I Took His Hand and Followed

by Mrs. Roy L. Peifer
My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn’t make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.
Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I…
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky
We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood…
My kitchen wasn’t swept today
But life was gay and good.
We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.
We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill…
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.
That my house was neglected,
That I didn’t brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.
But that I’ve helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter (and our oldest child) was away for a night at her grandma’s, and I was home alone with the boys.
It’s strange when you don’t have all of your children together–when only one is missing, the dynamics are so different, aren’t they?
When my daughter is not around, I notice my sons (who are 19 months apart), have a harder time playing together. They are getting better at this, and I am pretty sure they’ll be best friends at some point very soon, but usually, Joshua and Eden (3 and 5) stick together, and the baby is more of a tag-along.
So when it’s just the boys, there tends to be more conflict.
This day certainly proved to be so.

I was tired. And cranky.
And had much to get done around the house
(when doesn’t a mom have a lot to do?)
Josiah, at 1 1/2, was testing my limits.
After a few ridiculous dramatic tantrums, and more than one time-out, I was at my wit’s end.
Please tell me you’ve had days like this.

I literally felt I could not turn my back on them for a minute to get ANYTHING done.

My blood began boiling,and I knew then that I needed to get myself to time-out QUICK or I’d explode.
Aren’t you so thankful that the Lord knows us?
He knows our weaknesses.
He knows our struggles.
He knows our limits.
If we let him, He knows when and how to intervene.
Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that we serve a Lord who is not unable to sympathize with us our weaknesses–but one who’s been tempted and tried in every way that we are!

What’s more, this same “high priest” now lives to make prayerful intercession on our behalf! (Heb. 7:25). 
He invites us to freely cry out to Him in our weaknesses–to cast it down at His feet–let it all spill out…and boy, did I ever that day.

And His answer was so simple.
STOP and let it all go, Joanna.

Your boys need you.
They need your time and and your full attention today.
Everything else can wait; put it aside.
Take their hands and just BE with them.
So I did.
They wanted to play trucks and cars, and had been fighting all day over them.
So we went through the house and gathered and lined up every car, truck and train we owned, and we lined them ALL up.
If you have boys, you know they love this kind of thing.
Then we crashed them together. (they love that even more).
We yelled and stomped them.
We smashed them together.
We piled them all up and yelled some more.
And you know what? It was just what they needed.
They just needed to pile and smash up their trucks–WITH their mama.
They spent the rest of the afternoon playing rather well together, and I actually DID get quite a bit done around the house after all.
As moms, we are called to be servants.
Servants to our husbands and our children.
This is painful at times and goes against our fleshly nature.
Sometimes we just want to slug off our responsibility to our children or family members because,
let’s face it– we are just plain tired!
Or frustrated. Or feeling neglected. Or in need of a recharging.
I am learning that God has a special grace alloted for us in times like this.
But often, it first requires that I surrender what I am trying so hard to hold on to-
my agenda, my rights, my feelings, my time, my, my, my….
1 John 3:16 reminds us,
“This is how we have come to know love: the Messiah gave his life for us. We, too, ought to give our lives for our brothers.”
Serving others, especially family members, requires that we lay ourselves aside.
The beautiful thing is that when we do, He pours out His grace as we lay down our lives in humble obedience. And somehow, we come away recharged and renewed.
Kingdom principles are so backwards from what we are taught in this world.
Want to be first? Be last.
Want to be great? Humble yourself.
Want to have all wisdom? Make yourself as a little child.
Want life? Lay yours down and die.
What is He asking that you lay down and surrender today?
May He fill you once again with abundant grace to obey.