Last night I went to bed early.  Mamas if you have a little one who insists on only falling asleep in your bed you have a problem.  Not that it is a problem if she’s in your bed, only if that is the ONLY place she insists on falling asleep.  Moreover, if the only way she falls asleep is if her mama is snuggled next to her, rubbing her little head, breathing on her face, and kissing her, you might have a BIG problem.  You should probably teach that baby other ways to fall asleep, for her own sense of comfort as well.

I know this lesson well.  You’d think I’d remember it.  But, alas, I have to say that maybe, just maybe, Sarah has softer skin than the other babies.  Or maybe she just smells sooooo good.  Or maybe it’s that she’s so APPRECIATIVE of being snuggled.  Sigh.  At any rate, I’ve spoiled this one something awful and if I don’t do something about it, the transition when the baby comes and I CAN’T lie down with her at 8:00-8:30 on the dot, or at naptime in the afternoon is going to come as a dreadful shock to her.   So we’ll work on it.  It sure would help if she was a rotten little stinky baby though. 🙂

DH said, “I think we’ve spoiled that baby a bit…”  Ya think?  But she is so pretty and so sweet and more than a little entertaining, and her hair is so silky soft and she likes to jabber quietly in bed.  There are SO many things to like about toddlers.

So, yesterday we sat down to do preschool and pulled out Rod & Staff’s Bible Stories which are the children’s most preferred preschool activity.  Now,  I think they’re just fine although I do prefer the Children’s Bible by Catherine Vos.  But the kids love that there are simple pictures to color along with them.  So yesterday we read about Cain and Abel.

We were just barely into the story when we read how each had brought God an offering… Cain bringing him some fruit and Abel bringing God the fat of the firstborn lambs… essentially the good stuff.  And we read how God wasn’t happy with Cain’s offering but was happy with Abel’s.

Elizabeth offered that God just didn’t want fruit.  So I explained to her, “No, Lizzie, that’s not it.  God wanted the best that Cain and Abel had to offer.  He didn’t just want a half hearted sacrifice.  It wasn’t that what Cain brought forth was bad… It was that he could have offered something better with an earnest heart and he didn’t.  When Abel brought forth his sacrifice, it was a gift of the best he had to offer.”

Now, stop.

Think about that for a moment.

So often I read of women who wish they could do something BIG with their lives.  But their at home, MINISTERING to their families, cooking, cleaning, praying for them, everyday, mundane stuff.

Ladies, the Lord will take any gift we have to offer.  He won’t turn up His nose at our fruit in favor of someone else’s lamb.  But he does want the BEST of what we have to offer… Not a half hearted attempt we toss at His feet.

Think of the widow’s offering in Mark 12.

“Jesus sat down opposit the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.’ ”

I won’t sugar coat it for you.  There are days when the abundance of patience, or sweetness, or compassion, or kindness, grace, etc., has run utterly and completely low.  There is very little left to go ’round and on those days, I feel a bit stingy about it.  And I should give, even in my poverty, everything I have to keep me going, I still should give.  And that is *sacrificial* giving.

It is good to do good to your husband.  It is good to be sweet and compassionate to your children.  But how easy it is to give those gifts when they abound… How easy it is to show love on your GOOD days, when everything is well with the world and the sun is shining.

It is on our hard days, the days we are exhausted, wiped out, at the end of our rope, that being generous with the fruits of the spirit instilled in us, that it is sacrificial giving… Bringing forth the fruits that are truly the result of toil and effort.

Have a blessed day.

And, no, not done with the legwarmers yet.  Hoping for pictures tomorrow. 😉