18 Inches Down

Moving Truth from the Head to the Heart

There Isn’t Long…Stay Focused


At church last week, we studied the life of Hannah. Hannah was childless in a society in which that was unfortunate, so she pleaded with God to give her a son, promising to give him into service in the temple. Her prayer was answered, and she became the mother of the prophet Samuel. She kept him at home until he was weaned, then turned him over to Eli to be raised at the temple as she had promised.

Jochebed was the mother of Moses, born during the Israelite slavery in Egypt. Hebrew baby boys were immediately destroyed by the Egyptians, but Jochebed hid hers in a waterproofed basket in the Nile River. Pharoah’s daughter discovered and adopted him, and Jochebed was hired to nurse Moses for her, turning him over after weaning to be raised in the palace.

I’m not sure how long mothers in these cultures nursed their children; I have heard figures from three years old to six. Longer than mothers nowadays. What did these mothers say and do for these very young children to prepare them for what they would face in their adoptive worlds? Samuel was being turned over to the priest Eli, who had a poor fathering history. Moses was going to live in a heathen palace, raised by a foreigner who adopted him like a pet. There wasn’t long for these mothers to do all they had to do for their children and then send them off to their callings.

Recently a family of wrens built a nest in the eaves on the corner of our porch. We watched as the nest was built, saw the eggs, then heard the baby birds cheeping for their meals. One day we looked and the babies were out on the ledge beside the nest, practicing flying from beam to beam. They flew down and accidentally ran into the glass door while we were doing schoolwork inside. We all watched in wonder as they mastered more controlled flying techniques. The next day they were gone.

When my eldest was born, many people advised me, “Enjoy this season. They grow up so quickly.” I thought their perception was just off; I had 18 years ahead of me, for goodness’ sake! But they were right. Two of mine are now grown, two in college next fall, one begins high school this year. The final two are hot on the heels of their siblings, growing and passing milestones left and right. I will always be their mother and have a bit of influence on them, but I don’t have long to assist the Lord in laying a foundation in their lives.

I must stay focused. I must keep my head in this game. This is my primary job, my highest calling until completed.

Help me finish strong. I don’t want to become distracted and fail to do my job. There is much left to be done. Refocus and re-remind me as needed.

“Wake up and strengthen the things that remain…” Revelation 3:2

What do you need to purposefully put your attention to? There isn’t long; time flies.

* The spark for this post came from my kindred-spirit-heart-friend Julie’s blog post, who had a similar lesson from a family of wrens recently. Funny how God tells you something, then brings it up again a few more times until He gets your attention on the matter! You can read her inspiring version here.

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4 comments on “There Isn’t Long…Stay Focused

  1. Calvin Sterling
    05.21.12

    Ironic that I read the article talking about our responsibilities to give our children the assets they need to have a happy successful life this morning. Seems like 18 years would be more than enough time; the only problem is that a lot of parents never get started.

    • Deanne Bullock
      05.22.12

      That appears to be true when you look around at today’s society. I think some parents mistakenly assume that children can find their own way and hesitate to give guidance and discipline. Or they get caught up in their own life struggles and forget to make sure the child understands what life is all about. Or they don’t know themselves! Thanks for stopping by and reading and sharing!

  2. KSHF
    05.25.12

    Thank you, Deanne. I like how you called it our highest calling. I think it is easy to slack off a little when the children don’t need you as much for every little thing. When they can begin to make their own food, toilet themselves, dress themselves…you begin to check out a little. Yet this is the time when the real influence begins…when they are really watching you and you’re having real conversations… You have done well with your nest and teaching to fly. A wonderful example to me. You’re the best!

    • Deanne Bullock
      05.25.12

      That is really true; the more independent they become, the more the influence needs to grow in other ways; by tying heart strings. Shared experiences and a listening ear. That progress bar is scrolling quickly. As for some things in life which have no purpose or value, say it like General Lee: “There is no TIME for that!”

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Hi, I’m Deanne!

Biblical counselor, budding author, and domestic engineer. I enjoy reading, studying, thinking, and writing about it all. I crave simplicity, laughter, and a cup of hot tea in the morning. Metaphor and allegory is my thing, and I enjoy using it to help myself and others understand spiritual concepts.

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