Don’t wake the Mama Bear

1 Corinthians 7:32-35–But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.  But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife.  There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.  And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

I want to start out by saying that this is not a post about how people shouldn’t get married.  Some people should get married, others are meant to stay single.  I’m not going to weigh in on that issue because, as a married woman, my view is skewed.  I can only see one side of the marriage issue and it is the one that I am on.  I love being married, I love my husband, and I love my kids.  This is a post about being distracted from the Lord because of that love.

Yesterday my church started Vacation Bible School and it has been a great time so far.  My almost-3-year-old was able to participate this year because they had a class for him, so I only had to manage my almost-1-year-old (who I discovered is teething).  I didn’t have to go, but did for two reasons: 1) my hubby is an elder, and our church is small, so I usually try to help as much as I can with one hand full of baby, and 2) I wanted to cover the VBS workers and attendees with prayer.  We also have a group of individuals visiting from a church in Texas visiting to help out, which is where this post came from.  Let me explain.

I don’t usually write much about my kids here, because this blog isn’t really about parenting or children, it’s about me and my weaknesses, mostly.  Sometimes, however, the two things are one in the same; that is, sometimes parenting brings out the worst in me.  For instance, yesterday I arrived at the location that we are holding VBS (we don’t have our own building, but we have land and will build at some point) a little early so I could get my son registered and help out if I was needed.  There were lots of people there getting the last minute stuff ready and finishing up their meal (we have VBS in the evenings because that’s when people are available to help…again, small church).

Time for an aside: let me tell you about my son.  I love him dearly, but he can be somewhat mischievous.  He is a very active, very intelligent little boy.  Somebody who doesn’t know me or my children would probably look at him and think that he is out of control.  He doesn’t sit still, constantly gets into whatever he can reach (which means more stuff every day because he’s a growing boy), and finds ways to annoy people (unintentionally) that they didn’t even know possible.  He is, however, one of the sweetest little boys you will ever meet.  He is gentle, kind, loving, sharing, everything that I would love for him to be, except obedient.  He’s strong-willed, but not malicious.  Now, as I said, if you didn’t know us you might think that he was never disciplined, but you would be wrong.  In fact, if you saw him for the first time today, you wouldn’t know how far he has come in the last year.  So, having said all of that, I digress.

My church family knows my son.  He has grown up around them and they are familiar with all of his issues controlling his energy (I wish I could bottle it…I would be rich).  There are people around this week, however, who aren’t familiar with him, as I mentioned.  These folks come in, see what they think is a problem child, and act accordingly.  I can’t really blame them for that.  I did, however, have my Mama Bear instinct turned on yesterday when a lady told me, in a tone that I apparently took as hostile in my Mama Bear mode, that I needed to “keep him out of [here] because we’re finishing our supper.”  I had the completely wrong reaction, which was to mutter under my breath something to the effect of, “because he’s a dog and he’s going to eat off of your plate?”  I couldn’t take the implication from her statement that there was something about my son that made her not want him around (if you don’t like kids, why are you here to help with VBS?).  I fumed about it the rest of the night and asked my hubby to pray for me that the attitude would change (it has, mostly).

I want to control my tongue.  My rash responses are wrong and are evidence that God has not yet completed this work.  I know that, as far as Mama Bear reactions go, mine was pretty tame, but it was actually a pretty strong reaction for me these days.  I’m generally pretty mellow these days, not much of a worrier, taking most things in stride.  There is, however, still some debris floating in my glass (the analogy goes like this: you put some debris in the bottom of a glass and then pour in water.  The lightest things float up and out first, then the bigger things, until only water is left.  The debris is sin and the water is the Holy Spirit.  As you are filled with the Holy Spirit those things are gradually removed from your life, but some remain for a longer time and some might never be removed in this life.  Your cup can still overflow with debris in it, though, because God uses imperfect vessels to do His work).

Now, to get back to that scripture from 1 Corinthians.  Again, I love being married and being a mother.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I can understand, however, what Paul is saying in those verses.  If I didn’t have a husband or children, my reactions would be different.  I would be free to help with two hands instead of one.  I wouldn’t be distracted from my (fill in the blank) time with God.

So, there it is, another one of those things that God is working on in me.  It seems like I should run out of things to write about eventually, if He is truly going to bring this work to completion, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to happen in this life.

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