!

Teena said...

Cheryl...you're so encouraging! You have a way of bringing peace to my mind and heart with your words. (that I know are inspired by God.) You know my struggles as a mother all too well...and I needed your writing today.

Holly said...

I love Cheryl!

jon said...

Thats excellent Cheryl.

Cheryl said...

Teena, you are a terrific mom, don't believe the lies! You are the best person on earth to be a mom to Chance and Jayna, not one else can compare!

Holly, You are an awesome mom too! I love how you fight for your kids!!!

Thanks Jon.

Joy said...

I pray and believe that God will restore the hearts and minds of my children. Thank you for reminding me that God is in control and that despite my failings as a mother, HE knows their needs. Roxanne, I totally get the loss when your children go someplace else for a time. It's devastating. It aches like I can't even imagine and mine are only gone 2 of every 14 days. Still... even if I can't see them and know what they are doing and what/who they're exposed to, God knows. It's hard. There's such ownership when it comes to my children... but GOD knows. Thank you, Cheryl for your constant wisdom and encouragement. You have such a way...

Cheryl said...

My heart is with you Joy. I see Him teaching you a greater level of leaning on Him.

"You will no longer call Me master, but husband " (Cheryl's paraphrase)

I'm proud of you. He will walk with you each day, and help you let go on the days you don't want to.

Joy said...

Thank you Cheryl. It means so much to be encouraged by you. More than you would realize.

Cheryl said...

You're worth it! I often hear Him cheering you on, and I sense Him fighting for you, and He asks me to join Him in fighting for you!!

Tamatha said...

Oh Alyssa...warm fuzzies...she is all growd up now!:o)