Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ordinary Loaves and Fishes

I have been meaning to post this poem shared by a woman in our Bible study. Today seemed like a good day to do it. I reached a low point in my mommying today. I am not sure what we have done wrong, but our children seem to be turning into little monsters. They are so incredibly disobedient and dishonoring lately, not matter how gentle I try to be. I am becoming more and more disillusioned by parenting theories and models-- from the ones given to me by my parents and in-laws, which work for some like Hobbes but just scare sensitive children like Calvin into obeying (and later into hiding things from us)--to positive discipline models which just seem to make kids confused about who is really in charge. I feel like I am drowning. I feel like I am doing nothing well. And so I read this, to be reminded that it is faithfulness in the little things, all parenting theories aside, that God can take and bless and multiply. Lord, have mercy.

Ordinary Loaves and Fishes
--Sanna Anderson Baker

At night I lie beside my child and sing.
Last night I sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Her back was pressed against my chest,
and the smell of the wind was in her hair.
Before I’d finished singing she was sleeping,
but I sang on softly of your faithfulness,
faithfulness that made you pursue your people
even after the green of Eden faded.
At first you came in cloud, in fire,
feeding, leading, sealing
covenants with rainbows, oaths with flames
that passed at dusk between halves of heifer,
ram and goat. Your raw presence was too much for men.

Then, when time was right, you
who were cloud and flame came closer,
and the glory that before could not be looked upon
settled on your son, asleep in a woman’s arms.
And in him men saw that the God who fathered them
longed for them, loved them.
There were thirsty deserts, waffling followers.
Yet, faithful to your love for men,
he went your way, another son following father
to the stony place of sacrifice.
This time, though, no ram in thicket,
no staying of the father’s hand.

And now, as your strange ways would have it,
the Spirit that is you has come to me
and I, not ark, bear you through the world.
Bearer of your image, I? I do no miracles—
make no manna, sight no blind eyes.
I tie laces, make beds, bake bread.
But your equations, like your ways, are strange
adding oil, multiplying meal, making one lunch
food for thousands. Take my acts,
ordinary loaves and fishes.
Bless, break, multiply.


evenshine said...

Bless, break, multiply.

Such a great prayer. I hope this for you, in these times that try Mommy's soul.

Blessings to you.

Kathy B! said...

I found you through your comment on Evenshine's blog. The prayer is beautiful.

But let me reassure you that this will come out right. Sometimes these thing take time to see the fruits of your labors. Have patience and be consistent and all will be right.

Daniel, Laura, Cora Marie, and Eliot said...

You are one of the most intentional, thoughtful, loving mothers I know. You have been given such amazingly talented and strong-minded children... warriors and prophets perhaps were not easy children. Perhaps those 2 mothers of old pulled their hair out, too. BUT their willful, wondering children were strong and mighty men. YOU, too, shall raise such sons!
I'm proud of you. Continue your moments of wonder and waiting. Stay the course, dear friend.

Allison said...

Beautiful. Thank you. I needed this today.

And I feel just like you do ALL THE TIME, especially about the parenting philosophies, and I only have two little ones. So hang in there.