Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Am Royalty

On Thursdays I am a part of a Bible study at my church, where we are studying Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself, which is about the fruit of the Spirit. Wow, I have learned so much in the past four weeks, and I am excited about what God is going to continue to teach me during the rest of the study. We have learned about the Holy Spirit and His role in creation, Christ's life and what His role is supposed to be in our lives as believers. We have begun to study the fruit of the Spirit and we have covered love and this week dove into joy. I thought I would share what stuck out to me, from today's lesson, with you!

Joy, JOY, matter how you write it, that little word can mean so much and have so much impact on you and others. Something Beth Moore said on the weekly video watched was this..."Every other world religion is void of joy." Reflect on that for a minute... Christianity is the only "religion"(and I really dislike that word, because of the bad taste it leaves in most people's mouths, but I think you know what I mean here.) that has joy. The ONLY one that has joy. Can you imagine being a part of a belief system that was VOID of joy and rejoicing?

So, you may be asking what is joy? Well....Beth Moore explains it much more eloquently than I, but let me hit on a few things about joy to help you understand it better. Joy is happiness, excitement, gladness, enjoyment, bliss....Beth Moore says that "in many ways joy means to celebrate." Can you get a picture of joy in your mind when using those synonyms? It helps me to do so, but the best description she gave of joy was this...and she talks about this as the fullness or overtaking of joy in our lives. Isaiah 60:4-5 "Then you will look and be radiant, you heart will throb and swell with joy." To me, you cannot explain what joy feels like any better than that scripture does. Isn't that what your heart feels like when you feel true, Spirit given joy?

Now I am not talking about love or happiness, but joy. Joy is something that is deeper and often not understood by even the person feeling it. Of course we feel joy in a lot of circumstances in life, the moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, when we celebrate big things in life, like weddings and births, when we see another soul accept Christ and that life changed, etc. But joy can also be felt and experienced in the events of our lives that we often wouldn't think it could be. Death, loss, trials, illness, and even the small things, lost keys, flat tire, forgetfulness, simple conversations, etc. When joy is experienced in the latter things listed, often the world does not understand how we as Christians can feel that way, they question it. Sometimes, we as Christians question it too. True joy from the Spirit is just that, something that passes our worldly understanding. We cannot know and understand how God is working, but we can trust Him in everything and find joy in everything. Why do I say that?

Christ died on the cross for our sins and He did that with joy. Think about that, He came to bring us to glory with Him in heaven, that was His entire purpose, right? So, when He was facing the one thing that we all find unimaginable, He had joy, why? Because He knew what the future held and He knew that His father, the King, would fulfill His promises!

So we should have joy in every situation and we can have, through the Holy Spirit and His full indwelling in us. Why? Because, Luke 10:20 says: "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven." We are the children of God and if we believe in Him, have a relationship and follow Him and His son, and we allow His Holy Spirit to completely fill our lives, then we will be in heaven with Him. NO MATTER WHAT happens on this earth, no matter what mistakes we make, what sins we commit, challenges we face, your name, my name, everyone's names are written in the book of life! How awesome is that. It is only by the choice to not believe, not follow, not be spirit filled, that erases our name from that book.

Joy---how beautiful a characteristic of the Spirit, that we can have in our lives, that we can display for others! Choose Joy!(Hmmm....wasn't that another blog post....missed it, check it out!! No Twit, Just Joy!)

Something else she talked about, which relates to the title of this post, was royalty. Remember, God is the one and only King and He promises us a kingdom. In that kingdom out joy will be made complete and we will understand things that we cannot here on earth. One thing that Beth Moore wants us to understand here on earth is this....we are royalty and we need to feel that way!

I know, it has been a long time since most of us have played dress up or pretend, unless it is now with our children. Think back to pretending to be a princess or a knight and how awesome it felt. In fact, some might say that they really were a princess or knight, not in that conceded, snotty way, but you really truly felt and believed that you were just that, a princess, prince, knight, king, queen, etc. You were special, royal.

