Glimpses are my Manna

I am, as I’ve been posting, in a new and uncharted season in my mothering. Two teenage boys and one ten year old girl and me, trying to figure out how much to let go- how much to reign in. In the midst of this strange new parenting world, I find myself unsure and unsteady in my role. I recognize failure at times. I see the tension mount between me and both boys as we all try to learn how to relate to each other and yet maintain the feeling of normal. It is in these times I long to see God’s grace for me and for my kids, to comfort me as we journey and unintentionally bruise each other’s hearts along the way.

In the Old Testament God gave His children a very literal portion of provision, manna, as food on a daily basis during their wandering in the wilderness phase. I’m presuming Moses shared some of my feelings about being in a new and uncharted place as they wandered around trying to find the promised land. God gave them this manna for nourishment, on a practical level. But on a deeper level, it was a way of reminding them that they were utterly dependent on Him to survive. Because, let’s face it, you cannot make food fall from the sky! (Total side note, I have always loved the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs! Moving on….) So every day, God provided His grace to sustain His children in the form of manna on the ground for them to collect and prepare meals for their families. The only caveat was each person could only collect enough to feed their family for the day. Not for a week, or month. In fact, if they took more than one day’s worth it would rot. God knew the tendency to be fearful about the future and try to create false security in stockpiling was very real, so he provided a way to keep His children from indulging that fear.

Yesterday, I got some manna. The hardest part of letting go is not always recognizing the person in front of me. Feeling disconnected and out of the loop of their life. Not knowing why they are responding in a certain way, or what the look on their face really means is difficult when you have studied intently each child from the moment they were placed in your arms in order that you might love them well. So, often I find myself tearful or down because a “normal” parenting moment has become tense and strange and I walk away, not sure if I caused a problem or if the parenting simply highlighted my child’s heart issues, or if this is all just the inevitable course of growing up. But yesterday, I got a glimpse of reconnecting. A picture of what we really are below the teenage mood swings and parental tension. It was a normal evening, nothing unusual, and yet for some reason my middle was in a light hearted mood and seemed to want to interact with my husband I. We got some dinner together and he had us both laughing at his antics and even spent some time chatting about his thoughts on various topics. It the feeling of exhaling when you didn’t know you had been holding your breath- unexpected relief and comfort. Later my oldest volunteered to be helpful with some things I needed for my yard sale. While making signs he shared about his newfound love for reading God’s word. Another glimpse. Inside his head and heart where I do not always have access, God is doing His amazing work of transformation and He let me catch a quick glance at it.

These little glimpses into the unseen work of God sustain me. When parenting involves discipline and I feel the loss of closeness to my children in their anger, they help me to remember why I keep at it. When I fail and wonder if my children will be completely screwed up by my mistakes, they remind me that God is sustaining them too. When I wonder what it will be like in he future, I am reminded to only ask for enough for today, because today is all I am promised, and trying to secure the future will pull me away from my Sustainer into Self-Sufficency. There was a time in my life where being showered with gifts or expressions of love on Mother’s Day felt paramount. But for now, all I ask for is another glimpse into the harvest God promises He yields from seeds of faithfulness sewn into my children. 


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