It is easy to get discouraged and become frustrated from the trials of
daily life, but if we realize that these hardships are only temporary, we
will soon find that it's not as bad as it seems. We must live each day
with the proper perspective and see that it is normal to have good days and
bad, to be lifted up some days and discouraged other days. The Bible
emphasizes this point as we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 “To every thing
there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to
be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that
which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,
and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to
mourn, and a time to dance.” (Psalm 3:1-6) (Isaiah 61:10) (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Be encouraged to see things in perspective and know that good days are
ahead of you even while it may seem impossible right now. The Lord will
work all things to your good because you love Him. (Romans 8:28)
I hope this message encourages you to look at each new day with a positive
attitude knowing that you are here for a purpose that only you have the
ability to fulfill.
I ONLY WANTED A BREAK
Totally exhausted after a day of chasing goats, chickens, ducks, geese,
dogs and cats, and three preschool children, I dropped into my lazy boy
chair. I had no sooner dozed off when the six school-aged children burst in
from school, all tumbling over each other, trying to be the first to tell
me about their day. Usually I welcomed their enthusiasm, but today I just
wished the whole world would vanish, and take me with it. It had been one
of those days!
I closed my eyes, trying hard not to let the tears escape. I wanted to
shout at the children, tell then to “shut up!” But I didn't have to.
Lucile, the oldest girl, was a very softhearted, caring child, too grown-up
for her twelve years. She saw my distress and asked, “Mom? What's wrong?”
It was then the tears really came. And you could have heard a pin drop. The
children all clambered around me, concern showing in their eyes.
Being only twenty-eight and having nine children was sometimes a bit much.
If I had acquired the children in the usual manner, I might have become
gradually used to the idea. But then I would have been older than
twenty-eight. The children were all foster children, ranging in age from
four to fourteen. The responsibility and work was sometimes overwhelming.
Lucile dropped her schoolbooks on the table and made me a cup of tea. The
little ones had climbed onto my lap, while the others just stood staring at
me. Soon, the cup of tea helping, I gained my composure, letting out a big
James looked at me and said, “Mom? Did we do something wrong?”
“No,” I said, a smile struggling to my lips. “I'm just exhausted. It's all
right. Some day when you have children of your own you'll understand.”
“Do you wish you didn't have us?” four-year-old Van, the youngest, wanted
to know. He'd been especially trying that day, and perhaps his conscience
was bothering him.
“Of course I don't wish I didn't have you,” I replied, pulling him close.
“But sometimes mommies just get tired. Sometimes mommies wish they could
have a break. But I'm okay now. Come and help get supper.”
A week later school broke for the summer. And now, instead of three
children around all day, I had nine. We lived on acreage, and there was
always plenty to do. We had made a rule that the children would work for a
couple of hours each morning; then the afternoon they were free to do as
We had a number of bantam hens. Bantams have a habit of laying eggs
wherever they choose. Because of their great flying ability, we found it
impossible to keep these little chickens penned up. So the children made it
their job to go find the bantie eggs. But one day two of the boys got a
surprise. They found a nest of six eggs, hidden from view by some tall
grass. Half on, and half off the nest, lay a dead hen. All excited, the
boys came running to me, asking if they could bring the eggs in and try to
They were both in the fifth grade at school, and had learned about how baby
chickies were hatched--not born, like kittens. James, a few months older
than Don, explained that he was sure that the mother hen had just died,
because she was still warm. I went with them to where the eggs were,
I became as excited as the boys. Yes! I thought to myself. This would make
a great summer project, even if no chickies resulted. But I wanted to make
sure that it would not be just another start-and-quit thing, so I said,
“Okay, I am going to let you try this. But on one condition. If you start
this project, you must finish it. I don't want to hear you complaining in a
few days that you are tired of it and want to quit.”
The boys assured me that they would see it to its completion. I helped them
gather the equipment: a box for nesting, a couple of hot water bottles, a
calendar to keep track of the incubation days. Of course, that would just
be a guess, as we had no idea when the dead hen had begun sitting on the eggs.
The boys set the water bottles into the box on top of the heating pad,
covered them with a cloth, and nestled the eggs in. Faithfully for days,
they checked the water bottle temperature, and turned the eggs, often
getting up in the night to make sure the eggs were all right. At about the
fifteenth day they became impatient. They saw the other children go off to
the slough for a swim, but they wouldn't go. Their chicks might hatch while
they were gone. Even though I assured them that it would be all right for
them to go off for a couple of hours, they refused. They were sticking to
their promise of seeing this thing to its completion.
I really couldn't determine how many eggs would hatch, if any. After
examining them several times when the boys weren't around, I had decided
that only two of the six showed any sign of development, although I had my
doubts about even them. I didn't voice my opinion to Don or James, however,
as I wasn't sure, and because I did not want to dampen their enthusiasm. A
few more days went by, and the boys were beginning to give up hope. I never
saw such dejected looking faces in all my life.
The next morning, however, two excited boys came rushing from their
bedroom, into the kitchen, “Mom! Mom! Come look. I think some chickies are
starting to come out.”
I looked. Two tiny “pips” appeared on two of the eggs. The boys each picked
up an egg. For an hour or so they held those eggs in their hands, watching
as two tiny beaks chipped away at the shells. All the children stood
around, watching the process. The younger ones wanted James and Don to help
the little chickies out, but James, being the smarter of the two boys,
said, “No! That's not nature's way. I've been reading about it. They can't
Suddenly the egg James was holding cracked further. He became so excited
that he nearly dropped it. And then it was Don's turn to become excited,
except that Don was a rather stoical child, and kept his emotions bottled
up. He just stood there, holding his egg, with the broadest smile I had
ever seen on his face.
I placed a towel on the table, and advised the boys to set their eggs
carefully on it, so that we all could watch this miracle taking place. All
twenty eyes (mine included) were glued to the action for the next fifteen
minutes or so, as the two little chicks worked their way into the world. It
was while these little peepers were busy entering their new world that I
announced to the children that there would be only these two chicks. The
other eggs had not developed.
But the excited boys didn't seem to care. They were instant parents. And
were they ever! Those chicks followed them all day long, eating and making
messes everywhere. They peeped at night. They peeped during the day.
Whenever James and Don left the room those two little chicks set up such a
holler that you could hear them all the way to the hen house. The boys were
trapped. They could not get away from parenthood.
A few days later the other children decided they wanted to go on a hike.
The boys really wanted to go with them. But they couldn't. They were stuck
being “mommies” to those two little chicks.
“Maybe we could just put them in the box and close the lid,” suggested
James. “We could leave them lots of water and food. We'd be gone only four
or five hours.” He looked at me mournfully, as he closed the lid and threw
a towel over the box. He went to his bedroom to get ready for the hike. All
the while the chicks hollered. He went and got another towel to make it
darker in the box. Maybe the chicks would think it was night, and go to
sleep. But the peeping got even louder.
James looked downcast. “I guess we can't go,” he said, looking over at Don.
“I only wanted a break.”
And then he remembered the day I had said those same words. He looked at
me, and with a sheepish grin he said, “Now I know how you feel sometimes,
Mom. You don't mind being a mom, but you sure could use a break now and then.”
I smiled and gave the boys each a hug. When I had said those words a month
ago, I had not realized that it would be so soon that two little boys would
learn what parenthood meant.
By Helen Dowd
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or
boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not
irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice
about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives
up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Romans 12:14-18 “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that
God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with
those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to
enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone
can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the New Living Translation Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: A MOTHER IS A BLESSING
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem164.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: SEEING THE LIGHT THROUGH DARKNESS
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony198.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry