I am a mom of four boys who are like most kids ages 6 thru 12, involved in everything the community can offer: soccer, basketball, church outreaches, school fundraisers and CUB SCOUTS! As a once upon a time Girl Scout, I love “Scouts” and what they stand for. In fact the Cub Scout Promise reads: I, (scout name) promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the law of the pack.” With this said, I was having a rough go the other day as I begrudgingly began the huge undertaking of sewing on six months worth of patches! Six months came super fast and between four boys, they earned twenty or so patches that I continued to put off until last week. My husband saw my face as I pulled out my dusty sewing kit, laid out all the patches and uniforms and took a big sigh. With that he said, “Why do you need to sew those on? I’d staple them if I was you!” I couldn’t tell him what a stupid idea that was, knowing I had taken my own short cuts years ago by gluing on the patches, only to have them peel off at the worst moments, with lots of veteran Scouts around to see. So, I told him, “It’s fine, I’ll manage.” He liked that answer enough to fall quickly asleep on the couch beside me, leaving me to learn a valuable lesson with God, always wanting me alone to teach me something good.
After the first eight patches, I was in a sour mood, my fingers stung from constant pricking and I wasn’t happy with the outcome of my crooked patch work. It was about this time that I realized I was bleeding onto my sons, “Messenger of Peace” patch! Really? This beautiful patch with a white dove had my blood on it from the war I was having with the needle! I didn’t cry this time, I burst into laughter! I thought to myself, “I am ridiculous! What’s wrong with me? My boys have earned these beautiful patches by working hard and I am whining because I just have to sew them on!”
I suddenly had new eyes for this project. God showed me what my kids were learning and I was so impressed. Sometimes I can be a mom in such a hurry to get my boys requirements done, that I completely lose sight of what they are learning. Because, let’s face it, I want the invisible “You’re a Great Mom” patch that moms give each other when we see our kids succeed. But what happens when our kids don’t succeed? Do we also give each other the “Bad Mom” patch? Also invisible but those patches might as well be stapled onto our skin because they HURT! I took another look at the Messenger Of Peace patch and realized how great it is that our boys were learning the value of unity as God teaches in Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” I thought about it and felt convicted that I may not be extending God’s grace to moms that are struggling around me. I live in the South and these moms are competitive “Y’ALL!” But I am called to be different! So what if my sons patches are crooked and blood stained, I did my best (as a true scout does)!
As much as my kids bicker and fight, they earned their patches and God reminded me that I am not too old to earn my own patches before Him: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy…” Matthew 6:20