“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Ecc. 11:6)
“I want to choose,” my littlest said. “I should be able to choose if I want to work.” He said this after being given the chore of washing his dad’s car. One brother was given the chore of cleaning the garage. A third helped with completing the raised garden – that one require much muscle.
The littlest guy, he was voluntarily helping me make desserts and lemonade, having finished washing the car. As he stood at the counter, his still-little-boy hands slicing lemons and oranges we talked of big and little things.
“It’s our job to teach you how to work. Right now you don’t always have choices because we have to prepare you to be fit for usefulness in your future job,” I explained, pulling from Webster’s 1828 definition of Education (1828 Noah Webster Dictionary)
“I think I should have a choice,” he said, pushed the topic cheekily. I sighed. This desire for independence bursts out early in these boys, this desire to be in charge of their destiny.
I mentioned Jonah – and what happened to him when he tried to avoid a job he didn’t like. Jonah didn’t want that job, but God wanted Jonah to do that job.
Somehow, my little lemon slicer grabbed the story line and took off. When I tried to join in, he said, “This is my story, mom.”
We worked together, while he told me about Jonah trying to sneak away from what God wanted him to do, getting thrown into the sea by his sea-faring peers, being swallowed and eventually, when he agreed to do the job God wanted him to do, being thrown up.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones” (Luke 16:10) kept whispering its way through my mind – but how do you persuade a little boy that if he does his chores really well, he will be given bigger chores? When bigger and better do really equate in terms of job size? At least in an 11 year old’s world.
My hands stirring blackberry sauce, shaping scones. His hands wiping up the kitchen with me – as we prepare for family gathering.
Our hands working together, praying together in the twilight where we stood under the Oak, hands held, praying for doors to open, for revelation, for guidance – we stood there believing for His plan.
“From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him” (Proverbs 12:14)
“Let’s go on a bicycle trip, you and I
A bicycle trip down a country road,
A country road beside a stream
A stream where you climbed off your bicycle
And splashed your feet in the water
With your feet cooled, you climbed on your bicycle
And bicycled to town, to the market square
Thirsty you ordered a juice smoothie
A mango and carrot juice smoothie
That turned your nose orange
So you rode your bicycle to the hat shop
To buy a hat to hide
Your orange nose
A BBBllluuuueeee hat? She smiled
A piiiinnn-k hat? Her brow furrowed.
GGGrrrrreeen? Totally bored
So a blue hat she bought
for her bicycle ride out to the countryside
In the countryside, she saw some cows
And thought how yummy in her tummy
Would a glass of creamy, whole milk be
As she drank long of her milk purchased
A cow came up behind and lowed and mooed
and surprised she took off on her bicycle
The waning day grew chilled, bbbrrrrrrr
chilled enough to stop her pedaling
beside a flock of sheep, to pull
some pink wool
into a sweater
to shoo off the evening chill
In her new sweater, all pink and wooly
She pedaled on, pedaled on
Sleepy and tired
Until a gaggle of geese waddled
Into the path, stopping the peddaling
And she plucked 10 feathers
And stuffed them into a pillow case
For a feathered pillow
Climbing on her bicycle, to
where she rested her head on her feather pillow,
Wrapped in a wooly pink sweater
Wearing a blue night-cap
with a tummy full
of juice mango smoothies and fresh milk
closed her eyes
“And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:16)
My hands, though, they don’t reach their potential.
Jesus laid hands on the leper
And he was cleansed (Matt 8:2-4)
Jesus laid hands on an infirm, bowed-over woman
And she was made straight (Luke 13:13)
Jesus laid hands on the blind man,
And the blind man saw (Mark 8:23)
“When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them” (Luke 4:40)
Oh, yes, the work of my hands fall short of what God enabled them to do. They can only do jobs the size of my faith. I pray that my faith grow, that God-in-Me work its way out through my hands to touch lives in the way God made me to touch lives. If he has called the heart of these hands to heal, to cleanse, to make straight, to open eyes for truth – all physically and spiritually, I pray that whatever binds them from being what He empowered them to do is loosened.
For now, the blessing of my hands comes from the cutting of the chard, the playing with baby feet, the tending of my garden, and the laying on of hands in a call to prayer.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,” (Ecc. 9:10)
455-465 blessings listed above
466) a 7 a.m. Saturday morning date to watch squirrels
467) orange carrots, fresh chard, tomatoes and delicious-smelling onions at the Farmer’s Market
468) in my hammock, looking up through the trees, looking at all the “Y”s – thanks to Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus, I saw Yahweh everywhere! It makes sense that the trees praise Yahweh when every branch is laden with reminders of Yahweh!
469) spotting my teen in the hammock on a Holiday afternoon
470) The teen, swinging in the hammock now a senior
471) a pontoon ride, on a lake, reminding me, all that water, of the Holy Spirit
472) For sweet friends, breaking bread over lunch.
473) my oldest son, at the family gathering, loving my Swiss Chard dish
474) Empty plates once filled with scones, beignets, chard, asperagus with Hollandaise sauce
475) My raised garden bed, built by my husband filled with plants, seeds, hope and faith
476) babygirl falling asleep in the shawl I knit, that matched her outfit
477) this job that I go to from 8 to 4:30, some days from 6 or 7 a.m. to 4:30 to catch up, that has helped me use my time more richly
478) Hope in the sun creeping through my window sill every morning!
479) Green buddings on our transplanted hydrangea!