Mud Batter

April 11, 2019
by Karen Milam

Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (KJV)

My mother expected her children to stay clean at all times because conditions in a dusty and dirty lumber mill camp environment tried both her patience and her effort. She spent two days washing the week's laundry by hand and hanging it on the clothesline to dry. After that, she ironed everything to get the wrinkles out. Her hands were reddened from all the work, so she taught us that if we stayed clean during play, her job would be easier.

One day, at age 8, a bright idea perched on my shoulder and chirped invitingly in my ear until I responded. Soon, we children were laughing as we carried containers of water toward a deep, dirt-filled rut in a logging road near our home. We stepped into the mixture and danced with glee. Shortly, we were up to our necks and covered with mud batter. As the sunshine beat down on us, caking and drying the mud, we started to itch. We started to scratch. Then, I saw her coming! We froze. Laughter stopped. Mud dripped. I was in big trouble. I was sorry, and I learned a big lesson.

What had been a fun game turned out to be a costly act of my willfulness. Water was wasted, and clothing was stained or ruined. Kids needed extra baths and shampoos. Deep down, I knew that what we were doing would upset my mother, but I had disobeyed her anyway. Acting on a bad chirp of an idea for a few moments of fun broke my mother's trust in me. She felt disappointed and angry. I felt miserable.

Think about the ways that being obedient to our parents, rules of employment, and societal rules help us to be obedient to God. If we learn to be strong in one area of obedience, that strength will help us to get through the next. When we are obedient, we do not have to suffer guilt, anxiety, and lack of self-respect before God. When we obey, we please God.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for teaching us that the fun of action done in disobedience is not worth the consequences in the context of our relationship with You. Help us to think before we act. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May we do just that, Karen.


    Oh, the fun of mud pies and baths and our pour moms.


    Thanks for a vivid metaphor, Karen. You paint your picture well. Blessings on your writing.


    A perfect spring reading. A chirp of an idea is such a lovely way of describing that first lightbulb moment. Thank you. Wonderful connection to scripture. Happy spring.


    Good morning Karen. Thank you for your devotional.
    That message sure struck a chord. Thank you for the reminder.
    God’s blessings.


    Mud Batter! Who-da-thunk-it. (big smile)
    Your Mud Batter analogy to disobedience and sin is definitely priceless and will have a long-lasting effect on my memory! Thanks so much.


    So true! I wonder if children today are allowed to feel the consequences of their actions in order to learn that lesson, before they are big enough to do serious harm to themselves or others and incur life-long regret!


    Hi Karen,
    Good devotional this morning. Isn’t that the way it is in life so often, the “fun” things are not good for us, or others, or downright sin. Thank you for writing.


    Hi Karen:
    Just read your meditation. Love it. I think the use of the word “chirp” is so descriptive and says so very much in only one word.
    Looking forward to more correspondence with you.


    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for the good “obedience” devotional.
    May we, whatever our age choose to follow the ways of love in our relationship with God and fellow human beings.
    Keep writing.


    My goodness, Karen, is there any child that hasn’t played in the mud! My penchant for getting dirty caused my mother to make me change into play clothes… last year’s school clothes… the instant I came through the door after school. The skirt was short, the bodice snug, but I had to wear them anyway if I wanted to play outside. Mom also made me hang up and bring in the laundry as well as vacuum and sweep the floors. Doing chores made me more careful about getting dirty! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. Blessings.


    Karen, Thank you for the life lessons you continue to teach, through your writings. If we love God, we will also want to obey Him. We are washed of our sins by His Precious Blood on the Cross. Praise Jesus!

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