Five Minute Friday: Gift

I got my pastoral license in the mail last weekend. Staring at the official seal, and my name under the words “License to Preach,” I felt overwhelmed and unprepared. As I thought about Lisa-Jo’s prompt for today’s Five Minute Friday, the verse about children being a gift from the Lord cycled on repeat through my mind.

Can I be honest and admit that sometimes I forget my kids are a gift? When “mom, mom, mom” rings in my ears, my car is carpeted in goldfish crackers one day after I vacuum it, and “please just let me have one moment’s peace!” The constant need terrifies me, because I am human and I lose patience and fall short.

And now, I am a licensed minister, with an appointment in my church to oversee the spiritual formation of other people’s children and to build community. That’s a lot more need. This place I’m in is one I’ve worked towards for decades, and it truly is a gift! God dropped it in my lap and it’s the perfect type of gift: one you’re not asking for, but that so accurately meets your needs. Yet even here, I can forget for a moment what a precious thing I’ve been given.

That’s what came out of my mind today…

GO

There’s something about motherhood that triggers so many spiritual lessons in me. I think God gave me four children because He knew how much I had to learn, and that this was the only way of getting through to me.

When I first have a hint that I may be pregnant, that little question in my brain feels like a present. Sitting there, wrapped up tight, possibilities untold. The anticipation of new life is exciting; whether it’s the physical new life of an addition to our family, or the spiritual new life of roads less traveled and paths unexplored. Then the reality of the situation falls on your shoulders. Aches and pains associated with growth, uncomfortableness and strange cravings abound…and let’s not even touch those mood swings.

It all seems to be too much to handle, too overwhelming, never-ending. And it’s all out of your control! You begin to wonder how much of a gift this really is. And then the moment of delivery occurs. All is right with the world, and you can only stare in wonder at the amazingly perfect thing that God has brought forth. Those first few hours, days, weeks are spend basking in the glory that God would entrust something so special and fragile to your care.

Over time, the idea of your gift fades as the newness wears off and things get tough. You struggle and fail. Things seem out of your control. Pain happens, and it hurts more than you could ever have conceived. Guilt that you’ve destroyed God’s perfect creation, and shame that you would have ever tried to steward it in the first place.

But God reminds: I have chosen you. This is where I have you. Keep moving forward, and follow my lead.

Whether it’s with our children, our marriages, our ministries, our careers…whatever He has conceived and birthed in your life…it’s a gift. Sometimes it just takes some reminding.

STOP

Just in case there’s any question or confusion…no, I’m not pregnant and I have no plans to be pregnant again. I wanted to make that very clear, because I know sometimes my five-minute rambles can leave people wondering if there’s a hidden meaning.

Happy Friday!

What does “gift” mean to you?

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9 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Gift

  1. I know I have learned so many lessons from my kids. Sometimes, their sin is so apparent and it’s like a perfect reflection of my flesh glaring back at me while God convicts my heart. They are gifts indeed, but it can be easy to lose sight of some days. Thanks for sharing your 5 minute ramblings. I enjoyed it.

    • Interesting point, Alia. You’re right, sometimes what I’m most frustrated about with their bad behavior is that I see my own weakness reflected there. There’s many different ways we parents can want better for our kids.

    • I’m not! But that’s always a fun April Fools joke to play on our parents. Cause they’re kind of freaked out that we’ll have a 5th. :)

  2. When I was unmarried without children I took every thing for granted. I only cared about myself and did not worry what anyone thought about it. I didn’t want the married life nor have kids ever. I then met a guy who swept me off my feet. Who had been married, was divorced and had two beautiful daughters. He told me before we married that he would never have more kids because he had a vasectomy and wanted to know what I thought about that. My initial thought was thank God because I don’t want children of my own. Looking back, that was a very selfish way of thinking and I was perfectly fine with that. A year after marriage, I start getting sick and didn’t know what was going on. I was feeling nauseas and extremely tired. Todd (my hubby) tells me your symptoms sound like pregnancy symptoms. I laughed and said “yeah right” there is no possible way I am pregnant. So three weeks go by and I finally decide to go buy a pregnancy test. I tested positive, I couldn’t believe it so I bought a couple more. After my third over the counter pregnancy test, I was still in denial. I thought this can’t be, Todd has had a vasectomy and I don’t want children. So I went to my doctor and it was confirmed that I was now four weeks pregnant. My response to the Doctor was how can this be? My husband has had a vasectomy. I thought that procedure was a final one? Later that week our Doctor tested my husband and found out that his vasectomy had reversed on its own and his count was in the 90th %. At first I was very depressed about being pregnant because pregnancy and kids were not in my plan. However, God has a plan for us all. When I first saw my son William, the love I immediately felt for him was out of this world. My selfishness flew out the window and now all I thought about was this wonderful boy that I thought I would never have. God knew what I needed in my life 8 years ago and he placed him on my lap. I too sometimes forget my kids are a gift due to the constant demands of life. But I know God chose me to be Williams mommy although I am not perfect nor will ever be, I was chose for him. Also, reading your bogs give me a piece of mind that I am not alone in falling off the patience wagon. Like I mentioned many times before, I love reading your blogs.

    Praying for patience, understanding, and tranquility (even for just one minute).

    Congratulations my friend, for receiving your pastoral license. I would love to hear you preach one day. Love ya.

    With his love,
    Rose Alvarez-Denny

    • This made me miss you so much, Rose! And I feel strange that I knew you for so long without knowing this part of your story. Thanks for sharing it! :) And I’m so glad you had a William (and a Jack) because they’re wonderful gifts!!

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