From Foster Child to Greatness – Exodus 2:6-10

When I began fostering children it didn’t occur to me that Moses, the great leader of Israel, was raised in a foster home. I only understood that his mother relinquished him to save his life.

Jochebed hid her baby as long as she dared, knowing her neighbors lost their infant sons to drowning whenever they were discovered. Finally, weaving a reed basket, she plotted her baby’s escape.

Her heart must have been breaking, yet she hoped God would protect his life. How did she manage to hold herself together as she wrapped her boy in his blanket one last time, placed his napping form in the basket, and launched him into the river?

When she (Pharaoh’s daughter) opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.”

So the woman took the child and nursed him.  When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:6-10 ESV

Her little one rescued from the river, Jochebed was given a few additional years to nurse him, sing to him, enjoy him–all while receiving wages as though she were merely a nursemaid. This boggles my mind.

Imagine how you would pray in Jochebed’s situation. Her son would be taught to serve the gods of Egypt, spurning her people and her God. He might even become an oppressor like the ones who tried to wipe out all her nephews.

As she mothered him a little longer, she prepared for the day she’d send him away again. Do you think she whispered in his ear to remind him she was his true mother? When she put her son into his foster mom’s arms, did she hear his new mother change her boy’s name–and maintain her peace anyway?

Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord.

Numbers 12:6-8 ESV

PRAYER:

Lord, I don’t know all your plans for my children and my foster children, but like Jochebed, I put them in your hands. I trust you. I pray you will teach them your ways and guide their paths in preparation for the tasks you have for them. May they surpass me in their knowledge of you, walk humbly before you, and serve you faithfully all their days. Thank you for hearing the prayers of a mother’s heart.

Kathy Sheldon Davis

Did I Teach my Son to Worship a Dog? – Psalm 25:4-5

Our new puppy Max was no god.

The shepherd mix was my 5-year-old’s favorite playmate when his brothers weren’t around. Seth’s early experiences with his friend, however, were painful. Max nipped at fingers, making Seth pull his hand back. My son soon came inside with a frown, sliding the glass door between him and his pet.

Dog Training 101

child-puppy-free-isakarakus-pixabay

I reminded Seth that Max was still a baby and didn’t understand that bites hurt. Then I gave him some pointers. “When he nips at you, stop playing, pat his nose and say no.”

It seemed to work for a while, then from my kitchen window I saw that repeated no’s only made Max more playful. Nose tapping became part of the game.

I called Seth in again, recognizing he needed a little more help with puppy training. “Sometimes you should tell him he’s doing a good job. You wouldn’t like to hear no all the time, right? When he does something right you should praise him.”

“OK, Mommy.”

A little later I checked up on them. I found Seth on his knees, bowing toward his attentive puppy, hands tightly clasped as if in prayer, saying “Praise you, praise you, praise you” —to the dog!

Max cocked his head, trying to figure out how to make this new game more fun, while I seriously questioned my ability to communicate.

A Better Teacher

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long . . . Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:4-5 and 8-9 ESV).

God patiently teaches us his ways, and for that I’m forever grateful. Where would we be if my kids had only experienced my not-always-great parenting skills?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

My Family is a Mess – Luke 11:27-28

JKD swingers2 crop 7-10-2016

We played at the park last weekend, after a memorial celebration honoring one of our family members who passed on. It wasn’t overly solemn, nor did the rifts between us show themselves much.

After enjoying the potluck meal, Jerry and I headed to the playground with our grandchildren and grand-nephews. Our son-the-father-of-several gave his dad an underdog on the swing, and for a few moments our aging bodies enjoyed giddy playfulness before aches and pains slowed us down.

My family doesn’t always experience such pleasant afternoons.

We’re not perfect

It’s not a shocker. My family has issues. Whose doesn’t, right? But did you realize God had the first dysfunctional family? The genealogy in Luke 3:38 says, ” . . . son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”

Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and their descendants carried it on, getting themselves into all kinds of trouble.

We still do.

I remember another verse from the book of Luke, where a woman calls out to Jesus publicly, saying that his mother surely is blessed to have a son such as he. His response was to turn her attention to the greater blessing, hearing God’s words and doing them. That means it doesn’t matter how perfect your children are, blessing comes from doing God’s will.

“Now while Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed (happy, favored by God) is the womb that gave birth to You and breasts at which You nursed!’ But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed (happy, favored by God) are those who hear the word of God and continually observe it” (Luke 11:27-28 AMP).

Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of his Son. She was blessed because she heard God’s promises and believed them, which prepared her to receive the difficult assignment God gave her. Her cousin Elizabeth said, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45 NIV).

The reward will come

My assignment is to listen to God, believe what he says, and do as he directs. For Jerry and Kathy, that meant raising four children, lots of foster kids, and now loving our grandchildren. He may give others a completely different assignment as they walk through life. We’re not all called to raise his holy Son, after all. Thank you, God!

Raising children is a temporary job. Loving God, listening to him and doing his will, is forever!

How kind our Father is, rewarding us while we still walk on this planet and before we’ve fully overcome our sinful natures.

How kind, indeed.

“Behold, children are a heritage and a gift from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3 AMP).

by Kathy Sheldon Davis