Since it is Mother's Day today I decided to share with you a devotional I wrote many years ago when I was an Area Coordinator for MOPS (Mothers of PreschoolerS) International.
Here is the devotional I called “Accidental Training”:
"My latest test came two weeks ago, when my sons decided to get into a sleeping bag with one of our cats and roll down the stairs. I was alerted to their plan only when they hit the bottom and I heard that all-too-familiar scream of pain.
My years of training went into action. Without thinking, I swept up my younger son, grabbed some ice, and held him close until he calmed down. A quick physical check told me he was mostly fine, but that a finger had probably been broken. So off to urgent care we went.
I faced my grading time, performed by various hospital medical personnel, an x-ray machine, and of course my son. This time my training paid off and I passed. I had done the right things. We left the clinic with a calmed child and a splinted finger.
Medical care is not a lesson I would have chosen to learn. But my children have taught me this and so many other things that have made me grow in ways I couldn't have dreamed about. I am a better person because of the events and experiences they bring to my life.
How about you? What training have you been putting into practice today?"
I wish I could say that is the end of the story and that this devotional was one of many of my submitted devotionals that MOPS has published to encourage the young mothers they minister to, but I can't. It is not that MOPS International does not ask me each year to submit devotionals for their upcoming publications, but rather they have refused my devotionals year after year for a reason I am very grieved about.
Last year, as I again submitted some devotionals, I was told by their editor through an email, “You are a wonderful writer and I was so moved by the devotionals you submitted, but we are unable to use them in our publication.” Was it that I was a bad writer? No, her response made that clear. Was it that I didn't write about topics pertaining to motherhood? No, I made sure everything I submitted had to do with motherhood and the struggles each young mother reading the publication could relate to. Then, were my submissions too long or short? Again no, I checked each word count before submitting the devotionals to make sure they met the criteria.
In the end, the reason my submissions have been rejected over and over, as well as the reason I stepped out of my Area Coordinator position with MOPS International is because they have become a seeker friendly ministry that is more comfortable with watered down truth then sticking to the truth and wisdom of God and letting His word to the ministering instead of their organization. (And, if you read any of my blogs you understand that watered down truth is the furthest thing from my type of writing.)
So, why do I keep submitting my writings year after year if I have no intention of changing my approach to presenting the truth through the devotionals I submit? I guess my reason is that one day I hope they will see the light and realize the grave mistake they are making in trying to present truth to these young mothers in the form of quaint little stories that have no wisdom or real biblical truth embedded in them.
Yes, the devotional I wrote and copied above is just that – a quaint little story. Today I would have written it very differently. I would have added the fact that God allows us to make poor choices just as my sons did so we see our imperfections in the light of His perfect nature. I would have pointed out that in the midst of those messes we have created, we have a loving parent who does not abandon us and who is always orchestrating things in our lives and through our messes to only make us stronger, just like my son's bone that healed with the new bone created by his body - over time it became even stronger than it was before. I would have also pointed out that God's prevailing concern is not so much for our broken bodies but rather the broken states of our hearts. I would have also talked about how God uses circumstances to build upon our faith in Him and how with Him as our solid foundation anything He uses in our lives to gain more wisdom will always stand firm and will weather any storm that comes our way because it is a foundation that cannot be shaken.
But then again, if I would have added those elements to my devotional then it probably would have never have been published. To that end result I am grieved because I would rather it had never been published than to have something published with my name on it that does not give all the glory to God, the rightful One to be given all praise, honor, glory, and favor and that doesn't point people to the true giver of all wisdom and peace in this world – Jesus.
On this Mother's Day I have had one small verse ringing through my head that I have have not been able to shake and I feel it is so fitting to conclude this blog with:
Proverbs 31:26a says “She opens her mouth with wisdom”
I pray that each day I live on this earth and have the ability to open my mouth, that the words which will proceed from it will be words of wisdom bringing many into the light of Christ. All other words I speak and you speak are void and useless when they are tested by the fires of judgment. So as you wrap up your Mother's Day think about how your words and the lessons you share effect the people God has placed around you. May you also have many words of wisdom that teach truth, bring glory to God, and bring many souls into a rightful relationship with Christ Jesus.