Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The benefits of being an early riser

Okay, first, I am *not* an early riser by nature.  10am is a great time to get up as far as I'm concerned.  And, I'm married to a night owl who goes to bed at midnight or later on a work night.  So, getting up early is not easy for me.  I made the effort this morning because I still had some things that weren't planted and didn't feel like doing my outside chores in the forecasted 100 degree heat.

So, I was up at 6:30 this morning (hush those of you who think this is not early).  I had my coffee and read a wonderful devotional in The Word Among Us.  Today's New Testament Reading is Acts 20:28-38.  St. Paul is leaving Ephesus after a 3 year ministry there.  The devotional reading focuses on Paul's care for the weak in the Church there.  Here's an excerpt:
Every community, every congregation, even every family has its own "weak" members....  These are the ones Paul singled out for special attention, for he knew the fundamental precept that those who are more graced should care for those who are in need--not take advantage of them or ignore them.
Such a philosophy goes against our human nature.  Those who move quickly find it irritating to slow down for those who lag behind.  It can be hard for someone with a quick mind to have to explain things to someone who just doesn't et it.  Instead of puttin ourselves in their shoes, we tend to imagin them in ours:  "If that happened to me, I would surely have handled it better."  But when we do this, we exercise the judgment that belongs to God and fail to extend his mercy--a mercy that belongs to the strong and weak alike.
This could have been written about me.  It has to be hard having me for a mom.  I just pray that God will help me to show mercy to my children and encourage them, even, perhaps especially, when they do the same dumb thing for the 9,000th time.

Speaking of which, did you know that an electric fence is pretty ineffective at keeping in starving chickens?  I had the kids feed and water the chickens yesterday and, well, let's just say it's a good thing they don't do it every day.  I went outside to see 2/3 of the babies and all of the pullets (who should not be able to fit) had squeezed through the electric poultry netting and were foraging in our side yard.  So, I spread some feed out on the ground and woke my 13 year old (14 tomorrow) daughter to come out and watch them as they ate, and fill their food and water properly.  I, by the grace of God, did this without yelling or getting snarky once.  And, you know what?  I think she learned the lesson of how to care for them properly better for it.

Oh--and a bonus--they all went back inside the fence with no complaints or stragglers.  That is truly a miracle.

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