This Monday morning I woke up feeling discouraged. Certain things in my life were not working the way I wanted them to and I was feeling helpless and frustrated, discouraged and weighed down. I remember sitting on my kitchen counter with my cup of tea, lacking the energy to get started on anything in my day. I quietly prayed that God would address my concerns, but better still that the Holy Spirit would be my encourager this particular morning.

As is my custom when I am restless within, I picked up m pone and checked if anyone had texted me or sent a whatsapp. Nothing. then I checked people's whatsapp status; may be there would a word on someone's wall to jenga me. Nothing. Next I begun reading articles online.

It was the misreading of a phrase in an article that encouraged me. I read: "Women are far from being secondary citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing God's children." The actual phrase read: "Women are far from being secondary citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing godly children." The article was speaking about how a woman may have led the race into sin, but it is women who have the privilege of leading the race out of sin to godliness. The pain associated with childbirth was the punishment for the woman’s sin (Gen. 3:16), but the joy and privilege of child rearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin.

For some reason, the thought that I am raising God's children lifted my spirit. I found myself laughing out aloud. What am I doing at home on a Monday morning feeling discouraged? Raising God's children. The Bible says children are like arrows, so my work is to care for the arrows, to wash them, polish them, aim them, launch them and release them to whatever God will be calling them to. I prepare them to live in his world and be ready for the next. They are God's children and right now, I'm like a hired farm hand, a steward. Why me? I don' know. I kid myself that for these, God required my particular set of skills, training and disposition. And I needed them as my tool for sanctification.

Dr Dave Simmons, author of Dad the Family Shepherd says, "God established the family as His smallest battle formation in His conflict with Satan." We are building up at the grassroots. Let me continue caring for God's little army for the battles we face - for our families, society and the world - are great. It will need god-fearing, moral mature, emotionally-sound, spirit-filled, righteous-working, God-worshiping young people, to quote one preacher. We labour in the Lord's vineyard.

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