I am so exhausted right now. I have been loaded up with information on discipleship this weekend. I attended a Downline Summit Discipleship conference Friday and today in Memphis. The LORD has burdened my heart over the past several months for discipleship. I am living proof that without discipleship, we can get lost trying to find our way to the will of God. The lady that God brought into my life to disciple me has shown me more in 3 years than I have learned in 10. I just needed someone to invest in me and bless her heart for doing so. She has so graciously answered every one of my goofy questions and encouraged me in so many ways. I owe so much to her and my husband (for Tommy has been my #1 mentor, but there is only so far he can go with the mind of a woman--amen?) Anyway this weekend left me with 2 things I know the LORD has laid on my mind and heart. I'm a step by step person so I'm like "LORD, give me a starting point." Step one: Pray for a few women to disciple because it is our calling to do so (Titus 2) even though I feel inadequate. I know my heavenly Father is sufficient to lead me. And before I get to step two I want to say that at the end of today's conference I was feeling a bit anxious and overwhelmed by the responsibility and calling to disciple. I long to please God and to obey Him faithfully so when I heard Kay Arthur speak on "taking the book to your tribe" and building on the foundation of Jesus Christ in other's lives (I Corinthians 3:10-15), I was thinking I must get started, I must form a group a.s.a.p, I must throw my whole self into discipling. This is the way I tend to react (one of my many flaws). Praise God I have learned so much from my wonderful husband who "waits on the LORD" for instruction before he acts. So I took a deep breath and told the LORD to slow me down. This is where step 2 came in.
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.