The season is changing again! I woke Saturday to golds and oranges...it was a though Autumn had arrived while I was sleeping. Oh how I love Autumn. But do I miss the joys of Summer when longing for the cooler weather? Do you? How about when we "miss it" with our kids...wishing they were older or younger...etc. Join me over at The Laundry Moms as I share about Finding Joy in the Change.
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I love the Biblical accounts of Mary as she was being filled with the Lord...her journey...her obedience...Joseph’s obedience! What an awesome testimony and heritage she left for the world...being found righteous in the sight of the God Almighty. God’s plan for Mary and Joseph was big! I’m sure neither of them dreamed they would hold the Son of God in their hands as he entered the Earth. How awe inspiring to think of the two young people being entrusted tom raise the Son of God, Jesus. God didn't entrust me with Jesus, but he did give into my care my children. His plan for me is the same as for Mary…raise children who love and Trust the Lord. To raise my children in the admonishment of the Lord and equip them to live a life of devotion to the Father.
God has a plan in mind for each of our children and He is placing them into our hands to train in Love towards Him, that one day they, too, will chase after His will and calling on their lives.
“For I have no greater joy than to see my children walk in truth” 3 John 1:4
"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13
As parents, we have a choice. We can answer the call to follow Him...to show His Love and Grace to those around us...to teach our Children about His great Love and Sacrifice...to be Obedient in walking after His ways, with His character and His heart of compassion…or we can struggle in our self to raise upright children in today’s culture. When we choose obedience & humility, we are not only allowing God to work out His perfect plan, we are teaching by example. We are the Hands and Feet of God to our children. We are their first encounter with Love, Discipleship, & Caring. When we Love our children well; when we gently lead them into righteousness…we are showing them the face of God.
I know that may seem a bit over the top, but it is TRUTH. We, as parents, have a big responsibility. But we are not alone. The God of the Universe has not created everything and then abandoned us to our own devises to struggle. He has given us an example. He has given us His Word. He leads us by His Spirit. Scripture says
"Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest." "Take my yoke upon you for my burden is easy and my yoke is light." "Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it." Matthew 11:28, 30 & Proverbs 22:6
You see, as children of the Most High God, we can learn from His ways. We can call Him for advice. We can read His letters to us and be encouraged. We take joy in the task at hand, because with Him ALL things are possible.
The awesome path of parenting is simple, but takes a dedicated heart and intentional living. We will mess up. We will ask for forgiveness (from God AND our children- a practice in humility). We will have victories and Joy. As I have walked this path, I find 3 simple guidelines make all the difference in parenting my children. Again, simple…but it’s a journey of intention.
- Pursue YOUR relationship with Christ. Drink deeply from His goodness everyday so He can fill you with Joy & Peace, speak to your heart about your children, love on you through the hard times, and guide you as you encounter new curves in the road.
- Love your spouse well. When children see their parents in a Godly, loving relationship, it brings security to them. Loving your spouse isn’t about being perfect, or waiting hand and foot on the other, or lavishing them with gifts. NO! It is about dying to our selfishness and putting them before us. It’s about dancing in the kitchen when you REALLY don’t want to. It’s about laughing at their corny jokes or making a cup of coffee…just because. It’s about taking Joy in them and it is a reflection of God’s great love for His bride. Remember…He laid down His life for His bride.
- Teach your children how to love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind. Remember, our children learn more by watching what we do, how we react to situations. They learn from our words and attitudes in everyday life. Are we exhibiting Grace, Mercy, Trust? When a need arises, to they see panic in us or a trust in God that brings peace that passes all understanding? We teach our children every moment of every day. It’s not about the right family devotion or the right calendar that will help you schedule obedience. No, it is about having a LOVE relationship with our children. It’s about holding their hearts, buffeting their fleshly desires and showing them Truth in action.