Beth Moore said this(my paraphrase, she said it much better!!), "Royalty knows it is royalty because the King has told it so and it believes the King. If we are children of the King, we are royalty, because we wear Christ from head to toe, we have royal blood, we need to feel that way." Well, when we think of royalty, we often think of someone who sits on a big chair and dresses fancy and gets waited on, while bossing others around(thanks to Disney!). However, Christ was royalty, and that is not at all a description of Him. In fact, He was a servant, and that is what we are called to be. Matthew 22: 24-30 tells us just this. I am going to quote vs. 26-27 "Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? It is not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." That is Jesus, speaking to the twelve, who were trying to figure out who among them was the greatest. So, even though we are royal, because we are the children of God, we must serve just as Christ did, and not worry over whether the world things we are servants or royalty, because God, THE KING, has told us who we are, and He says we are royal! Awesome!

Beth said, "I was made for the kingdom, but I receive citizenship in that kingdom only one way...through a relationship with the King!" I love that!

One last thought that ties joy and royalty together...

Isaiah 35: 8-10 "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in the Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of The Lord will return. They will enter Zion singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."

She talked about the crown that we will wear in heaven, and how it will be this crown of joy. Now who knows, that may be a physical crown or it may just be a symbolic reference. I can say, I cannot wait to find out!! But I had this thought while she was speaking about that(and I am sure that there is a Biblical answer, I have just not had time to research, and I kind of like my idea, so I am going to keep it for a while), and so I will leave you with that thought and you can let me know what you think...

We see pictures of angels in heaven and they are often depicted with a halo around their heads. Is that halo around the angels head everlasting joy, the crown of everlasting joy? Remember that our heart will throb and swell with joy, which makes me think of a halo for some I just wonder, is that what a crown of everlasting joy will look like? A halo...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Creative Pay It Forward: 13 in 2013

While on FB today, I noticed a lot of people posting that they were doing a creative pay it forward for the year, they needed 5 people to accept and those people would receive a surprise sometime throughout the year, and the only catch was those 5 people had to post the same thing, thus continuing the giving! So, a friend of mine from my childhood and 4-H years, Ashlie, had it on her page, so I said, sure....I am in!!! I love everything that Ashlie makes, does, and writes(check out her blog at, so I knew that this would be great! I cannot wait for my surprise....I love surprises!

Well, that meant that I needed to put the same message, and not that I wanted to one-up anyone or do it better, but I really just didn't want to post the exact same message as the last 15 people, and even more than that, I felt that I should do more than 5. So, I decided that I would do one each I posted that I needed 12 people but I didn't feel right about asking others to join in the catch of the original post, so I changed that up to. I know, why can't I just let good enough alone...well, that is because it is me, I can never make things easy....but I can make them more interesting and fun!!!

So, I asked my 12 people to pay it forward to anyone when they receive their surprise from me this year! It doesn't have to be something handmade from them, like their gift will be from me. I would love if they would pay for someone's gas, coffee, volunteer somewhere, donate blood, help a neighbor, etc. Anything they feel God calling them to help with! My intention in changing the pay it forward, was to bless and allow others to bless, so that we all are sharing the love that Christ has given us by loving on others! I just wanted to do it every month, keeping my mind focused on that giving spirit all year, because this year we will all need to remember His love more and more!!!

Well, people took me up on my offer, and for 2013, my first Creative Pay It Forward year, I actually have 13 lucky people who are going to receive a surprise...I think that it was totally meant to be 13 in 2013....God is great like that!

So, now the fun begins, and as January is moving forward, I must begin to figure out what I shall give these 13 people, to bless them, encourage them, show them God's love in 2013. So that they might in return bless another, or maybe even another 13! I will keep you up to date on the who and what of each month, plus 1! I am so excited about this and I cannot imagine the blessings that I will receive from God in the midst of this too!!! What a Happy NEW Year this will be!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

One of THOSE Days!

