Arrows In Our Quiver

This past week in young married couples Bible study, we were discussing parenting and its challenges. A particular group of verses were brought up for discussion- Psalm 127:3-5. It says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” When we were asked to give our thoughts on this verse and the relevance it has to parenting/taking care of children today, I really didn’t have a comment. Now I do, and here is my response.

A quiver is a container for holding arrows, bolts or darts that can be carried on an archer’s body, the bow, or the ground.

If the verses describe children as arrows and the quiver is used to carry them, I would think that a quiver could represent a household or a family.

It says blessed are those who have a full quiver, or blessed are those who have a full household. One is blessed when there are those for you to love and to love you in return. One could go further with this analogy and think of what one does with the arrows in their quiver. When the archer is good and ready and has chosen the target to aim at, they pick out an arrow and mount it on the bow.

The act of mounting the chosen arrow correctly on the bow and pointing it toward the target could represent the raising and training process of child rearing. Up until this point, this arrow has only ever been in the hands of the archer but once the archer has decided to loosen this arrow and send it on its way, much of the archer’s hands on work has been completed. In the same way, once we have fulfilled our responsibility of raising and training our little ones up in the ways of the Lord, the ways of love, to the best of our ability, it’s time to release and watch the arrow fly. It may be a painful process. Fingers may get bruised or blistered, cheeks may be left with scratches in the release process, but it’s all worth it when the arrow is soaring through the air. One may be filled with comfort that in trusting God and doing all that could be done, this little one is now headed toward life’s target.

It takes courage and faith to trust that once the arrow has left its quiver and left the bow, that God will carry it from there until the end of its journey. Perhaps some storms will blow along the way. The arrow may be knocked off course. The arrow may even plummet to the ground in a gut-wrenching change of course. But it is in these moments that the prayers and love that launch these arrows have to be recognized as pushing the arrow on and the deep love that our Heavenly Father has for His children needs to be remembered. Trusting God within the process and especially after “the release” is so crucial. Power, purpose and perfection, friends! He never misses.

We must trust that if we have sought after Godly wisdom and guidance in raising and training our little one, that He will continue the good work He started. He will take our child, our arrow, from where we have to release it and direct its path.

There is more imagery in this passage that I absolutely adore. It has a special place in my heart. When this Psalm speaks of a quiver, it is important to know that quivers differ. Their differences are based on the archer’s preferences and individual strengths. Some quivers are carried on the body, others are attached to the bow and some are even designed to be placed on the ground. Here, I picture the traditional quiver worn on the body as the womb. This is when the child comes from the body of the husband and wife within the household. But what about the quiver that is attached to the bow? For me, it is lovely and encouraging to picture the quiver mounted on the bow as a household where the child did not come from the mother’s body but has been joined to the household by either adoption or fostering. I’m not certain that God will choose to bless me with the miracle of pregnancy or birth, only He knows that, but I am certain that God has chosen me to be a mother and bless a little one of my own. It is heartwarming to think that though this little one may not come as a byproduct of the deep love that my husband and I share, he or she will be part of our family nonetheless. It’s still our primary job to set our little one on the straight and narrow path. It’s our job to mount our arrow and when they are ready, to release them toward the target- just as the birthmothers beside us will be doing.

And finally, what about the quiver that is placed on the ground? I think this could refer to the children who are given direction from someone outside the household altogether. These little ones are picked up and pointed toward the target just like the rest but the circumstances are a little different. These arrows could represent the children that are touched by the teachers that have been placed in their lives. From three years of age till twenty-three and beyond, our children are often placed in the love and training of our teachers! Monday through Friday, from eight until three, our children are learning, absorbing and being guided one way or another by teachers. Our teachers carry a great responsibility in directing our children toward purpose.

Not one way of wearing the quiver is greater than the other. Each one is beneficial in its own way. Each one works to serve the same united purpose. The purpose of bringing these arrows to their target- their purpose in life. When we are united in purpose, encouraging one another through this process, no matter where our quivers lay, we will all succeed! We will be truly changing the world for good. When we begin to look at the commonalities we have with one another, we will begin to see the beauty in learning and growing together!

Let us come together as one body of sound mind in raising and training our children up as unto God! The arrow has a long way to fly.

 

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My Story: Remembering How I Believed and Received

This is my story. Learn about why I’m passionate about what I do and what led me to where I am today.

My story begins and ends with my childhood babysitter who happened to also be a 5-Day Club leader. A 5-Day Club is a program designed to share the Good News of the Gospel with children within a 5-day span. This is done by playing games, enjoying some food and drink and learning stories about Jesus within a 2-hour time slot, each day for 5 days. This particular 5-day club was being held at my house, Monday through Friday, one particular warm, summer week when I was 6 years old. When Friday came, my babysitter ended our lesson that day with an invitation to believe in Jesus the Christ. I had come to love this Jesus that she taught about and because I knew her so well, I trusted her words. I rose my hand in an expression of wanting to know Jesus personally. She led me in a prayer where I acknowledged my sins before God and asked for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. I told Jesus that I believed He is the Son of God and that I wanted to know him more. When we were done, she hugged me tightly and handed me a Children’s Bible. As our 5-Day Club group dismissed, I bounced inside my house looking for anyone and everyone to share the good news with! I found my younger brother first. Within 20 minutes of telling him the condensed version of the good news Gospel and how great Jesus is, I led him into a salvation prayer there in our bedroom.

