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The One Thing


 "I made everyone a mailbox, put it on their bedroom doors, and sent them all mail, but no one has the time to send me any mail!" my 10-year-old daughter moaned, "no one has time to play!"

"Play?" My mind fought to come up with a reasonable excuse. "She doesn't realize Grandpa's just come through open heart surgery, a number of bills need paid, we're down to one vehicle, her sister-in-law has gone through a devasting late miscarriage, and look what's happening in the world…!"

I call it "mind chaos." Webster defines chaos as, "...a confused mass or jumble of things, a state of utter confusion."

"But she's right. Why can't I play her game for a while? Why is my mind in chaos? How am I ever going to be of the right "mindset" to homeschool this fall? I sent up a prayer. A verse came to mind. "...Let us lay aside every weight... (weight meaning: worry, concern, debt, mass, burden, encumbrance…) and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1. God then reminded me that I needed to keep the most important thing first for me not to have a chaotic mind.

A few days later, I heard a preacher speak on Psalm 27. David says, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." David's number one goal was to have sweet communion with God himself. My mind went to the New Testament to Jesus' words, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part…" Luke 10:41

As I think over the last 26 years of homeschooling our 11 children, it is difficult for me to believe that only one thing is necessary. However, I have noticed that when I start the day intently reading a few verses, praying 'real' prayers (giving God all that churns me on the inside), like: Lord, today we must pick apples and process them. But I'm tired, Lord, would you please give me the desire and strength? And: Lord, I'm concerned about — I see them heading in a direction that is not pleasing to you, would you please intervene? I give you all my stress." And then I sing a few praise songs, it sets the mood in my heart for the rest of the day, hence, I start my homeschool day trusting in God, fresh and unencumbered.

God reminded me that he is faithful. As I "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," he really has "added all these things unto us." Despite all my imperfections as a mom, and all the valleys and mountain top experiences we've shared as a family, I am enjoying my 5 married children and their spouses, along with our 12 precious grandchildren, and our 6 single young people.

As I thought about these things, I ran to my desk and wrote a note to my daughter about how much I love her and how special she is. I slipped it in her 'mailbox.' Later, her face beamed as she approached me.

"I wrote you a poem," she said.

"A poem?" I thought, "She has never written a poem." I read it, "To give, to take, to sleep, to wake, I'll always think of my sweet mom and dad, from Tia."

May I remember to do the one thing.

Melodie Vervloet

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 27

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