Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A meditation on mothers

Since we've just celebrated Mother's Day, let me leave you with a thought.

I was reading in the Old Testament recently, about the death of Moses. And I was thinking about how he started out life: the son of slaves, destined to be a slave himself, or worse, to be killed at the hands of their captors in his infancy.

But his mother - she refused to stand back and let that happen. Even though all her neighbors were losing their baby boys to Pharaoh's edict, she did not believe that hers had to be one of them.

So, she did something that to us today (and I'm sure to the other Hebrew women at the time) to be a little cra-zazy. She put the baby in a basket, floated him downstream, and put his big sister in charge of looking after him.

Of course, we all know the plan God had - for him to become Pharaoh's grandson, but at the same time, to be raised in a Hebrew household. His upbringing brought him both extraordinary privilege, and extraordinary compassion for the suffering of his people.

But the thing that stood out to me the most was this thought: when his mom sent him off in the basket, she had no clue what his future would be. At least Mary had been forewarned that the baby she carried was God's son, and she knew that eventually he'd die for her sins and ours. But Moses' mom didn't have that insight. All she knew was that she loved her son, and she would do anything in the world to protect him - even if it meant that he'd grow up in someone else's arms.

So what's my point? That we have no idea the plans that lay ahead for our children. Anna Marie might grow up and be a great SAHM, raising a gaggle of Godly children. Or, she could become a great scientist who discovers the cure for cancer. We never know what lies down the road.

So what is our responsibility? Just like Moses' mom, we need to do everything in our power to raise them right - to instill in them a sense of right and wrong, to show them a good Godly example, and to fight for them whenever there is a need.

Because we never know what our child might be called upon to do.


wendster said...

That was a really nice post.

I really enjoyed it.

Let's hear it for Moms who give up their children to the service of God. Wasn't Hannah the other mother I am thinking of who came to the temple daily, praying for a child, and promising that she would give him to the temple elders to serve in the temple if she could just have a child? And after she gave him to the temple to serve she had many other children which she got to keep and raise ... but what faith to be willing to give her child away and to trust the Lord that he would be OK without her.

Let's enjoy our children while they are with us. That's my motto and has been for a while now. Things change in a moment and restructure themselves. BEst to enjoy the moments.

Steff said...

That makes me think of one of my favorite songs from The Prince of Egypt! I love the line where she says "Your Father knows just who He is and who you are!"

Great thought!

wendster said...

Another favorite song line from Prince of Egypt: "We were moving mountains long before we knew we could" (Song: There can be miracles when you believe)
Thanks for your comment on my blog. We are in exactly the same boat, but my husband has found even MORE ways to borrow money and go into debt. Each house we have ever purchased he has "leveraged the equity" on ... counting on the market to keep on going up (skyrocketing kind of up ... not just gently up) ... not considering the possibility that the market could crash and that loans could be called due ... borrowing against each house, taking out second mortgages on each house, refinancing again and again til the monthly payments are FAR FAR MORE than a renter could cover meaning that the extra amount comes out of our pocket each month which he doesn't have so he doesn't pay and the properties have each gone to notice of default, and I didn't pay attention because I was newly married to a "good spiritual guy" and I felt that to be a "good" wife I should let my husband handle the bills. As if him being a "good guy" would automatically qualify him as a good financial planner. And he would always say "don't you trust me?" and I felt I had to PROVE I trusted him (although I felt deeply concerned) by NOT meddling in the finances.
Round about August, September, it became clear to me that we were in WAY over our heads. He resisted getting a job (he was an investor! investors don't have day time jobs because otherwise when would they invest?) but I insisted. It took him four months to find one (us continuing to borrow from Peter to pay Paul through Christmas ... I hate welfare Christmases) and then he lost it after only three months (constantly late and bringing other work to the office to do) ... and now I am bitter at him. So our relationship is pretty strained.

All this to say that I appreciated your post. And I can TOTALLY empathize with the pressure from lost jobs and I felt very very much like you. Just angry and depressed and not wanting to look too closely at our situation for so long.
Now it's time to address it head on. We've been working on it lately, but it's a long road when we have such different financial temperaments.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Did the bankruptcy make the old debts go away? I'd love more info from you.

Melissa said...

Wendy - it did make MOST it go away. We still have student loans, because nothing can make them go away except, well, paying them. We did consolodate them a few years ago, so they weren't quite so hard to handle.

The other debt was had was mostly - God, how I hate to admit this - credit cards. It started in college, when I (at least, I can't speak for Jason) felt homesick and used shopping as my drug of choice.

After we married, we had a grand total of - and I'm not making this up - $250 a week coming into our house. So, we had to use them for stuff like gas and eating out. We were making a dent in paying them off when we lost our jobs, and had to start using them again.

Nearly two years of joblessness made that situation worse. It was another two years before we did it, but that was the cumulative effect of it all.

We didn't have a house or a car we could lose, so I think that made things go more smoothly. The whole process took about, I don't remember, but I think about three months. Now, no more credit card debt, but no more credit cards to fall back on either. It's really helped us learn to prioritize.

I'm not good with numbers AT ALL. And Jason is so good - when we first got married, I handled the checkbook, but handed it over when I got pregnant. Looking at it straight in the eye was WAY painful, but necessary. And eventually, it did get better.

(It also cost us several thousand dollars to do it.)

Email me - the link is in my profile - if you need anything else. I'm here for ya!

Melissa said...

And, let me add - we did investigate credit counseling with some Christian organizations, and, in our situation, it would not have been possible. Just thought I'd clarify that!

wendster said...

Hey Melissa!
Thanks for that comment back. Christian credit counseling ... I wonder if that is an option for us? It's a mandatory thing now when you are filling out bankruptcy forms to say you tried to get credit counseling. Or went to credit counseling.
I will feel free to e mail you as well. I'll bet I'll have some questions down the line.