If you are a parent, you don't even need me to say anymore, right? You have probably more often than you would like to admit, had one of THOSE days. Now, THOSE days can look different for everyone, and I guess really, even those who are not blessed enough yet to be parents or who are now grandparents, can say they have had one of THOSE days. However, mine is specifically of the parenting it? I knew I didn't even have to ask!

Really, is there research out there that backs me and probably every other mom, teacher, or care provider of young children, when I/we say that the FULL MOON equals one of THOSE days?

There has to be, I will begin the validation sometime in the future when I have time...ok or not, I am just going to go with my gut validation on this one!

FULL MOON equals one, and quite possibly more, of THOSE DAYS!

Why? I don't know, but I do believe that if God wanted me to be the best parent that I can be, then He should have either done away with this FULL MOON stuff, or given every mom on the planet a surge of patience and energy with the FULL MOON, so we could avoid THOSE days, or at least get through them without having to need a glass of wine at the end of the day(I was out, ugh!)!!!

It starts at sunup and sometimes the evening before!! It doesn't end until the mysterious "moon" high, which is like the worst sugar high ever, has drained from their systems. It leaves children more emotional than a woman watching "Dear John" or "You've Got Mail" while Aunt Flo is visiting and she forgot to refill her happy pills at the pharmacy!!! It also gives them endless amounts of energy, no more Little Engine that Could, we are in full locomotive runaway train mode...hmmm(didn't I have a post about a Runaway Train, I am sensing a trend!!!) It makes them defiant to everything and everyone, bossy, mouthy, unable to be bribed or disciplined into fear, loud and just plain THOSE kids!!!

Have you ever had one of THOSE days with your kids? Who am I kidding, right, you had that today!!! BECAUSE it was a FULL MOON tonight!!!

Okay, well in all seriousness, it really was one of THOSE days in my house. I actually think that it was made worse by Christmas this week, and the desire to play with every toy and each others' toys, and the fact that our television was not working for the first 3 hours that we were awake this morning....which is never a good thing!!! Why is a non functioning television not a good thing you can be an instant cure for all problems for at least a half an hour, which gives this mom(and every other non super mom out there) a break during one of THOSE days!

Really though, I do believe that I did a better than average job of handling the constant squabbles, meltdowns, emotional overloads, and bossy mouths today. How you ask? PRAYER!

I am learning that when I just close my eyes and turn away from THOSE moments, and say a little prayer(not for patience, because I have learned not to pray for that!!) for myself and my attitude in handling the situation, not only does it give me a breather, so I don't blow up or out or any other direction, but it also helps me seek the Lords help and that is the only way that I can properly handle my children!!!

With the studying and blogging about Shepherding A Child's Heart, I have also realized that while I need to be concentrating on their heart, since it is the wellspring of life, and how it affects their behavior, I as a mother need to do the same examination of my heart. Why do I react like I do sometimes? Screaming, yelling, giving a little swat? Is that showing my kids the way I want them to react, or the attitude they need to have? NO! If I show them patience, they will learn it. If I show self-control, they will learn it. If I speak softly, they will learn to speak softly, and oh boy do we need to work on this one...not just my kids, but all of us!!! If I discipline out of love and following God's command, they will learn that discipline is necessary and good, and not something to do out of frustration. I have to be the example, not just talk about it. I know, you are probably thinking, duh are just now getting this!?!? Yes, YES, I am!

I am thankful that I am getting it, and that I am handling THOSE days better. I really could do without THOSE days, but maybe it is my fire drill of life! Keeps me ready and alert for anything! It keeps me checking my heart, my attitude, my reactions! Thank you Lord for making the heart our wellspring of life, because that means that I will get through THOSE days, because I love You and my children! Thank you for helping us when we say that little prayer, in a desperate circumstance on one of THOSE days! And thank you for the blessing of being a parent, even if it means that I have to have THOSE days, Lord, my children are a gift from You and I pray that I would help to shepherd them to be a gift back to You, for Your glory! Amen and goodnight, because it has been one of THOSE days!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Your Child's Development: Godward Orientation

Book: Shepherding a Child's Heart
Author: Tedd Tripp
Chapter 3: Your Child's Development: Godward Orientation
Godward Orientation(My little Jillian!)
All of us are covenantal beings, we all have a Godward orientation.  Tedd Tripp tells us that all of us are essentially religious and children are worshipers, either they worship God or idols, they are never neutral! Our children filter the experiences of life through a religious grid.

