Be Thou My Vision

I took pictures of my hands because they suddenly look like they belong to a woman who uses a lot of scalding water and who spots little boys as they climb pine trees. I’ve been thinking how nice it will be when I don’t have to handle the diaper assembly line, (when I’m taking my amazing daughter-in-laws for manicures), but surely one day I’ll look at these pictures with gratitude, wanting to use my hands the way I had before – cradling soft noggins, snapping clumsy little buttons, and using wet cloths on the surprising places you can find peanut butter and yogurt.

Yesterday I read Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained […].” More often, we lavish the freedom we receive in Christ, but what about the restraints? What an interesting thing to think that one’s vision is one’s restraint. So if I envision beautiful hands, I will act according to my vision and do what it takes to keep them pretty – no more diaper changing, cooking, or using harsh detergents. I would sleep in gloves and take tablespoons of olive oil after my nightly dip in paraffin wax.

So what should be my vision, really, especially as a mom, because it obviously isn’t to have beautiful hands or a super tidy house?

Be Thou My Vision, Lord, and restrain me! I need this today, because I sort of feel like running away. Again, always, I do find peace in His presence, and this is what I want for my sons — peace and also self-control. Though my spirit is free, I am restrained by the men I want my sons to be. I need to respond to the finished work of Christ and bind myself to His image and bind my vision for my grown sons to the same.

Lord, restrain me from clinging to myself. My books of poetry line crowded shelves in the garage and rarely dot my bedside table. I walk past a journal I filled in one month, and it tempts my heart, a shallow bow again to that old image I tried to make. She always fails me.

I confess that in my sons I often aim for that outer man, a vision of handsome, likable, well-educated business leaders, rather than of the character of Jesus, that in their presence is God and so peace and blessing and forgiveness, that they would carry in their inner man the nature and servitude of Christ.

This week Isaac drew his first picture of a man, and I love it. I’m sure when he can, he’ll add a light saber to that man’s hip because that is his vision. Take this picture, and add to it my new vision, the mighty armor of God. This is how we want to war around here; fight the good fight of faith.


About me


Reply March 3, 2008

Before you think I think I know a lot, please let me correct you. I have failed at motherhood, today, especially. At one point I banged Ian's little head on the swing. They have all screamed all day like they only slept thirty minutes last night, and my response has been nothing like what my post says it should be. I only thought to write the vision stuff (while I bounced a baby who had been crying for 4 hours (He's asleep now)) because I'm desperate to figure out where my mind should be. To say "Keep your eyes on Jesus" is sometimes like saying, "Stare at the sun," but I want to, and in reflection, I do.

Reply March 3, 2008

you are a wonderful mother and child of God. we all have to ask God to sustain us in crazy mommyhood moments....the song from sunday..give us clean hands, give us pure hearts...i had to ask haven to forgive me this evening for losing my patience after a long happens and Jesus loves us through it all. thank you for your transparency. is saw you from a distance sunday dropping the boys off and baby ian in the sling and wanted to hug your neck, but haven was off and running in the madness...:)

Reply March 4, 2008

this is an interesting one because i would suspect that the secular world would more likely think of religion as restraining; guidelines for what not to do as opposed to a vision or something we must aspire to.
another note: i sometimes take pride in how old, scarred, and rough my hands look. perhaps it's just a guy thing.

Reply March 4, 2008

Well, at least it's the Law of Love that restrains, rather than the Law of, you know, No Bacon.

Oh, and yes, I can dig some man hands -- on a man.

Reply December 27, 2008

great post. and comments! Yes - Praise God that what the Law could not do - God did.

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