Wednesday, March 19, 2014

GUEST POST: THE GOOD SHEPHERD LEADS THOSE WHO HAVE YOUNG

Here's another amazing guest post for you all as this week continues.  I met Mrs. Allison Herndon way back when we both had different last names.  We worked at Kanakuk Kamps together for a couple of different summers and got to be good buddies.  After loosing touch, we reconnected here in Little Rock, because her husband is one of the pastors at the church we attend.  For a glorious stretch we lived in the same neighborhood and delivered food to each other weekly, along with Courtney - I miss those good ole food co-op days.  

Here's wonderful Allison and then some pics of her crew as well.

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Allison and Brad have four children ranging from 3 months old to 6.

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Just so you know, Allison is one of the most entertaining people to be around, and thankfully, that shows up in her writing.  She used to author her very own blog, and I have been campaigning for her to bring it back.  After reading this post, you will understand why.

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Earlier this week my kids were playing in our back yard after school. My oldest was leading her two brothers into a world of imaginary wonderment that involved an Ice Princess and some “Bad Guys” with baseballs and sticks. As I sat inside and watched them through the window, it seemed as if the “Bad Guys” weren’t cooperating at all with Lucy’s instructions, and were instead locating piles of dog poop in the grass to fling across the yard.

Oh the joys of boys!

I sat inside observing the poop flinging, admiring their creativity and making a mental note to remember that THIS was why we bathed our children EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I was also nursing my youngest, a three month old cherub whose main pastimes in life are smiling and cooing.

All seemed right in the world until – quite suddenly – it all wasn’t. Someone had hurt feelings. Multiple people were crying. The wind was blowing too hard. The snacks were all gone. The poop had been flung too far. And Sam, age two, was stuck at the top of the playhouse and wouldn’t come down the slide.

Sam wailed and cried as his siblings tried to coax him down the slide, but he was having none of it. I sat inside and tried to will him down the slide with my mind. He was so loud I feared the neighbors might call the authorities. So in an act of extreme mothering, I walked outside, still nursing the baby, and helped Sam down the slide.

I won’t bore you with the logistics of that operation, but I assure you I did toss a kitchen towel over myself before I trucked into the back yard.

Sometimes (or in my case, a majority of the time) a mother may find they are doing something utterly unimaginable—something they never would have dreamed of doing prior to having kids. Like catching puke in their bare hands. Or changing a diaper with Kleenex because the wipes all got flushed down the toilet. Or walking into the backyard whilst nursing a baby.

But the REAL CRAZY to me—the utterly unimaginable --is that these people are watching me – these tiny people are following me, observing me, and learning a lot about right and wrong as they study my words, actions, facial expressions, and reactions to tense situations.

Like a little flock of sheep, my children are watching me.

My little flock knows my voice, and I pray that they know it as a voice of love and encouragement and laughter. My little sheep know I’ll take care of them with an ample supply of band-aids and kisses. Like a good shepherd, I must find good pasture for my sheep – feeding their minds and bodies with what is wholesome and beneficial. My little sheep can feel safe and secure following me, but only because I’m following The Good Shepherd Jesus.

A verse that makes me cry every single time I read it as of late is this one:

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arm,
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
Isaiah 40:11

What a peace in my soul that I don’t have to lead alone. I’m being gently led by a Good Shepherd who lovingly considers the “young” that I have. A shepherd must lead all his sheep, but a Good Shepherd pays special attention to those ewes that have little ones. He carries them close to His heart.

Gently, carefully, tenderly, Jesus the Good Shepherd is leading me. And I, in turn, can gently lead my young as well.

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Thank you, Allison, for bringing such encouragement through these words!

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