Romans 1:18-19 
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth be their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Everyone, and that means everyone, has God's clear revelation of truth, but wicked people suppress that truth......whoa!!!!  They refuse to walk with God and submit to the things that He has made very plain for us all!  
From page 19 of Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
The person standing on the left is a worshiper of the one true God who is good and kind and holy.  God has made everything for His glory and if we know Him, we know life.  If you have Godward orientation, then you respond to God's goodness and kindness with love, delight and worship.  You want to know and serve God better.  For me this is not only a lesson in the orientation of my children's heart, but also mine....I hate when that happens!!!  Just kidding!  I really thought this was a good lesson, no matter where you are in your life and relationship with Christ.

The person on the right is someone who does not believe the truth, but rather lies, and is worshiping things that are created and not the Creator of all things!  

Something that Tedd talks about in his book is that we are often taught that we become a sinner when we sin....but that is oh so wrong!  We sin because we are sinners.  Psalm 58:3 says," Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies." Psalm 15:5 says, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me."  Wow....this means that our children are never morally neutral, not even at birth.  

Tedd talks about a justification for spanking in this chapter(a little preview for later!), which is that in Proverbs 22:15 is says, "Folly is bound up in the heart of the child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." This tells us that there is something wrong in our children's hearts and it needs to be made right, and a spanking will not only help with the structure of the home, but changes the heart of your child.

So, if our children are not worshiping God, but rather idols, what does that look like?  Wooden or stone figurines is probably what we mostly think of as idols, statues of "gods" and the suffering symbol on a pole!  That is not the kind of idols we are talking about here, but rather the idols of the heart.  These include, but definitely are not limited to; evil, lust, pride, fear of man, conforming to the world, embracing the mindsets of those not of God, and "setting the affections on things below." This means that we have to consider the things like motives, desires, wants, goals, hopes and expectations that are in our children's hearts.  These things are often hard to see and pinpoint, but Tedd helps out with that and I have also found other resources to help us!!!  Don't worry!!!

This is such an important topic, because this tells us that our job as a parent is soooo much more important than we ever imagined.  I know we all thought that we were just supposed to give our children great advice, a constructive home and learning environment, positive interactions and love....along with other basic needs....but that is not the only things, and definitely not the most important!!!  We are to shepherd our children as one who worships, pointing him to the God who is the only one worthy of worship.  Tedd's powerful statement is this...

                                              The question is not "will he worship?"  
but IT IS ALWAYS "whom will he worship?"

What does that mean for our parenting? Well, this means that we are fighting a battle and we need to do some very careful combat, because that batltefield is in our child's heart.  We have to help them to know and serve the living God.  We need to provide the best possible shaping influences that we talked about in the last post, but more importantly we have to help our children respond to God in the context of those shaping influences.  

What Tedd says next was hard for me to swallow...but it is so true and so important. "Since it is the Godward orientation of your heart that determines his response to life, you may never conclude that his problems are simply a lack of maturity.  Selfishness is NOT outgrow. Rebellion against authority is NOT outgrown.  These things are NOT outgrown because they are reflective of immaturity but rather of the idolatry of your child's heart." 

There are so many stories of people in the Bible who did not have great upbringings and could have turned out quite differently....the best example being Joseph. So, why did his story end the way it did? Why was he not bitter, cynical, angry, etc.? Simple, he trusted God and had a living relationship with God.  He found his orientation in the unfailing love and covenant mercies of God.  

