Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
The Pace of the Children
by Jenny on November 13th, 2017

"Please let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children . . .” Genesis 33:14

I hate saying no. Now, my kids might find that statement hard to believe; I'm sure they feel as though I say no to them without hesitation. (Candy before bed? Um, no way!) I know I can't do everything . . . but I sure like to try.

Homsechool? Sure! Sports? Yah! Piano? Yep! Playdate? Ok! Birthday party? Uh-hu!  Shopping? Definitely! Holiday preparation? Of course! Volunteering? You betcha! Christmas party? Whoopie!

But as my schedule fills with big things, the little things fall aside.

Mom, will you play with me? Can't baby, I'm busy.

Mom, will you watch a movie with us? No baby, I have too much to do.

Mom, can we go outside? Nope, it's time to go.

I grow impatient.

Mom, I can't find my shoes. Don't ask me, they're YOUR shoes!

Mom/Honey, I need a haircut. Too bad. Shaggy is in!

Mom, can we make snow angels for two hours, go ice skating, then eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough? What?!? Oh, wait . . . that was a line from Buddy the Elf, but I'm sure my kids would love to do these things too.

I want to do it all and when I can't, I feel like a failure. I want to help others, to spend time with others, to just DO SOMETHING besides care for my immediate family. But it takes everything I have just to keep us all bathed and fed. When I can't do all that I want to do or all that everyone else wants me to do, I feel guilty. Incompetent. Frustrated. Not with the kids . . . with myself. I question, what is wrong with me? Why can't I keep up?

And then I came across this little jewel yesterday as I prepared to teach third grade Sunday school (oh yes, add teaching to the list too . . . ).

In Genesis 33, the time had come for one of the patriarchs, Jacob, to reunite with his estranged brother, Esau. Twenty years before, Jacob had wronged Esau but thankfully time seems to have healed their wounds. Esau welcomes Jacob with a hug and encourages Jacob, along with Jacob's four wives, eleven children and all Jacob's livestock, to follow him back to his homeland. Though Jacob made many foolish choices in Scripture, this time he speaks with wisdom.

“My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds which are nursing are a care to me. . . . Please let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children.” (Genesis 33:13-14)

Jacob knew the fragility of the flock with which God had entrusted to him. Rather than force his family or his herd to travel at break-neck speed, he simply spoke his need without fear of what anyone else might think.

"I'd love to keep up with you brother, but I just can't. It wouldn't bode well for everyone. I must travel at a speed that is best for my family."

I may not own sheep or cattle but God has entrusted to me a home which needs caring. I may not have eleven children (actually, as a result of a birthday sleepover we DID have eleven children yesterday, and we even made it to church EARLY!) but I do have six children who need raising. I don't think God intended for us parents to simply tuck our children in our back pockets while we continue to race through life. Intentional raising of children requires focused time and attention.

I want to do everything. But I can't. Rather than rushing through life saying yes to all the big things while missing out on all the little things; rather than feeling discouraged or less-than when I can't keep the same pace as everyone else, let me choose to slow down and travel through life according to the pace of my children.

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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