Give Them an Inch and You May Walk a Mile … Together

Mary_Cassatt_Young_Mother_Sewing

Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing

Why, hello! I’m Sally’s assistant, Misty Krasawski, and I’m thrilled to be sharing with you here today, as Sally is taking a little R&R time away in Asheville with Sarah this week. 

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” ~Prov. 11:24-25

It had been a very long day, one full of the usual cooking and cleaning up messes, trying to keep up with writing obligations and phone calls, and too many worries were clogging my mind. Unfortunately I’d probably spent a little more time engaged in my “work” than in play, and the children had noticed.

A plaintive voice came from around the corner. “Mom!”

I tried to put him off. “Not now, I’m busy!” I said, returning to the stubborn gunk stuck to my kitchen floor.

“MOM~ I need you!!!”

Giving up, I tossed the rag I was using aside, swallowed a sigh of exasperation, plunked the bowl of soapy water I’d been slaving over onto the counter, and stomped a bit as I reluctantly turned from my work to follow him to the next room, wondering what he could possibly want this time.

“I got this for you,” he said, offering a grubby fist gripping tightly onto the now-bent neck of a flower pulled from our walkway.

Instantly, my heart was struck. Here I was being frustrated with a child whose only intention was to bless. I got down on the floor and hugged him tight. “Oh, buddy! Thank you! I love that!” Putting him on my knee, I threw a quick prayer heavenward … Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me for seeing only the mess stuck to the floor in front of me, and missing the beauty running around on two legs in the front yard. 

And then I wondered …

How many times have I done that?

Don’t you love those old-fashioned church signs, which give wonderful advice like, “Don’t make Me come down there!” or this, my personal favorite, especially in the middle of a roasting Florida summer: “Think it’s hot here?” There was one in our neighborhood last year which said, “Give the devil an inch and he’ll want to be your ruler.” So many great thoughts could be pulled out of that one. It comes from a saying, though, that I sometimes think subconsciously rules my reactions to my children: Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.

The truth is, I’m selfish. Though I’m an intentional person by nature and want to please the Lord; though I truly love my children and enjoy just being with them, still there is more of me left in me than I’d like to admit.

Motherhood takes a lot out of us. Day in and day out there are people in need and want, demands constantly being made, things that never seem to get crossed off the to-do list! Sometimes I withhold my *self* because I just don’t want to give up any more of me. Times when I just cannot look into one more pair of eyes because my soul feels shrunken and there’s just not enough in there to pour out one more drop.

Being in the midst of a move has meant many, many of those days piled up right on top of one another. Wiping down a dusty bookshelf this afternoon, I said to the Lord, “I cannot do this anymore. I’m drained and too tired. I cannot keep being nice and working so hard, I just can’t.”

You know what I heard Him say? “Okay. But look … see? You are doing it. You know why? Because it’s never you, anyway. It’s always, always Me; and it’s Me now and it will be Me tomorrow and the day after that. You can do it, because My spirit is in you. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will quicken your body and you will find yourself able, day after day.”

He promises strength to the weary, to bear us up in His arms, and I hear tell there are even green pastures out there. We don’t have to keep our hearts covered up, hidden away from our spouses and children lest they ask for more than we can give. The funny thing is, the more I withhold, the more incessant the demands become. The more I pour out before it’s requested, the more satisfied and peaceful my children are. Spending time with little ones early in the day affords chances to work with older ones as the afternoon works its way around. An impromptu date with a teenager curbs frustration and rebellion over little issues because they already know I love them and have their backs and don’t feel I’m just the lady with the rulebook.

Needs met are tucked away satisfied, while needs ignored only grow in their intensity and demand.

Parenting is one area where giving an inch prevents the mile from being taken. Or perhaps it allows us to walk the miles together. We will find the proverb true when it comes to our time and effort as mamas …

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

~Prov. 11:24-25

May we all give freely today!

 20 (640x633)Misty Krasawski is wife to Rob, mama to eight wonderful blessings and a very grateful daughter of the King. She loves to bake, garden, eat chocolate, read, and make things pretty. She spends most of her online time as assistant to Sally Clarkson and part of the MomHeart Online team, but can also sometimes be found at her blog, Encouraging Beautiful Motherhood.

 

Also, don’t miss Angela Perritt’s article today at MomHeart Online, reminding us to speak words that water souls! 

desperatebook

“Often times I come away from a book on mothering feeling worse than I did before. Most authors present one way of doing things and the book makes the author look like supermom and that, we too, can be supermom if we just follow their plan. Desperate is the complete opposite – it shows us how all mothers struggle and helps us climb out of the suffocating trenches of mommyhood.” -Amazon review

If you could use a little encouragement  and even some practical help, you might just like Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. Find it here, and then head on over to the book club today as Sarah Mae is discussing Chapter 8 – Escaping!

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this. :~) My heart smiles at the vision of your little guy picking you a flower from the walkway. My son is just two as of last week. I look forward to flower-picking days.

    P.S. I hate those church sign boards. Most of the time, I feel like they promote a terribly harsh gospel.

  2. says

    These past few days I feel like God has been speaking to my worn out heart at every turn. This post included. I have often thought/felt like the more I give the more is asked of me so this quote especially spoke to me:
    “The funny thing is, the more I withhold, the more incessant the demands become. The more I pour out before it’s requested, the more satisfied and peaceful my children are.”
    Thanks for the encouraging words today!

  3. says

    So very timely. It brought great conformation to what I feel I have been hearing from the Lord as I go through a season of change and growth that at times overwhelms.

  4. Stephanie says

    I am so thankful that God’s grace allows us to experience and embody the same spirit that rose Christ from the dead. I can live all of my days in hope because of His truth and power! I appreciate you sharing this message with us as a reminder. Blessings to you and your family!

    Stephanie from NC
    (I moved to your table at the end of the Mom Heart Conference in Raleigh, for the luncheon…what a privilege it was the be there among so many strong women of faith!)

  5. Barb says

    I love this post Misty – meeting the needs of our little ones (and bigger ones) before their needs demand to be met and we wonder why they seem “demanding” ?
    It is so true that our selfish souls just cringe and wither when we push aside instead of embracing. I like Ross Campbell’s book ‘How to really love your child” where he talks about focused attention. When we really give our undivided attention wholeheartedly, their little hearts are full and they are content – not clingy.
    Thank you for the reminder :)

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