Come humbly like a child...

A picture is worth a thousand words... they say.  I could literally write a thousand words about the one at the bottom of this page.  Don't you love it when  you are reminded once, twice... maybe even a third time about the same principle from God's word in different places or circumstances.  Recently completing a great study by Karen Kingsbury called, "The Friends of Jesus",  Karen used her creative storytelling to introduce her readers to six of Jesus' friends and their encounter or encounters with Jesus.  John, the beloved disciple, brother to James, son of Zebedee, nicknamed a son of thunder, chosen by Jesus to care for his mother, Mary, from the cross... a definite friend to Jesus.  

John, his brother James, and their mother came to Jesus with a reasonable question?!  They simply asked to sit at the right and left hands of Jesus 'in His kingdom'.  Jesus quickly let them know, that the decision of who sat where would be determined by God the Father.  
The greatness question continued in Matthew 18, as the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?"  Jesus answered with a clear "object" lesson.  He called a little child and had him stand among them.  "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like a little child, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven."

There it is... humbleness... defined as 'low in rank, status, importance; not proud or arrogant'

So what does that really look like?  
A day or two later, I was reading in Philippians chapter 2:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature, God, do not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! "

It looks like Jesus - like an attitude of servanthood... always, every moment, every day... looking to God for everything in humble expectation for all things.  Seeking His guidance, seeking His plan, Seeking His heart... looking intently toward Him...

And then... looking through boxes
there surfaced this picture...

He is a good, good Father - turn toward Him, take Him at His word, thank Him, trust Him, tell Him...
The link below is a great reminder of how He turns to you...

All the things I WON'T miss

The merry 'ole month of May.  If you live in or around Louisville, the Kentucky Derby sweetly consumes the first week of the month and the weeks leading up to it.

If you live in or around the Wilder home, this May is packed with grandson #3's birthday, Mother's Day, Mollie's graduation from college and Clay's graduation from high school.  

I was sharing with a friend the other day that for years and years and years my children would graciously ask what I wanted for Mother's Day.  My response is still the same... just happy children.  Usually by 9:15 am on Sunday on the way to church, at least two of those four babes were "not" happy.  Maybe it was the teenage daughter who recently reminded me that she often was required to change clothes 9 times before her outfit satisfied Mom's approving eye... maybe it was the 4-year-old little boy that just wanted to stay home and play outside...  or maybe the 10-year-old that didn't like the food at the restaurant they had chosen for our celebration.

So sometime during my admitting defeat of happy children, when asked the question of what I wanted.... I chuckled and replied... "Stuff... just a lot of stuff!"  They knew better, and even just this week, my newest son-in-law uttered... "maybe this year, you will get happy children!"

Moaning a bit with a friend the other, of the fact that this will be my last Mother's Day with a child officially living in our home.  Calculating a few stats lately:  we are just completing our 16th year of high school parenting, completing our 25th year of relying on a school calendar to dictate the year, completing our 48th combined years of parenting children in school.  (4 kids x 12 years = 48)

A long, precious, challenging, hard, wonderful, overwhelming, heartbreaking, joy-filled chapter of our lives is closing.  Motherhood is all of those plus groans and utterances that I can't put into words. So as I ponder Clay's leaving home, a friend suggested I make a list of the things I won't miss when we are officially "empty-nesters".  I attempted - but it didn't turn out quite like I expected..

1.  I won't miss my dining room wall decorated with an ugly old bulletin board.  You see when each of our children began their senior year, we created a collage chronically that's child's life.
 But wait, I will miss stopping several times a week taking a quick stroll down one of many memory lanes giggling at a particular picture - recalling that very day.

2.  I won't miss Clay's size 13 tennis shoes tossed in the middle of my kitchen floor.
 But wait... I will miss knowing those shoes mean he is safe at home available for a quick conversation about the day.

3.  I won't miss every Saturday afternoon cooking a pound of sausage and a dozen eggs, then grating the cheese to create 10 breakfast burritos for Clay's grab and go breakfast Monday - Friday.
But wait,   I will miss each morning as he rushes out the door, grabbing his aluminum foil wrapped, warm from the oven burrito, he kisses me on the head, "thanks, Mom!".

4.  I won't miss sitting out in the snow, rain, sleet, freezing cold late night LAX games with my fleece blanket always along.
 But wait, I will miss watching those boys gather at the end of every game, win or lose, as Clay "prays them out". 

5.  I won't miss those nights of a basement full of boys wrestling, eating, playing corn hole must too late, noise, noise and noise, eating again.
But wait, I will miss those late night conversations with a thoughtful group of young men discussing their future plans and dreams.

6.  I won't miss Clay's messy room complete with clothes on the floor and the bed begging to be made.
But wait, I will miss that he'll be back in that bed tonight.

7.  I won't miss each Sunday afternoon at 3:00 trying to decide what to feed the Sunday night Bible study group of 15 or so - class of 2016.
But wait, oh precious ones, what joy it has brought me to hear you read and study God's word each week, to ask questions that none of us could really answer, to pray about everything, to encourage each other, to offer me such insight and challenge...

8.  I won't miss the question one more time... Mom - the jeep's out of gas, can I have a loan.
 But wait... we've raised 3 others... that question will still come... :)

9.  I won't miss the strong disagreements over curfew, the please, Mom, will you type this paper as I speak, you type so fast request, grades, college application deadlines, project deadlines with the need for supplies at 10:00 pm for the trifold due tomorrow.
 But wait, I will miss the chunks of time I could just listen and laugh with this funny boy.. even at midnight while typing.

10.  I won't miss that almost weekly conversation on Sunday morning... yes, you have to get up NOW or we will be late for church...
But wait, I will so miss the rich discussion that we had on the way home as we talked through what we had heard.

11.  I won't miss those that have gone before me with their wonderful well-meaning words of advice reminding me in the midst of a hard time, don't blink - they will be gone before you turn around.  
But wait, I tried not to... but I guess I blinked.

Oh friends, maybe next week I will share all the craziness, the worry, the gray hair, and sleepless night that have come with raising children, but not today...

Children are a blessing
    and a gift from the Lord.
Psalm 127:3