This past week the amount of rain we’ve been receiving in torrential downpours has been amazing. I don’t know if I just block the memories of previous Aprils since it is such a gloomy month, but I honestly do not recall one with more rain than we’ve been having thus far! I’m not complaining, just exclaiming – especially since last week it was snow twice!

In our front yard tree two robins have built their nest.

We were thrilled when we discovered them making it because we had JUST finished studying birds in Apologia’s Flying Creatures of the 5th Day. Who knew we’d have robins IN OUR FRONT YARD (there aren’t a lot of mature trees in our area, not much to attract birds to our yard either, but we DID get a nest in our bush last year which we discovered in the fall!) RIGHT at the time we finished studying birds and nests?! Well, God did. You know, my love for the Lord wells up and overflows in situations like this. Because I didn’t really “verbalize” a prayer about seeing the birds, but the Lord knew the desires on my heart for the boys to be able to see this and he provided! What an awesome God!

Anyway, my point in talking about robins and rain isn’t spring, but rather determination – taking heart. (find another word). Our poor mama robin has been sitting on the nest since late last week, and has endured the most brutal of spring rain DUMPING down on top of her (the tree she is in has not yet blossomed) and the wind rattling everything all around. And yet, she has stayed. Resolute. Determined. Never straying from her all-important task of guarding her unborn children.

When these chicks are born, it will be more of the same for the parents until they fledge. Constant feeding, crowd control, training and exercise, until they can go out on their own. Pouring into their young.

If God cares so much about something as small as a robin chick, and gave them the instinct to know how to care for and nurture their young, protecting them against all odds, how much more does he care for us and give us the ability and the wisdom we need.

Pastor Robbie Symons of one of our sister churches, Harvest Bible Chapel Oakville, did a series a couple years ago about “Get Wisdom”. In one of his messages I listened to last night, he talks about Proverbs 4, where a father is giving wise instruction to his son (children). It is a passage like this that lifts the spirit and gives encouragement when you just do not know what to say or how to direct those little ones (and big ones!) in your care.

My favourite verse from this passage (and it wasn’t easy to pick one, I’d like to just put the whole thing up here, but it’s long :D) is verse 23: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow springs of life.” (ESV)

When I first started getting serious about doing memory work with the boys, this was one of the first passages we learned. I am not sure why this one jumped out at me at the time, but I understand more now. I am in the business, as a mother, of training hearts. One of the biggest things I have learned during the last year is that the main thing is attitude, not outward appearance. I could be doing and saying all the right things, but my attitude within my heart is not right. I could force the boys to do their chores and schoolwork, but they would only be doing it to please me, and not to bring glory to God and have a right attitude.

What is in the heart spills out over into your every day life. What you see, say, do, think, feel – all in your heart. And what you expose yourself to on a daily basis, affects your heart.

True story – yesterday, my daughter came down with a fever. We were heading out to my husband’s brother’s place for a late family Easter celebration. I had spent hours the day before baking cupcakes and making desserts. And now, as the mother, I was not going to be able to go. I.was.angry. Slamming cupboard doors, yelling at the boys. Finally, something I had looked forward to for weeks, and I wasn’t going to be able to go.

Well, I knew the way I was behaving was no better than a child, and I knew it had to stop. But this has always been a struggle for me. HOW to get out of that funk when I’m in it! I started to pray. And I can honestly say that the most transforming feeling of peace washed over me and I was ok with staying home. I prayed for peace. I prayed for a change of my heart and attitude. And God answered. He transformed my heart from one of stubbornness and rebellion to submission to what He had ultimately allowed to happen (because when you’re angry about circumstances like that, who are you really angry AT?).

Within a few moments, we were at the breakfast table discussing and my wonderful, loving husband declared that there was no way I was going to stay home after all the work I had done, and he would stay with sick baby. I am so thankful for him and for how God used this situation to show me how to change my heart.

Whenever my boys are having attitude problems, the challenge for me is to WANT to pray for them. Because I know that by praying for them, I am setting an example of how to handle future issues that arise. But sometimes I don’t want to.

During this time of praying for my boys, I have been so blessed to have my attitudes toward them changed, and now, I have a whole arsenal of verses to use to encourage and help them when these attitudes surface (because we all know they will!).

So thank you all for sharing in this challenge with me (and the rest of us)! I am looking forward to continuing it, taking 1 area a week and praying over it, as well as focusing on it with bible study (more on that later) with the kids. I hope to see you all on this challenge again soon!

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world!” (ESV)