Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Scrap the blueprints - Trust the Master Builder instead


“We as women, think of ourselves as mothers, teachers, nurses and son on, but God says that we are builders. We usually relegate this role to the men, but we are building with something far great than brick and timber.”
~Nancy Campbell,~
The Power of Motherhood: What the Bible Says about Mothers

Contrary to Nancy Campbell's words, I have frequently considered myself a builder.

When I worked as a florist, I had a "toolbox" that contained all the things I used each day to "build" flower arrangements - things like scissors, clippers, floral tape, wire, leaf shine and more. Each arrangement started with a blueprint or pattern as to how it should be constructed and the materials I needed to put it together.

I used to make a lot of my children's clothes out of necessity when they were small. Sewing is a form of building as well since you purchase and assemble your materials, cut and measure them according to the blueprint (pattern) and then assemble them according to the directions.

Likewise I became a builder in the kitchen. Pies are a great example of a culinary building project. The crust becomes the foundation, the fruit or custard filling is the structure of the pie and the topping is the finishing detail work to making a masterpiece my husband is bound to rave over. It all started with a basic blueprint (recipe). As long as I followed it, things would turn out just fine.

Though I always considered myself a builder, the problem with being a mom/grandmom and raising kids is that they don't come with blueprints. Since they are all individuals, no two of them is alike so what works with one probably won't work with the next one to come along!

My three children were different from each other. My son was in such a hurry to be independent, but reluctant to cut the apron strings. My middle daughter was the complicated one who knew what she wanted to do, but analyzed it all a lot. My youngest was constatnly struggling to live in the shadow of her older siblings and struggled to find herself.

Now, my middle daughter and I frequently chat about her five children and how each one is so different. Eve reminds me of the artsy flower child who will grow up to wear the broomstick skirts and peasant blouses. Her brother Jack is the opposite - he's all intense and set on winning; quiet but athletic. Abby is mischief personified - a girlie little one who loves to give herself spa treatments in the bathroom sink with the whole bottle of bubble bath. And Sam - whew - he's the 2 year old brain child who has the world figured out, if only his motor skills would be coordinated enough to accomplish what he wants to do. Newborn Katie we haven't figured out yet.

No, these young lives don't have blueprints and even if they did, each one would would require different parenting skills, knowledge and tools to raise them by the book. My daughter is learning as I did that the only way to raise her brood is to rely on the Master Builder and accept her position as an apprentice.

He has the complete set of blueprints for each child and will give her the wisdom and knowledge to build their young lives one step at a time. He also has the complete set of tools needed and will teach her how to use each one in its proper time.

If I had one word of advice for my daughter it would be this - scrap whatever plans you have for your kids. Take time to nurture your relationship with the Master builder first and keep your ears open to Him so you will hear and understand His instructions for building the lives of your children. He'll do a much better job than you will on your own and He'll continue to train you along the way as long as you're open to Him.

Chelsey will be hosting next Tuesday, on her blog,“Joyfully Living For His Glory“. If you'd like to play along, think about the quote she has chosen and share about it on your blog on Tuesday. Then go to Chelsey’s blog and leave the URL link to your blog. Take time to visit the other gals who have also written on today's quote.


MiPa said...

Wonderful post Bonnie! Bless you!

a woman found said...

great advice!

i always go back to Psalm 127, "Unless the Lord builds the house..." All my efforts, plans and worries do nothing if the Lord isn't building my children. So I cry out to the Master builder and seek to follow Him, because apart from Him I can do nothing, but in Him I can do all things!

Denise said...

Such a great post, thank you.