Proverbs 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
Where there are no children the house may stay clean. I thought that my house would remain clutter free when my kids were grown. It has not happened for me yet because I care for my Grandmen and Grandladies. Every day I need to pick up books, blocks, balls, puzzles and other miscellaneous toys. There are crumbs on the floor, and spills to wipe up. Sippy cups are in the sink and toddler snacks line my cupbords. Some days I don't mind the mess, but other days, well.....
The mess I deal with day after day is a reminder of the wonderful imaginations and relationships I have with the children I have cared for over the years. Right now I can count at least fifteen children that I have hugged and entertained me daily. My own children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and others all have been under my feet and in my hair as well as my heart. There have been many more that have come for an hour or two, but still left precious seeds in my life.
What abundant crops are left by the children? They show me God in new and amazing ways. They smile, and I am filled with joy. They cry, and I learn mercy. They explore, and I see the world a new. I reap a rich harvest by allowing those little ones to mess up my life. I am changed by their existence. That is their strength. God has given them the power to change my heart, my world view, and my prideful spirit.
I realize that Solomon may not have had children in mind when writing this proverb, but God has let me see my life in his words. God has made these words come alive to me and I am humbled.
O Lover of Children, You have let me share in the abundance of Your little ones. You welcome them to come close to You. Thank You for letting me share in the abundance of childlike wisdom. Forgive me when I want to push them away because of my weariness or selfishness. Teach me to use their messes as opportunities to humble myself before You. You have wanted me to become as a little child, and these little ones You have sent my way help me to learn that truth. I love You! May I crawl into Your lap and wrap my arms around Your neck and call You Daddy? I want to be Your little girl. I know You will take care of all my messes.