I am not always obedient, not even in the little things sometimes. But, I know that God is merciful and full of Grace. As I seek Him, He will mold this heart of mine, and the hearts of our family, into willing and obedient hearts that He may find pleasure in our actions, just as He found in Mary and Joseph.
I thank Him today for the privilege of Motherhood. I thank Him for the 'hope and future' that He has orchestrated for me, and YOU, through the birth of a Saviour. I thank Him for the humility and obedience of Mary & Joseph. I pray that I will be used of God to impact the next generation living under my roof...that they, too, will impact those around them for Christ.
Take time to thank the Lord for being Jesus (Saviour), Emmanuel (God With Us), today. Praise Him for the privilege to be involved in His plan. Thank Him that even when parenting is difficult and we think we have messed up beyond redemption, He IS with us. It's WHO and WHY He IS.
May your Christmas Season be filled with Jesus, Family & Friends ...and Intention.
When we were children we dreamed big! We pretended to cure disease, save people from burning buildings, become President of the United States, heal the sick in Africa and preach to the multitude God's great love. We believed that justice prevailed and Good ALWAYS won. We dressed up to help that dream seem more like a reality. We acted out the mighty tasks at hand with zeal and valor. We were unstoppable. We were pure-hearted. We truly believed we were having an Impact on those around us. We could see it in our mind's eye..and of course in the mirror as we donned the clothes of our pretend adventure.
So what happened???? When did we stop believing that ONE person can change the world?
So many Christians are snickered into believing that we are too insignificant to make an Impact on the world around us. I am here to tell you that, my dear friend, is a Lie with a capital L!
Satan comes only to kill, still and destroy. John 10:10
If we are fooled into believing that only a select few are "worthy" enough, or prayed up enough, or charismatic enough to make an Impact and cause a stir, then chances are...we will choose not to move and Satan's LIES win. We will choose to sit on the sidelines. We will choose to be unavailable to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords because of what we have chosen to believe as truth...is actually a Lie that will kill, steal and destroy God's plan for our lives.
So...what difference can ONE person make?
I recently read through the book of Daniel and two truths blared out from the pages. ONE: Daniel was only ONE man, and TWO: God gave him all he needed to Impact a Nation. If you haven't read Daniel in its entirety...go grab a Bible and read it. The book of Daniel is filled with so many familiar Bible stories we are taught as children. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the Lions den, the writing on the wall and there are many more.
So what made Daniel so special? Why could a humble man, who is a prisoner in a foreign country, change the heart of the King and in turn the course of a Nation?
He loved the Lord God with all his heart and soul and mind. He stepped out in humble faith when he was called upon. His motives were pure. He knew that he knew that there was NO other true God than the God of the Israelites.
As a parent, we want the BEST for our children. We want them to be successful. To have all the things we don't. We want them to live life as an adult fully. Are those hopes wrong? Only if they persuade our children to move in a direction contrary to where the Lord is leading them.
It is our privileged and our job, as parents, to raise our children, to guide them and to lead them. I challenge you to pray and seek the Lord concerning your children and their future. Ask Him to guide you as you guide your children. Ask the Lord to reveal the course He has for your child and to help you prepare them to walk it. We should never be the parents that are being used as pawns by the enemy to kill their dreams when their dreams are actually callings from the Most High God.
One of my favorite scriptures is
I have no greater joy to see that my children walk in Truth. 3 John 1:4
Truth...not the lies of society that say you need x-amount per year to be successful. Truth...walking in the calling on their lives. Truth...walking in Peace and assurity that they are exactly where God wants them, no matter what that looks like in comparison to others.
Daniel was right where the Lord wanted him...a prisoner, a foreigner, a mighty man of God that moved a nation! I pray my children will be right in the center of His will for their lives, walking in Faith every step of the way, as the Peace of God guards their heart and soul and mind in Christ Jesus. I pray that no matter what they are called to be or do for the Lord that I am will be used of God to spur them on to walk in the fullness of God's calling on their lives.