Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Profit & Loss Statement for the Family

For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?

I read that on a blog. Sure, I know the verse connected there, but sometimes you read something and it just sticks in your heart.

I have the whole world here. Really, I do. Oh sure, someone will read this and their first remark will be to laugh (maybe hysterically even). I don't work...well, outside the home...you know what I mean. There are still alot of women who have to get their satisfaction cups filled out there in the world of business and gainful employment. LOL...never have understood that phrase, "gainful employment" at all. I know it is referring to monetary ends, but I've been there, done that, and I like to think I was rather good at all that when I did it, but truth is, no matter how you slice it up and serve it, there isn't anything at all of any real gain to be had out there in that world. I'm far more gainfully employed right here where The Lord has placed me.

Someone will no doubt laugh and point to the fact that my husband is working off the homestead, out of state. Well, there are blessings in that as well. The obvious blessing off the top of my head is that he has a job, out of state or not, he is working. There are alot of folks right now that don't have that at all.

The next blessing in that is that old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. We don't have to be together 24/7 to have a close family, although I will say that you do have to have the right hearts to make it work. We had some struggles during those first months of his being gone. He would probably say no, but see the thing is, his mind was filled with the busyness of the job at hand...while my mind was filled with the emptyness of not having my husband and best friend here with me all of a sudden, or the father of my children here to lead, guide and direct us. I know I had a more difficult time with the transition than he did, but I never looked at it as less than a blessing. This season of our lives was prayed over well, long, and deep. We have built some rather strong cords in this time. That can't be seen as anything less than blessings, right?

My husband may be off the homestead right now, but we are deeply etched into his heart and that greater portion stays here with us all the time. Not every woman with a working-minded husband can say even a small bit of that. That knowing that we have is what builds this house stronger. It saddens me when I can see that not happening in other families because I can only imagine the stress of heart they walk in. Your treasures are where you build those heartcords and far too many families are building very weak home and family cords these days.

My oldest son is gone on his own life now. Those chickens have come home to roost, as they say. I can see the fruits of those years of labor and while I see a great deal of spoilage there on those branches, I can see a decent harvest nonetheless. He has made his portion (and then some) of bad choices and childish decisions, but I suppose that is what has to happen in order to grow. It is a blessing to know that, selfishness and sometimes outright stupidity aside, he did hear much of his teachings growing up and he will continue to grow into a man not only we, but he himself, can take pride in. His biggest struggle is that he does not always stand strong in his convictions, but tries to hold the beliefs of folks simply not raised with any sort of direction.

These blessings would not have happened here, with all of us at home together. We had to divide out the homestead just a bit, as it were, to cull the weeds and make room for more of these good things. I'm definitely not saying The Lord wouldn't have shared many blessings were we all together at home. I can just see where we were blessed with so many things in this season of separation.

Don't misunderstand me -- husbands and fathers belong at home. I fully believe that. No matter what the circumstances, you will never in a million years convince me otherwise. They don't have all of their hearts with their families when they have to divide those attentions between the world outside and the hearth at home. They cannot teach and guide their families when they are divided among the sheep and the goats. Divided attentions teach children they, too, can be divided in mind and heart. Scripture is pretty loud and clear about that...we cannot serve to masters. You will certainly end up failing and despising one or the other. Multitasking aside, we are not made for split-personalities. Following The Lord inherently means despising the world. Following the world most definitely brings you to the place of being at odds with what The Lord wants and demands of you. There is no way to serve them both.

I know there are a good plenty of Godly men out there not at home full time with their families and life seems full of great blessings and wonderful fruit, but I am convinced to the very bottoms of my feet that when you walk too much in the world outside it causes a division within you somewhere deep. There is that small portion that simply doesn't give fully over to family, know what I mean? (Sure you do, if you're honest and truly look at the big picture....and I'm sure I'll hear all about it in this inbox, too)

Ahh, I know....I seemingly bunny trail hither and yon all the time. Blessings and those righteous prayers is where I started :o). I don't know that my prayers are always all that righteous, I am human and I fail greatly daily, but they flow from my heart and the places of emotion that it moves in, sometimes good and sometimes misfocused, but always deep and sincere.

For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?

That mom not working daily for the hearts of her children walks a pretty empty life. She builds no future for herself, let alone for The Kingdom. She walks in the shadows of life in this world. The world is pretty enough, and it certainly has its attractions and more false love and false teachings and false guidance than ever before (sadly much of that comes from inside the church...but that's another soapbox there!). But where is the profit for you out there? If I never stepped in tune with any part of the world again, I'd still be blessed and content, truly and greatly. I only lose that sense of contentment when I worry about those around and all they have or do. My heart doesn't dwell at home where it belongs when I try to follow those whose lives are entwined in the world and its pursuits.

My worst failings in that respect -- that I allow the world to turn my children's hearts, even a little. Once I follow the world -- reading blogs here, keeping up with the latest things going on, the doings of friends out there, etc. -- I allow a part of my heart to wander from home. Satan grabs that moment and sparks something in not only my heart, but the heart of my children especially. Satan isn't interested in me or you. Read your Bible...he is interested in the children. They are the future of God. By dangling the internet in front of us, by offering us deals on satellite TV, by waving events and activities galore in front of our wandering eyes, he wiggles the entire world...this messed up, fallen from God, thriving in selfishness and false-believing world...before us and we dive right in claiming there is worth there.

And there is some worth in all those things, of course. Satan cannot invent anything of his own. He can only use what is already there. He will use the good stuff same as the corrupt. There are so many things I learn online, so many good things for my family and our future. Things I could never learn were it not for the internet at my fingertips. But it comes with a deep price. It comes with my turning my children loose to it as well. They learn great and wonderful things as well and that is not of itself a bad thing. But their eyes are not stayed on Christ as He tells us they must be. They are trying to follow me as I swagger on the ridgepole between this world and God's world. When my attention is taken for even a moment, a piece of their hearts is turned that way as well.

For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?

There is no profit in it. Without meaning to, too many families gain the world by trying to live in it several hours a day and give the leftover portions to their families. Some spend hours, or days and months, away from their only true duty within their homes and families, on jobs that soak up much more of their hearts than they want to admit. Some send their children off for several hours a day for education. Their energy is spent, their pursuits are futile toward making steps toward God and His Ways. And worse yet -- they try to give the leftovers to God. God doesn't want leftovers. He wants your heart in its proper place and He wants your children kept focused. Bring the fathers back home to truly guide their families into something strong and eternal and let the mommas get back to the business of praying fervently over their children with clear minds.

Bunny trails can bring you a blessing, too :o)
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel


TEAM HALL said...

Wow!!!! Well done!!

Dawn said...

Hi Deanna,
I just wanted to say how much this post touched me. My husband is deployed in Kuwait and has been gone since last fall. He volunteered to go for the money because of some bad money decisions on our part. I read this post this morning and I have thought about it all day. In a time when others are struggling to make ends meat we are doing better than we have in a long time. I should be thankful that my husband is willing to leave all that is dear to him to work so that I can stay home with our children. Me working would have kept him from going, but it would have taken me out of the house and away from the children. I had been feeling sorry for myself because I was alone and missing him. Maybe that rabbit trail was for me. I am home being a Mom. That is the most important thing that I can be doing. I worked outside the home while the 3 olders were growing up. You can really tell the diference between them and the 4 youngers. I belong here. We are accomplishing that by him being gone. I am so blessed to have a man that is willing to do this for our family and feels this strongly about having me at home with them. Thanks for the kick in the pants, I needed it.
In Christ


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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