April brings celebrations of new life on many levels at the Wigginton home. We celebrate our new life in Christ through Easter traditions. We celebrate new life as we see the trees and flowers blooming as spring arrives. But in our house we also have several April birthdays to commemorate! So whether it’s purchasing supplies for our neighborhood Easter Party, springtime plants for the yard, or candles for the next birthday cake, April preparations usually include at least one trip to a store that we refer to as “OUR Target.” Celebrating this new season by frequently revisiting OUR Target seems to have become an important April tradition for me. Beginning this new season by revisiting “OUR life’s Target” is…well…what I also really need.
Since our daughters were toddlers, we have loved highlighting birthdays in our house. Our youngest, Tress, turns 19 this year. One of our annual traditions leading up to the “special day” is to place a photo from each past birthday on the front of our refrigerator. Each year we add another birthday pic to the collection. And, yes ma’am, our refrigerator is chock full of memories right now! As each magnetic sleeve takes its spot, we recount the laughter and the lessons those photos and years represent.
As I positioned Tress’ 15th birthday picture, God targeted my own target. That year had been a season of struggle for our youngest as she fought her way back after three compound concussions from volleyball. Her favorite book that year was “The Bronze Bow.” Her favorite movie: “Catching Fire.” Her only birthday gift requests were to return to Haiti for another mission trip and to have her own bow with arrows! Target didn’t have either of these requests, but God used her desire to re-focus my own target!
At the mention of arrows, my mind darted to Psalms 127…
“A song of ascents. Of Solomon. “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like ARROWS in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man (or woman) whose quiver is full of them.“
As God would have it, the very next day I read the following paragraph from the book “Courageous Parenting” by Jack and Deb Graham:
“Warriors in the ancient world not only fired arrows in battle, but they made their own. They took great care to make sure that each arrow’s shaft was straight so it would fly straight to the target. Arrows weren’t fired randomly in battle either, but with a specific target in mind. This wasn’t like target practice, where arrows could be retrieved and fired again. A warrior had only one shot with each arrow, and couldn’t get those arrows back… “
Our children are like arrows in our hands today. Each one must be individually shaped and guided, and how well they fly when they leave us depends a lot on how well we have shaped them to hit the target—that is, to penetrate this culture for the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Another interesting feature of arrows in the hand of an ancient warrior is that the arrows could go where the warrior could not go, which was right in the middle of the enemy’s ranks. Our children will go places we will never go and do things we will never do. So we need to prepare our arrows well…”
These pointed challenges pierced my heart.
I needed the reminder that the heart is God’s Target. Deuteronomy 6 hits the bulls eye with His most important command,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your HEART and with all your soul and with all your might.”
The hearts of all womanhood (and manhood) are His targets. His heart is OUR Target. “I make it my goal (aim) to know and please Him.” Phil 3:10
I needed to re-visit OUR Target and the importance of each arrow God has placed in our quiver. I needed to re-draw my bow and let God wrap His arms around mine to re-direct my aim toward each heart entrusted to our care. In Deuteronomy 6, I hear the Mightiest Warrior whisper in my ear as He steadies my hold, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children….” The word “teach” in this text actually means, “to sharpen.” Yes, like the point of an arrow!
As we re-draw our bows for this new season of life, I pray that you will be encouraged by the importance of the assignment God has given you: to sharpen arrows. To be those “older women who teach (sharpen) the younger women (arrows)” (Titus 2)! Heart of Womanhood Resources are tools designed for arrow shaping and polishing and for arrow protecting and directing. HOW powerful to note that Psalm 127 quoted above is written by Solomon, the author of Proverbs 31. That epic passage is the centerpiece for our first Heart of Womanhood Bible Study series entitled Portraits.
If you are like me, as I consider the many times I have missed the mark, I feel totally unprepared to shoot arrows, let alone “make” or “shape” them. A quote from an older woman who discipled me many years ago steadies my confidence. She said in her strong south Georgia drawl, “Kim, God can always hit the mark with a crooked stick. We must only keep our crooked sticks in His nail pierced hands.”
Yes mommas, our targets are certainly important. As I open the bag following my annual April errand to OUR Target, the company slogan sends an arrow of encouragement to my soul. It simply states, “Expect more.” Ephesians 3:20 (AMP) hits the same mark,
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly MORE than all that we dare ask or think or EXPECT [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams] according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
As we step out into this new season, may we find our confident expectation in “the rider on the white horse, holding a bow and who was given a crown as He rode out as a conqueror.” (Rev 6) Jesus promises, “I will save them, not by bow or battle, but I the LORD their God will save them.” (Ps 18)
HOW thankful I am to parent alongside a quiver full of powerful women like you who are bent on making Jesus OUR Target! HOW encouraging to know that HIS target is the very Heart of Womanhood.
So grab your bow and together let’s spring forward, making mighty warriors of this next generation of women!