Remember there are two issues that help in shaping what kind of person your children become...
         1. shaping influences of life
         2. their Godward orientation
We must address both in parenting, and the second is the most important and often the one that is left out of every parenting book that I have ever read, or probably could read.  That is why this one is so different and why it is so successful in helping you to be the best parent, rather shepherd, that you can be.

Stay tuned for the answers to these questions....
What does it mean for the parent to function as God's agent? What is the nature of the parenting task?  What is the function of discipline and correction?

Pray this week for your children and their hearts, that God will help to make them oriented toward Him, so that they will be easily shepherded and they will come to know Him and have a relationship with Him.  This is of course the beginning of this process, praying for your children and for God to help you in your shepherding of your child, that you may do what God has appointed for you to do. Blessings.

Monday, December 10, 2012

No Twit, Just JOY!

Myself, Carolyn and Bobbi
Jingle Bell Ball 2012
Reach Community Church

Friday night I attended the Jingle Bell Ball at Reach Community Church.  We had great food, fellowship, karaoke, laughs, and dresses, but the best part was the guest speaker....I unfortunately don't remember her name, but she is a public speaking professor, and so of course her speaking ability was exceptional.  However, as much as I can get caught up in the speaking style and such, since I was a communications major, it was not what stuck with me Friday night.

The message---JOY!  She talked about something that all women for sure can relate to, but I think a lot of men can too!  Do you ever feel like you just can't let something small in life go, it just bugs you and you cannot stop thinking about it, worrying about it, fretting over it, trying to figure out what to do about it, etc.  Well, our guest speaker(still not remembering her name!), called that a, I was a little worried, because that didn't sound like a very nice word, but she of course, in true public speaking fashion, gave us the definition of twit.

She had a great definition, but I cannot find the same anywhere on the internet...and I thought everything was out there(and true--NOT). What I found was that a twit is a confused or excited state. She described similarly as being hyper-focused on something.  We often get into a twit about something, and we cannot seem to focus on anything else, much less the goodness and joy that is around us.

As a stay at home mom and wife, I seem to get into little twits a lot!  Laundry twits, dish twits, toy twits, behavior or manner twits, lack of time to myself twits, etc....but our guest speaker...Stacy maybe??....helped me to see that when I get into a twit about something that I miss out on joy.

What is joy? The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying, a state of happiness.

Stacy?....hmm, still not sure....shared the verses from Hebrews 12:1-3: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Jesus shows us the perfect situation of not being in a twit, but rather finding joy.  If I compare my daily twits to the situation Christ faced, death on the cross, I feel rather silly. Christ did what He did because of the joy that was before Him....the joy of knowing that this was His Father's plan and that it would bring man and God together and that He would then sit at the right hand of His Father's throne. So, why should I let go of my daily twit's?  Is is God's plan for me?  Will I bring man and God together?  Will I sit at the right hand of my Father's throne?  No, no and depends. Definitely not in the exact way as that of Jesus, but similar.

If I am in a twit and it is effecting everything in my life, my attitude, my decisions, the way I treat others, then I am not in line with God and His plan for me.  I am not able to bring man and God together, because I am not joyful and trusting in God, so I cannot be a good witness for Him.  The reason I say that it depends for the answer to the last question, is because the only way any of us will be in heaven with our Father, is if we have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can get in a twit and still make it to heaven, but why would we sacrifice our joy here on earth for something that will not matter for eternity?

If I decide to focus on joy, on the things that I have and am blessed with, for the things that I am able to do, see, hear, be a part of and on the fact that I have a Father in heaven who wants the best for me and sent His son to die on a cross for my sins, then I will be able to be right with God and fully trust in His plan for me.  I can be in sync with God and His Spirit in my life. I will also be able to being man to God, because depending on my reaction to the possible twits in my life, people will be able to see that I trust God and I am choosing joy in all situations, and they will want that too.  That is when the gospel of Christ can be shared and a relationship for others can begin.  It I am focusing on the joy of life, then I don't have to ever let the devil put the thoughts of what if in my mind and heart, so I can rest assured that I will be in Heaven, seeing the throne of God!

