BE Fruitful 2
Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)
Again after creating, God’s spoke telling us to be fruitful and multiply. In Genesis 1:28, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
When I went off to college in the Fall of 1971 I was consumed with getting my degree. My main focus was on what I would major in. I was torn between Speech or Drama. Over the course of the next few years I also added English (because I discovered in college that I really love to write), Journalism, and Anthropology. I did date, but I was not focused on dating or ‘meeting someone’. I was totally independent.
By the end of my sophomore year I knew I needed to choose one major of the five choices I had on my list. The problem I had was that I could not decide which one. As it turned out, I was offered a full time job working for the railroad. I thought that would give me time of decide. Instead, taking that job changed the course of my life.
Being a railroad clerk required special training. It was a real union job that paid well. Just when everything in my life was changing, I met someone and decided to get married. When that happened, I realized I had been secretly carrying (unbeknownst to me) a desire to be a mom. Over the next few years that desire grew in me until I was (nearly) obsessed with having children. My daughter was born in 1976 and I was forever “hooked”. She was (is) the most amiable, the sweetest, and one of the kindest people I know. My children’s father wanted to have children close together in age, so 20 months later I had a son. Sixteen months after that I had another son. My next pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and my doctor advised I let my body heal. A little over two years later, I had another son who is four years younger that his brother.
God did say to be fruitful and multiply.
We did just that.
Since all of the deliveries were by C-Section (performed in the 1970’s), four was pushing the limit. I honestly think if I could have had more children I would have. I LOVED (love) being a mom. The thing I remember about those early years is how crazy life was. The house wasn’t always pristine neat and clean, but we did have a lot of fun. I remember doing a lot of laundry and once the clothes were dry I would dump the basket in the middle of the living room floor and all the kids would help fold (well, sort of fold) the clothes. We did household chores together. We all dusted. Once they were old enough to push a vacuum, we all took turns vacuuming the floors. No job was deemed “not good enough”.
When I first went off to college I had never dusted, done my own wash, or cooked a meal. My Mother loved cooking and cleaning she had her own system. I took the opposite approach. By the time the kids were teenagers they knew how to wash, clean, and cook. My daughter was never crazy about cooking, but two of her brothers were instant chef material. My youngest son was all about people...always about people. Years later I realized (because of testing available), he is my only extrovert. He still LOVES people more than cooking and cleaning.
When my children were growing up, I learned how to pray. My dad was a ‘pray-er’ and I loved it that he prayed for me. I followed his lead. There were times when my children were young that I would ‘stow’ away in a room to pray. They would line up and sit outside that room and whisper about me being in there ‘praying’. I would hear my daughter whisper, “Shhhh...Mom’s praying!”
Then the boys would say, “Oh yea...”
For twenty plus years I was a Pastor’s wife. It’s not an easy task. Ever.
Looking back, it seems like I was always ‘in trouble’ for something someone in my family did. Everyone who had an issue came to me to complain. I didn’t realize it but that was practice for being a Spiritual Director. Even then God was preparing me for my next phase of life.
About the time my daughter was in Middle school, I realized I wanted to go back to school to finish my degree. Through the years I’d had time to think about what I would major in. I had been a newspaper editor for a county newspaper and while I loved the writing and photo-journalism aspect, I found I hated the inner workings (politics) of journalism, so I decided to major in Speech Communication. At the time we lived about an hour north of Columbia, Missouri, so I enrolled at MU. I drove two and a half hours every day for two years and I graduated in 1994, one year before my daughter started going to college. I am very grateful I was able to go back to college to finish.
Then, on one fine August day in 2000, my daughter gave birth to a daughter. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t carry her, I didn’t go through labor or child-birth, and I only occasionally had to change a diaper. This truly was a miracle! Now, even though there were bumps and losses along the way, I have eight miracle children who call me grandma.
God is good...so very good!
Be fruitful and multiple.
God brought me full circle with a lot of things. Looking back, I can SEE His plan.
Through it all, I learned to lean on God at all times and in all circumstances. I learned how to really lean on God and pray.
My dream was to go to college. I did that. Then my dream was to be a wife and Mother. I did that. The next phase of my life was filled with great loss and lots of pain, but even though I didn’t realize it, God had prepared me for that as well...that long story is for another day.
Part of my ‘be fruitful and multiply’ journey became being a Mom, praying a lot, and supporting others who struggle in life.
It’s my journey. My crazy journey.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Remember
Take time to look back and see how God has worked in your life. Like me, it probably wasn’t always easy, but I can see common threads where God was at work in me. If you’d like, write it down in story form or make a list. Some of you can just think about it and that’s PLENTY good enough.
In God, Deborah