Feb 20, 2010
I went to the last breakout session entitled "Discipleship as a Mom". I was excited but a wee bit nervous about the preconceived notion that I was about to be hit again with a wave of information that might cause me some chest pains and labored breathing. Praise God for a dear lady named Nancy Holcomb who listens to the Holy Spirit. She was the speaker and she came in and started with these words: "ladies, i feel like the LORD wants me tell you to not lose heart" She said "I know you feel like you not only must disciple your children, but after today you feel like you must disciple the nations" and with this, we all felt like she understood our hearts. She encouraged us to remember that our children must come first. For the next hour or so she had us rolling in the aisles. Nancy was hysterical, but she loved loved loved the Word of God and trusted It with every fiber of her being. She is a mom of four. Her son died at 14 with Spinal Bifida. And through her trials, the Word was her strength. She waved the banner of God's Love high as she testified and related to us. It was awesome. I want to share just a few things that ministered to me that she said.
"One of the greatest things you can give your child is a smile" (look at them straight in the eye and smile at them...sounds simple but be intentional about it)
"Don't react to them every time they shock you with their behavior unless you know your words are from the LORD"
"Talk to your kids about what God is doing in your life, tell them about your day, let them know you are interesting too"
"Jesus wants your children to be discipled far more than you do so why would He not equip us"
"One word of advice: knees" (we must cry out to God on behalf of our children)
Lamentations 2:19 "Arise, cry aloud in the night. At the beginning of the night watches; Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of your little ones...." Moms, lets be faithful always to pray for our children. Give them to the One who breathed life into their bodies. Oh how He loves them!
"The days are so long, but the years are so short" (there are some days that I think if I have to fix one more sippy cup or wash more dish or judge one more quarrel...but these days are precious)
"Tribulation has to happen in your children's lives." (This was convicting to me. I always want to shelter my children from pain and suffering and to a degree we do, but pain and trials should draw us nearer to Christ. Momma can't always save them but Jesus can!!!)
These are a few things Nancy Holcomb encouraged us with. Her transparency laced with God's Word lifted me up the most! I want to be a mom that encourages other moms. Don't you? Titus 2 commands us to love our children (and husbands) and to train the younger women to do the same. So step 2 for me was: Disciple your children first!
God, I pray for the dear ladies you have brought into my life. I pray that you would begin to guide their hearts to Your heart so that they may rise up and disciple their children or the children in their lives. I ask that You give them wisdom and grace to light their path. May they get in Your Word and begin to seek Your face on this journey of parenting. Bless them. Help me to follow You in obedience in discipling my children and the women you lay on my heart! I pray this in Jesus name because You told me I could. Amen.
Feb 16, 2010
I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
This is the promise we have that we can overcome our struggles. He has called us to a life of obedience.
Let me start by giving you this scripture: I Cor 2:10-12 But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us."
From this we understand that apart from the Holy Spirit's work in our lives, I will be forever bound by this struggle (lack of patience and gentleness). But as a child of God I can overcome this struggle with His power and His Word....its called freedom in Christ. Freedom in Christ means we are free from the choke hold of sin!! Praise God.
Even if now I do not see the affect my tone is having with my children, God is very clear we must keep our speech in check!!
Matthew 12:36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement."
Jesus is very clear! He says every careless word will be judged! I am reminded of a song we have all heard, "oh be careful little mouth what you say, oh be careful little mouth what you say, oh be careful little mouth what you say...because there is a Father up above who is loving down with love so be careful little mouth what you say". Another thing I am reminded of is that this does not only pertain to words we speak to our children. It applies to the words we speak to our husbands, friends, co-workers, and yes my dear sisters, our enemies....."every careless word".
So how do I begin fighting this battle? I fight on my knees in prayer and I fight it with the Word of God. I must commit my ways to the LORD (Proverbs 16:3). Proverbs is full of wisdom on the matter of the tongue. What I am seeing again and again is that my tone needs to be gentle or I need to remain silent.
Prov 15:1 "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare." (You wanna see your temper escalate, then speak with harshness, but it you want to put out the fire of anger then speak gently)
Proverbs 15:4 "Gentle words are a tree of life."
Proverbs 16:24 "Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."
So this is my first order of business and I am thrilled that I serve a LORD who refuses to leave me alone in my struggles. He has called me to be a light for my children and to teach them His ways. Just as He is gentle and patient with me daily, I must extend that same grace to my wonderful children who I adore.
"Heavenly Father, strengthen these feeble arms of mine to do your will. Let Your grace, love, and mercy flow through us moms today as we nurture our children. Set a passion deep within us to train our children in the paths of righteousness and to love them with Your love. Keep our tone in check. Give us the strength and self-control to walk in the Spirit in the midst of challenges with our children and with all people we encounter. And let it all be done in Your name and for Your glory. In Jesus name, Amen."Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
Feb 15, 2010
It first starts with us moms [and dads]. We have to be investing time and keeping our #1 priority our relationship with our heavenly Father.
I believe our second step is prayer. This morning I was discouraged as I sat in the floor with my 3 children having our prayer and devotion time. At the start of every week I have Wil and Maggie pick one person to pray for and they pray for that person the entire week. This is based on I Timothy 2:1 ("I urge you , first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them."). Well Maggie was quick to pick hers. Trey is too little so his participation is minimal. I get to Wil (this is where my discouragement begins) and he says "i don't know". Come on, Wil. He is just being difficult and then he just lays in the floor. So I just move on even though I want to force him to pick someone. I don't believe forcing him is going to benefit him but rather turn him off so I continue. We begin our devotion. It is short, but 30 seconds into it Wil begins to express his boredom. We finish 2 minutes later and Wil says, "Yes!!!" and hurries off to play ball. I sit there going, "God, how do I reach Wilson's heart for You." and God, in the quiet of my heart says, "Be patient, let him see you love Me, and pray, pray, pray". So here I sit encouraging you moms to hang in there. Don't weary in doing good for if we don't give up, we will reap a harvest of righteousness. We are not perfect parents so we should not expect to have perfect children but we do serve a Perfect Savior and we must trust Him and seek His wisdom as we raise children to be soldiers for Christ.
Back in September I began to go through a 31 day challenge of praying for my children. I got a print off from a ministry I love (www.Reviveourhearts.com). This print off gave a list of 31 things to pray for our children and I am going to be revisiting them this month and next. If you want join me in this journey. I will hopefully be posting something every few days on what I am praying for that day. You can also go to the revive our hears website and click on "downloads" and print off a list of theses things.
The first one I want to start with is praying for my children to have a "passion for God".
Psalm 63:1-8 "O God you are my God; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in Your sanctuary and gazed upon Your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You! I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely."
How I long for my children to love the LORD this passionately!! I wrote this in my journal in October as I was going through this challenge:
"The greatest passion to chase after is You LORD. It is the most rewarding bar-none. For You alone satisfy the hunger in our souls!
Let Wil, Maggie, and Trey have a love for You that David spoke about in Psalm 63:1-8. May they earnestly search for You. May their soul thirst for You. May they love Your unfailing love more than life. May they praise You. May they always lift up their hands to You in prayer. May they find satisfaction in You alone. May their thoughts always be on You God. Be their helper. May they sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. May they cling to You Father. And, Father, may your strong hand hold them.
In Jesus Name,
And as we ask the LORD for these things in the lives of our children, let us not be ignorant in the fact that we need to ask them in our own lives as well!
Have a good Monday everyone and hopefully enjoy the snowfall one last time! Spring come quickly!
In the abundance of His grace may we live today!!!