In life there are twits that are much bigger than my little twits, and I have faced some of those too, and you probably have as well. Major illnesses, cancer, death of loved ones, divorce, depression, addictions, a sick child or parent...the list could go on.  Stacy....I hope that was her name...if it isn't I will correct it....I will find out for sure...had a child who had been born with some problems, and she and her husband made the decision that they needed to find joy and not be in a twit.  They decided to focus on all the good things about their child and the things that they had and could do and what their child would be able to do, instead of what they wouldn't.  That is a decision that can only be made with trust in God and His ultimate plan for those who have a relationship with Him.

I am not saying that I have the ability to always choose joy over a twit in the bag....actually quite the opposite.  But I am going to work on that, because life is just too short to be in a twit, and God is always in control, no matter how much we want to believe that we can control what happens.  I do know that what we can control is whether or not we choose to be in a twit and stay there, or whether we choose joy and live in the joy that God has given to us.  What will you choose?  I have decided what I will choose and it is my new motto!!!  No twit, just JOY!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Your Child's Development: 2 Issues

Due to the busy, busy, runaway train, I have not again posted on the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp, so I am going to make up and do multiple posts today!  I know, I am such an overachiever!

There are two broad issues that effect your child's development and Tedd covers them in chapters 2 and 3.  They are shaping influences and Godward orientation. Sounds complicated huh?  Really it isn' me if I can handle it, so can you!!!

Book: Shepherding a Child's Heart
Author: Tedd Tripp
Chapter 2: Your Child's Development: Shaping Influences

These are the events and circumstances that occur in a child's early developmental years that help to make them the person they are.  However, the shaping is not automatic, but rather what determines their effect is how the child responds to the events and circumstances. In other words, your child becomes the person they are/will be by their experiences and how they interact with those experiences. No one is just merely a pawn in this life, just being acted upon by everything around them, and not responding with their own self.  Rather, we are all sinners, acting upon what is given to us in life with the our hearts.  Remember the verses from Chapter 1 about "the overflow of the heart".  That overflow  plays a part in everything we do and if we understand that and these concepts, we can better help our children with structure and shepherding.

So what are the shaping influences is a child's life?
1. Structure of Family Life: This covers everything from birth order, to marriage status of parents, parenting roles, personalities, generational interaction, etc.  A child is shaped by divorce, death, mom, dad, grandparents, being the youngest or oldest, how everyone gets along, and more. This also produces expectations for their interactions with others in the future.
2. Family Values: Not just priorities or faith, but ideas, philosophies, what is deemed important; stuff or people, rules and roles for everyone to follow, etc. Tedd says, "The question you must ask is this: Are the values of your home based on human tradition and the basic principles of this world or on Christ?" When you talk to a child and ask them if they would be in trouble if they disobeyed when asked not to touch something and it broke, would they be in that trouble because they disobeyed or because something got broken?  That shows whether a family's values are hollow and out of line with Christ. Values can also encompass boundaries; secrets, trust, helping one another, etc. All families have boundaries, even if they are not spoken.
3. Family Roles: Who does what in the family, how involved they are in each others lives, etc.  This can be as simple as who pays the bills, who takes the kids to practices, who helps with what chores, and what do you as parents require of your children.  This can make a big impact on your children and their views of life.
4. Family Conflict Resolution: Do you know how to talk about problems? Do you resolve, walk away, shut out, yell, whisper, talk normal?  Are problems solved by biblical principles or by power, are they left unsolved, only to be brought up again: Remember that Proverbs 12:15-16 says: "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks and insult." We train our children to either be wise or foolish by the way we handle problems in our homes.
5. Family Response to Failure: How do you deal with the failures of your children? Being a child means learning, failing, making mistakes, and more attempts to get it right.  Children are shaped by how they are treated in the face of failing.  Criticism, getting made fun of, mocking, there will not encourage a child and will shape how they deal with failures in the future.  Encouragement, praise for trying, help to get back up, etc. will help a child learn to press on and keep trying.
6. Family History: Moving, health, finances, social experiences, etc.  These can all be ways your child is influenced. 