Looking back, I see how God used my relationship with my babysitter and her great faith she had in Jesus to be the catalyst to my acceptance of Christ! The heart that she had for my brother and I, the love and the compassion that she showed day in and day out with us, it all came together with her love and reverence for the Lord. She still has that heart for the Lord. I am glad to say that we still stay in contact to this day. She is married with two boys of her own and currently leads a campus ministry at the University of New Hampshire. Not only was it my babysitter who had this vital role to play in my salvation story, but it was my parents as well. My parents decided to place me in this 5-Day Club. They made the conscious decision to hire her on as our childcare provider. They took into account her strength of character, integrity and of course – skills with children. Thanks to my parents’ willingness and foresight to place such a great role model in my brother’s and my life; and thanks to my babysitter who had the love and faith that we needed, my brother and I both accepted Christ in one day!

This is my story.

This is my story of salvation.

My story became more complete when I myself, as a teacher, led one of my students in a prayer to accept Jesus.

I was teaching a reading class outside on our school yard lawn one spring day two years ago, when I asked my class if they had all come to a relationship with God, since we were reading a story about salvation through Christ. They all said yes accept one. I asked her if she believed that Jesus is the Son of God. She said she did. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart and life right then, and she said yes! We bowed our heads as a class and I led this little girl to salvation through Jesus! My heart could not have been fuller. When the end of the day came, I shared with her mother what took place that day. She cried with joy. You see, this story is full circle. This mother intentionally chose to send her third grader to a place where she knew the teachers had a heart for God. She made the conscious decision to pick a place of education and growth for her little one that would not only shape her mind but also her heart and soul. And once her child was in my classroom, I was entrusted with the task of developing her character and her academics, but most importantly, leading her to eternity with Christ. Just as this mother chose, her child chose- so did I. And none of this would have been possible without my own parents making positive, impactful decisions that would shape not only my life, but others.   

This is why I do what I do. This is why I encourage others to take responsibility of this great position you have been placed in. Growing little minds, hearts and souls is not a small task, friends! This is a job that takes encouragement from all sides, a willingness to continue growth within our lives and a confidence that comes from knowing not only why we are doing all that we do but how God would have us do it.

I’ve felt it placed upon my heart to build a community where parents and nannies can come together to encourage each other in raising our children up in Christ. It is my dream that we will create an uplifting and positively challenging conversation that will lead to not only the growth of our characters but the growth of our children’s as well.

Xx

NannyBeth

What It’s All About

I was once told that a romantic gesture to one, may be a creepy gesture to another. For instance, imagine that you are in a romantic relationship. You know, the new relationship, can’t get enough of your kisses, want to follow you around all day, I’ll share your drink with you, kind of love.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23

“It’s not what you do but for Whom you do it, that gives it its significance.” – Erwin Lutzer

I was once told that a romantic gesture to one, may be a creepy gesture to another. For instance, imagine that you are in a romantic relationship. You know, the new relationship, can’t get enough of your kisses, want to follow you around all day, I’ll share your drink with you, kind of love.

One particular day you decide that you want to surprise your love with a very extraordinary act. Once he leaves the house for work, you go through the back window that you know he leaves unlocked. As you start to tidy up the place, you notice that he doesn’t have his favorite kind of cereal. You make a mental note to pick that up later and sneak it into his cupboard. The house is now completely tidy, so you open up your bag of goodies. You know he likes cake so you have brought all the fixings. He won’t mind if you use his things so you proceed to preheat the oven, take all of his mixing bowls out and prep the counter. The cake is baking in the oven and you wonder what to do. Not for long though because it occurs to you that in order to be completely ready for the night you have planned, you need to freshen up. The cake has about another half hour and that is just enough time to get in and out of the shower. Your man won’t mind if you use his cleaning products, because, well, he is just the best! The damp towel is hung, the soap and shampoo are placed back in its place and you hear the oven timer go off. Yes! Just in time. Cake is prepped and dressed with vanilla frosting, his favorite. Good thing too, because now it’s a half hour till he’s expected home. House is clean, you’re feeling fresh, cake is looking good and…shoot! The cereal. You sneak out the window, run down to the local convenient store (quickly you don’t have much time) and sneak it into his cupboard. And 3,2,1…. *doorbell rings*.

Everything is perfect. Your ‘pudding pie’ is going to be SO excited to find his lady in his house with all of these surprises awaiting him!


 

Now this is all super romantic if you are in a mutually trusting and loving relationship.

Unfortunately, though, if you were the only one to feel a romantic feeling toward a man and execute these same ‘surprises’, you would most likely be arrested for trespassing and more.

You see, there is more of a significance for Who you do an action for, than what the action is in and of itself.

God calls us to work at whatever we do as if we were working unto Him. The daily grind is not just about punching your card day in and day out for the next 30 years. Every single day is an opportunity. An opportunity to show love and care for your coworkers and customers. Is it easy? Nope. But when we think about what God has done for us, how he sent his Son to die, be raised to life on the third day, and prepare a place for all those who trust in Him, then it is more of a natural reaction that we would strive to work for the Who and not the what. On a daily basis, I strive to give my day away to God and ask him to use me in it. If my days were up to me: my reactions, my plans, my attitude, my thoughts, my mouth and my desires, well it would be a roller coaster of a ride! When I find the meaning and the anchor of do’s and don’ts in Christ, suddenly what I do throughout the day takes on more of selfless and loving light. He is the one who puts all significance to the work that we do.

As we enter this next week, let’s take the time to invite God into it. See how your attitude, interactions with your littles and outlook on the profession you are in.