Blueberry Musings

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

In the not-quite-cool of a July morning in Tennessee, I picked blueberries as I talked with my Father. One thing at the forefront of my mind was my teenage son’s seeming indifference to all things having to do with God and His church. As I spoke to my Lord about my concerns, the old, familiar mom-guilt rose to the surface

The thing is, I homeschooled my kids for years. My son, the oldest and now a rising senior, was taught at home from Kindergarten through his freshman year of high school. Currently, he attends a private Christian school, but outside of school he does not seem (to me) to have interest in the things of God.

Oh, he aces his Bible class. They grew up in the Word at least. However, this last year or two have made me question how well I modeled a life of faith.

In my fervency to lead my kids to God, did I actually push them away? Was I too stringent? Too critical? Too lenient? Too lax? Did my walk not match my talk? Or was it a walk that my son found uninteresting because I shared too little of my joy or my delight in God? Was I too stern-faced and solemn? Have I given writing too much emphasis? Too little?

The mom-guilt train chugs on and on. Its refrain is unchanging: I have failed. My efforts are not good enough.

And it was into these failures the Spirit of my God spoke in wordless truth. If I could put words to the experience, it would go something like this: Whether you failed or not is irrelevant. How does it change the present? You cannot change the past and bemoaning it is not the same thing as learning from it. However, one thing is true: your efforts aren’t good enough. But I AM. Do you trust Me?

There in the blueberry bushes with one elbow covered in spider webs and a few purple stains on my hand, my King reminded me of something. He alone has the power and ability to draw my son – or anyone else – to Himself.

This doesn’t free me from obedience or due diligence, but it is nonetheless freeing. Even if I were to perform flawlessly, my efforts would be inadequate. I cannot save a single soul.

But my God can.

He is both the Author of faith and its Perfecter. The question is not whether I was successful in leading my kids to Christ. The question is: Am I successful in trusting God to bring His own work to completion. In short, do I trust Him – even if it means one or more of my kids has to walk through the dark valley for a time? Does my love for Him compel me to trust in His love for my children?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28)

On my way back to the house with a container full of blueberries, I repented of my unbelief and chose trust. Specifically, I vocalized my trust to my Lord that His Spirit will work and produce fruit in my son and all my kids.

I may have planted a few seeds of devotion, I may have watered them, but it will be God who makes the fruit of His Spirit grow.  Until then, I will remain faithful in prayer, eagerly anticipating the work God will do in and through my family.  I will trust God to work out even our errors for our eternal good.

Whatever happens in these next weeks, months, years, or even decades, I know my God will bring about His purposes.

And He will do it in His time, not mine.

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
(James 5:7-8)

 

 

20 thoughts on “Blueberry Musings

  1. Great post! I’m with you all the way and have asked all those same questions. A few of my seven are not exactly living the best God has for them and it breaks my heart. But something that’s encouraged me is remembering that God is a perfect father and look how many of his kids don’t love him, disrespect him, ignore his ways, chose harmful paths or just aren’t into him? Even Adam and Eve, who had the benefit of walking daily WITH GOD still chose to bring sin into the world. I agree with you that we are responsible to do our best leading, training, guiding as possible, but each person has free will to chose the way they want to go. That includes our kids.

    It also encourages me that God’s word is a two-edged sword that goes out and doesn’t return void. All those Bible verses that we’ve fed our kids will do the work God intends – maybe not until they’re old (train up a child…when he is old he won’t depart from it – God never says how old!)

    Hang in there, mom! You obviously love your kids and that is most important!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Laura! I was greatly encouraged to realize it is ultimately not my work but His which will count. I can trust in God to love my kids and to work out their path with them – even if they have to learn by rebellion for a season. I have also been encouraged by Adam and Eve exactly as you said!

      Thanks tons for the encouragement and stopping by. Good to “see” you! 😉

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  2. I LOVE this idea: “Whether you failed or not is irrelevant. How does it change the present? You cannot change the past and bemoaning it is not the same thing as learning from it.”

    We moms beat ourselves up for our human failings–and we all have them. But if we see them as something to learn from, that opens them up to positive possibilities–where before we saw only negative ones.

    And we can talk about our failings to our children–ask their forgiveness–and hope they learn they will fail too–and can grow beyond.

    Wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. I can get caught up in self-blame all too easily. It takes the gentle but firm hand of our Father to remind me that self-blame is really just self-focus. God is so good, and I love when He is so personal!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. As I read your post, I was reminded of John 1:13, where it describes those who receive Christ and are born again “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” I think a common fallacy that we homeschooling moms have fallen for is that if we just do everything right, our children will all follow Christ. Then we blame ourselves if the outcome is not what we desired. But as this verse tells us, no one is born again by the will of the flesh or the will of man. No matter how sincerely we want our children to follow the Lord or how diligently we taught them about him, they cannot be saved by our efforts. Yes, we have an influence, but ultimately it’s only the Father that can draw them to himself, and only the child that can choose to follow or not. If we’ve based our hope on homeschooling instead of the Lord, we’re going to be disappointed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are exactly right! It was about 2-3 years ago now when God called me to task for that precise thing- believing that my homeschooling would automatically produce Kingdom-seeking, Bible-loving young men and women eager to serve their Lord. I know better – or at least I thought I did – but I did it just the same. These last couple of years have been sobering and humbling. Our God wastes nothing, and for that I am grateful. He’s used this realization to draw me even closer to Him and increase the fervency and urgency of my prayers for my family!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heather, I can SO relate to this. My oldest wants nothing to do with “church” pushed away by “Christian hypocrisy” as he calls it even though he came to God at a young age, I raised my boys “in church” and they went to Christian school well into elementary school. Yet, it is not ours to do but His will. We must trust God with our children in every aspect of their lives. I have prayed for both my boys to know the Lord in an intimate way but only God’s timing will perfect that and I am trusting God to answer that prayer be it in a day, a year or decades.

    I trust God to leave the 99 and go after the one. Peace to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said! I agree completely. I am constantly fighting a lack of trust but I am so thankful He is always there to remind me. I know “the one who calls you is faithful; He will surely bring it to pass.” With each new day, I am learning to trust a little more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Sometimes when I watch my teens and am amused at how they truly think they know it all, I suddenly realize this is exactly why God refers to us as His children so often. We do the same thing! ❤

      Thanks for the encouragement! It's been a literal God-send for my husband and me to hear from people who have already been through it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Heather… please, give yourself grace. You are a wonderful person and I’m sure you are a fantastic mom! But as you well know, our children make their own choices…they really do. And all we can do is our best with the time, talent, wisdom and energy that we’ve been given. Do you remember what our grandmother’s always said, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him/her drink.”? Yup. So true. And so, I think you are truly wise to pray and then rest in God. So very wise. Thank you for your honesty and your wonderful example of faith. You always inspire and encourage me! Love and huge hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I do give myself grace – I just forget sometimes! I love how God speaks into my frustration and fear to bring a reminder of His grace and goodness, though. It’s truly awesome. And I know you are absolutely right that our kids have to make their own choices. It is just tough to watch, though I am choosing to trust God to accomplish His plans no matter what. Thanks so, so much! You are always such a blessing, Lynn. <3<3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad… because you are such an amazing person, dear Heather! Yeah… so hard to watch them make their own decisions. I struggle with the whole “letting go” thing. I guess that’s motherhood for you! 😉 Love and huge hugs to you, my truly humble and godly friend! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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