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Essential

Essential
“ Nooooo,” he screeched. He held tight to the penny. The little round copper hid inside a tightly
closed pudgy fist.
I caught him a moment before he tried to put it in his mouth, stuffing his entire slimy hand into the wide-open pit.

He put out an all-body-twisted protest, the offending hand stretched behind him while his other pushed me away.

“Miiine!”

We were heading for full meltdown battle royale. Me, a grown-up woman, mother of four, against an almost two-year-old, and it didn’t look good for the older lady. I could feel the grip of frustration seizing my calm.

“Give it to Mommy,” I said.

“Noooo.”

Because you see that penny, the one he desperately wanted to put in his mouth, suddenly had become essential.

We hear so much today about essential. Essential jobs, essential workers, essential equipment.

Once upon a time my little boy held a penny in his tight little slobbery fist and with every fiber of his being, he pronounced it “essssssentialllllll!”

Well, let me tell you mommy and daddy worker, you are essential. I know many of you out there never bargained to be teacher, playmate, cook and nanny 24/7 for such an extended time. I know none of us expected anxiety and fear to spread an uncertain foundation under us and rob our routine. Yet, there you are mom and dad, schools are closed, play dates cancelled, and parks shut. You, keepers of your little flock are so very essential.

Although our children have always depended on us, the weight of it in the present environment is heavy, isn’t it?

“What day is today?”

“I don’t want to take a nap.”

“Can we watch something?”

Repetitiveness makes us weary.

But perhaps, today’s global situation, may be a God-appointed time to consider what is truly essential.

In reality, few things accompany us into eternity. Few things value everything.

Mark 12 tells us a story about a woman who had almost nothing to give, just two small copper coins.

When Jesus taught in the temple courts, he observed many wealthy throwing large chunks of money into the temple offering. Their heavy clanking coins dropped, emphasizing their value. As Jesus watched, a poor widow entered. She put in two small copper coins.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)

As parents, we often find ourselves like that poor widow. Drained, empty, spent. We feel we have little left to give. We do not feel like our contribution is essential.

God’s Word, the Father, Son, and Spirit and the souls of others, these will last through eternity.

These are of inestimable worth.

Whether or not you have been deemed as an essential worker in society, God values as essential the molding of little souls. Although you may feel you are scraping the bottom of all you have to give, be assured essential in God’s eyes is measured with His hand.

“…this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything…”

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves in Women’s Care at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 14, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter. 

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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