|Whose kid is that?|
This picture always makes me laugh inside. It was Thanksgiving day and all was right with the world, except that Ella left her other stuffed animal inside the house and I wouldn't let her go back in to retrieve it. Mean mom, I know...but one incessantly barking stuffed animal with freakishly long lasting batteries is about as much as I can take!
I have often felt the way Ella looks in this picture. I was never a person who cried easily, but now I'm one of those girls who cries at Disney movies and baby commercials. I do have things to cry about, some significant and some insignificant. Crying when I hear my son talking to his friend about how his daddy doesn't live with us? Significant. Crying because I'm PMS'ing and can't find a cheeseburger joint when I really, really, really want a cheeseburger? Insignificant. (I wish I was joking.)
The verse above was written in my journal and dated July 24, 2009...only six weeks after my husband had left. I spent every day consistently on the verge of tears. I was so concerned over how all of it was going to affect my children. I worried about their future, my health, what people thought, finances, etc. On this day in particular, I was looking for hope past the tears. I longed for the day when the happy moments outnumbered the sad ones. I found this verse and wrote it in my journal, anticipating the day when the harvest of joy would be reaped.
I didn't really read all the words to this verse. All my mind saw was "tears" and "joy". At the time I thought in my mind "sad now, happy later". However, "sowing" involves labor. Forgive me for knowing close to nada about sowing, but I was raised in New York City aka the concrete jungle...there are no farmers to be found. I can, however, imagine that sowing seeds must be backbreaking work. You have to do whatever is required to make sure the ground is fertile, then you have to bend over and get the seeds from whatever you hold them in and scatter them across the ground across miles of acreage. Then you have to wait. If you do it all correctly, you gather up the bountiful harvest you have worked for.
I was listening to a sermon over the weekend where the guest speaker spoke from Mark 4, referring to the four types of sowers. My pastor made the point that, if you do the math, 75% of those sowers won't bear fruit. That got me thinking about this verse again and I saw it a little bit clearer. A lot of people use the phrase "you reap what you sow" with a negative connotation. However, I think there can be a very positive harvest, if you sow the right thing. What am I sowing into my life through my tears? Am I sowing disappointment? Discouragement? Bitterness? Failure? Am I resigning myself to the idea that my kids are virtually screwed because they now come from a broken home? Believe me, at one point or another I have done all of these and on occasion, still do. Sowing things like that will reap me nothing of value. Instead, I'm now making a conscious effort to sow hope, love, peace, laughter, happiness, faith, humor, gentleness, discipline and other virtues into my life, the lives of my children and those around me. Anyone who is around me knows I am not 100% succeeding in this area yet, not even close. I am making the effort though, and I can see joy now and on the horizon!
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do." - CS Lewis