- Sing a song of sixpence,
- A pocket full of rye.
- Four and twenty blackbirds.
- Baked in a pie.
- When the pie was opened,
- The birds began to sing;
- Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
- To set before the king?
- The king was in his counting house,
- Counting out his money;
- The queen was in the parlour,
- Eating bread and honey.
- The maid was in the garden,
- Hanging out the clothes;
- When down came a blackbird
- And pecked off her nose.
Years ago we lived in England. One day while shopping in some great shops they have, I found a porcelain bird used for venting a pie. When my oldest daughter, who was only five at the time saw it she said, ” I know what that is Mommy, it’s a bird praising God”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the real story. I liked her’s much better. I bought that bird because I love to bake pies, but also to remind me to praise more. I found it in the cupboard today and it was an excellent reminder of that day in England as well as the need once again to praise more and snip less.
You never know how a kind deed can effect a person. I wrote this, long before there was such a thing as a blog! There weren’t even computers back then! I wrote it when we lived in England and I was homesick for America and my family. I was the mother of two small children with a husband who flew fighter jets for the Air Force. I lived in a small English village and I was isolated from my American friends and it cost to make a phone call, and gas was very expensive. Here is the story:
I didn’t want to go to church last night. I wanted to curl up in a dark hole and escape. I felt insignificant and unloved. Not unloved by Jim and the girls but a sad emptiness inside me. But since I miss the morning worship time because I helped in the church nursery, Jim encouraged me go to the evening worship because he knew I needed the fellowship.
On the way to church I told God I really needed to be loved and that He would have to send someone to me, because I felt too insecure even to seek someone out.
When I got to church, I sat by a new friend and her husband and I enjoyed the service. After church another friend I hadn’t seen in a while said hello and that was nice too. The emptiness remained. Just as I was about to leave, Richard, a man who is one of the ushers, came back to my seat. Thinking he wanted my hymnals, I started to hand them to him. He said he didn’t want the song books, he just came to tell me he loved me. In a tender way he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me, like you’d hug a child. He hugged me twice! I was so shocked; I can’t even remember my response. But I know that Jesus, through my friend Richard, touched my heart last night. I will hold that love in a special place to throw back at the devil the next time he lies to me.
You have to realize that Richard was British, and they are not know for displays of affection. I was feeling a little discouraged and down this morning. I got an email for a friend that really blessed me and was as good as the hug from Richard. When the Holy Spirit whispers in your ear to do something for someone, please be obedient. Richard hugged me 30 years ago, but the memory of that encounter remains in my heart even today.
I wrote this little piece about joy over thirty years ago. This was me as a young mother trying to define the meaning of joy while living with two pre-school aged daughters in England, away from family and friends, and married to a pilot in the Air Force who seemed to be spending more time flying than at home. It was challenging for sure.
True joy for me comes when I submit to God’s will for my life. It is being faithful in the small everyday things, all the joys of being a wife and mother of two small blue eyed girls. Joy is wiping the spaghetti sauce off a battle scarred two year old’s face. (She bumped it on the tub while getting into the water for one of her tea parties!) Joy is even wiping up all the water she spilled in the process. Joy is hanging up the suit Jim plopped on the floor and remembering his strong hand in mine during prayer at church. Joy is knowing Jesus is guiding me, even when I try to set out on my own detours. He’s always there to lead me back, to refresh me in the knowledge that being a wife and mother are important to Him.
All these years later, I think the definition holds. The things that matter are the eternal things. The things done for Him with a joyful attitude. Do I always do this? Of course not, but that is still my goal and will continue to be until I see Him face to face. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back just one day and play with my girls! I would have played a lot more! Thankfully I still get to hang up the clothes Jim plops on the floor. Somethings never change! JOY!
Thank you Jesus for making me a wife and mother. Thanks for showing me how to be content and allowing me the awareness of your precious Presence.