Raising Children: My Spaghetti-Smeared Generation

Farmer holds a few ordinary seeds in his hand.

But he doesn’t see seeds.  He also doesn’t see, or rather, doesn’t dwell on the work he’s about to give himself to.

OK he does see the seeds, and dirt, and sweat and weeds.  But it’s what lies beyond the seeing….it’s the VISION.

He really sees a swelling harvest from that handful of humble seeds–a miracle he really can’t fully understand.

He sees results of his labor and the fruit of his hands and the many who will be blessed by it for years to come.

Because next year, his seeds will yield more seeds.

And some days he’ll be scratching in the dirt and sweating and seeing nothing but weeds.  But he knows what’s underneath if he’ll only persevere, and he has the FAITH required to believe it will burst forth from the ground.

Someone asked me how I could be excited about a ninth baby.

“Because I don’t see a baby”.

Well, yes I do, and he/she is magnificently more wonderful than a handful of seeds!

But I see more than a baby.

I see a harvest…the fruit of our love, the physical reminder of “two becomes one”, the labor of our hands through the years, a heritage, for me, from my Father.

My vision goes beyond that sweet little face and all the messes I know I will clean up, and the mid-night feedings that aren’t easy, the squabbles and the stains on the furniture, the tears and laughter, and the days I just want quiet…

There’s a whole generation underneath that spaghetti-smeared face that’s been given to me.

And it’s worth it.

And I want to be here when the harvest is fully ripe….

But I won’t.

Because the seeds we plant now will grow beyond us and the harvest will become unable to be measured.

So I will keep pulling the weeds, planting the seeds, nurturing, watering, tending and praying for growth, thanking God for the miracles.

And I will have the FAITH to believe that His glory will burst forth.

7 thoughts on “Raising Children: My Spaghetti-Smeared Generation

  1. As someone who is in the midst of weeds, this is so encouraging. Some days I seem to lose the new found vision that our family has only recently discovered. Because of this relatively recent discovery on our part, the weeds are many. As we keep “pulling the weeds,” we can look forward to the harvest. For today, because of this reminder, I am thinking long term and holding onto the joy only God can give.


  2. Wow! A very inspiring piece! I’m glad you weren’t offended at such a question and instead were able to turn the moment into something wonderful and probably impact the inquirer greatly. Beautifully done!


  3. Thank you for that beautiful post. It was so encouraging to me and my family!

    If you don’t mind my asking, who was it who asked how you could be excited about a ninth child? I find it hard to believe that anyone would ask a question like this.


  4. Thank you for the positive encouragement! Congrats on baby #9! I love the reminder of the heritage and future that are beneath their sweet faces, yet to come! I really needed this today. Somedays I wonder if we will all survive and this is what I needed to hear 🙂

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God


  5. So often people want to look at the analogy of the glass half full, half empty, not realizing that to deny one part is to deny both. We can have no way of knowing what waits our future or that of our children, so the trust we place in God is so paramount. To learn the joy of the Lord is about knowing how to abound in this joy even in the midst of trials and tribulations. For the joy set before Him Christ endured the cross. It is an example of the joy in suffering.

    In the early days of walking with Christ when told this, I nearly decked the individual, joy in suffering, are you nuts. As the Lord matured my understanding of His will, His purpose and His grace, understanding begin to take place. This week again we got devastating news and at first I ranted in the feelings that, enough is enough. In days past that ranting would have gone on a long time. But in short time God put His arms around me with verses about comfort and His love.

    If we read the book of Job we find this man did his fair share of complaining, but he never turned away from God. God is big enough to take our ranting and wait until the grief and hurt has pass then love us to remove the hurt.

    It is good that we see the harvest but it is also good that we know how to handle the rain, the hail, and the twisting winds that threaten to tear us apart. Often for those who suffer disabilities, or chronic illness those storms are daily. In the midst of these storms, we can know tears along with joy, peace and grace.

    This did not happen for me over night, it was a matter of maturing in understanding His ways through a life habit of learning from Him, through His word and prayer. For over 25 years some battles have never gone away. If you have heard of the boy in the bubble, over 90 million Americans suffer a disorder similar to such and isolation is forced upon them in order to have any measure of health. I am one of those, God’s grace is sufficient.
    Mrs. J.


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