"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Monday, July 8, 2013

Everything’s Going My Way

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I have a beautiful feeling,
Everything’s going my way!

Remember the opening song from Oklahoma? Rodgers and Hammerstein sure knew how to write of that golden day. I heard that song at a wedding this past weekend and it sure sounded nice. But really, when has everything gone my way? And then our Pastor stood up and interpreted that phrase in a new way. Once again the Word changed the way I thought about something 180 degrees.

 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. If all things are working together for my good then isn’t everything really going my way? Even if I don’t totally see how it’s all working together.

Naturally my ideal “beautiful morning” would be waking up to a hot cup of tea. I would walk out side to our front porch seat and enjoy the birds’ morning songs. After half an hour or so of pleasant thoughts about our perfect children, my perfect husband, and some holy thoughts about God, I might then go inside and read the Bible. Then, after I've had a long, warm shower, the children would start waking up, each one about 20 minutes apart and all in a wonderful mood… oh and with dry diapers. Well, I don’t know about you, but that “beautiful morning” has not happened yet for me.

Now a more typical morning for me would go something like this. I didn’t get my caffeine/tea because all three kids woke up early and none were in a good mood. Paul, our youngest, is teething and feverish and he just wants to be held. Lucy, who is being potty trained, doesn’t seem to care if I have to wash all 8 pairs of her training pants EVERY day. At about this point, I think I’ve had all I can take, and then Helen, our two year old, decides right now would be a good time to start throwing up.

I can’t take any more! Lord! Where are you? This is not a beautiful morning or day. Going my way? Not a chance!  These complaints are voiced, but as usual no voice from the heavens thunder down a response. Instead some of the scriptures our pastor and my husband have reminded me of come to me.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” 1 Peter 3:13

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

As Gerhard Forde writes, in On Being a Theologian of the Cross, we naturally "call evil good and good evil". I think anything that appears as an inconvenience to “my plans” is bad, and good is when things go the way I planned. Yet, thinking back, when has anything ever gone the exact way I planned? Not ever that I can remember, but in it all Christ has been working. A preacher once said, “Nothing bad can happen to me!” (1 Peter 3:13)
What else could God use to get my attention besides tribulation? With the slightest hint of success comes pride and it takes me away from God and back into my own strength, but He is still there working in me to will and do His good pleasure. This so called trouble becomes my salvation! I am brought to being in need of a Savior and there really is no better place for us to be… poor, needy and wretched. Then he enjoys showing Himself strong on our behalf. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

So, back to the wonderful children God and blessed us with. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing than raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Sick or healthy, happy or whiny, large or small; these are a joy to take care of. God is pleased to use them to bring me closer to Him, and I am pleased to take care of them while He is taking care of me.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed” Romans 5:3-5

Glory in throw up, dirty diapers, and spilled cheerios? Yes! For through these mundane things, I am learning patience, experience, hope. He takes away my sin and shame and brings me back to the most beautiful thing in the world… My neighbor.


  1. Hi Mary,

    What a good post. My daughter Evelyn woke up this morning and threw up also. And I've had many opportunities to sing "Everythings going my way..." today also !!!I like how Pastor O'Connor also said I can say that boldly, without fear because I am in Christ, and even if I fall flat on my face in the mud today (tranfer the metaphor ;-)) Everythings going my way. On another note, I posted to my blog, which I've had for a couple of years, and never posted on...a link to a animated Moses video on youtube. It is the best video I have found so far!! It stays pretty close to the bible story(ALL videos seem to vear off the story some, but this does stay pretty right on)
    Anyway, my children love to make a goal to be able to watch it! My blog, by the way is, http://thedukeshome.blogspot.com/

    Anyways Bless you!! We are all in this together!! I need to get up there and visit you again, and have you down to my new house!!

  2. I like that you threw in the "large or small" adjectives for children. :D

    Funny, my husband was just reading to me this morning about how God works through opposites, never the way we would expect or want him to. Our fleshly desire for only what is good, lovely, and attractive, must first die before we can learn how the love of God really works, both to us and then through us.

  3. Oh, and it seems the world we live in today has forgotten how to sing or appreciate those Happy Songs.
    Do people even know how to be happy anymore? I think Christians are the only ones left who can be truly happy. Light and salt.

  4. "I am brought to being in need of a Savior and there really is no better place for us to be… poor, needy and wretched."

    The joy of The Lord is my strength. Our house is a much more pleasant place to be when I am a happy reciever of what God has given me and is giving me.

    Bless you today, May The Lord heal your little ones. Enjoy the cuddles while they aren't feeling well.