Tedd says there are two mistakes in interacting with the shaping influences of life.  The first is seeing them deterministically.  It is wrong to think that a child is just a victim of the events and had no choices.  The second mistake is denial.  It is also wrong to think that a child was not affected by events of their childhood.  It is important to understand these influence from a biblical basis.

I think that the most important statement in this chapter is definitely this, "You make a grave mistake if you conclude that childrearing is nothing more than providing the best possible influences for your children." He goes on to say that this is Christian determinism, the idea that you can protect and shelter your child enough in Christian schools or home school, that you can provide the best childhood experiences and that in the end your child will turn out okay.  These parents are sure that their proper environment that they create will produce a proper child.

You must know that children are like clay on a potter's wheel.  Clay responds to the potter with its own properties or environment.  Just like clay, children either accept or reject the molding what we give them in life. They are never just passive receivers of our shaping, but rather active responders. Our children respond depending on their Godward focus in their life.  They can reject and rebel against you and your best efforts to direct them on Godly paths.  It is much more complicated than any parent can ever imagine.  It not just about whether you have done the right things in the right way.  Our children are responsible for the way they respond to our parenting.  Scary, huh?  They always have a choice, just like we do with the salvation that Christ offers us.

We have to remember that human beings are creatures who are directed by the orientation of their hearts. That is what this shepherding business is all about, helping your child have a heart for God and learn how to operate in this world with their heart following Him and overflowing with His grace and love!

It is strange, I know that this books guidance and teachings are right and true, because they are based on the Bible.  I also know they work when I use the techniques correctly with my children, because they behave with hearts almost of gold....I said ALMOST!   However, it is hard, so hard to follow through on, why?  I honestly think it is because it is not the norm for us, we do not see a lot of biblical parenting happening in our world, we don't meet a lot of young children who behave from the overflow of their Godly heart.  We don't want to be out of the norm...but we do.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Runaway Train

Busy, busy, rush, rush, and not because of the holidays!  Then why you ask?  I don't know the answer to that, but I feel as if I am on a runaway train and instead of a fiscal cliff to run off of, I am going to run off of the sanity cliff!  Sorry, bad political joke!!!

Really, I have just been going from here to there and I feel as if I am getting very little done!  So, here I sit this evening with my laptop quietly humming on my lap, keeping my legs toasty warm, while Matt sits in his recliner, quietly looking at a magazine, no kids, no TV (what, he just turned it on as I typed that, not kidding!!!), so now the hunting channel in the background...anyway, reflecting on the business of life, as a train whistle blows in town....what a strange coincidence! Though the song does not fit, a line from it does...""Flashing red lights unseen in the rain, this thing has turned into a runaway train!"-credit to Roseanne Cash, "Runaway Train". I can remember this song and her haunting voice from when I was a kid, it just seemed to draw you in and wrap around you and I am not sure why, but as I wrote the title of my blog tonight, I could hear the song in my head...Mom...did we have this on a tape in the early 90's????   Check it out on You Tube if you are curious....anyway, nice tangent huh?

I haven't been doing anything extra, in fact, my quilt, book study, blog, and a few other things I enjoy as down time, have been put on the back burner.  It is just the normal everyday things, that just seem to not get done and have turned into a runaway train.  You probably have the same issues!!!   You get the laundry all done and you open the door to your laundry room and behold there is a new mountain....huh? pick up the clothes, expecting them to be the neighbors or a mirage, but they aren't, they are yours, your spouses, your they multiply?  YES!!!  I will tame that mountain one day, but as of now, I am running off of that cliff too!!  Same with dishes, in fact just this evening it happened again....the dishwasher was loaded with dirty and the sink was all clean, 10 minutes later there is a cup, some silverware and an empty yogurt container in the sink, instead of the dishwasher....AHHHHH....that is a scream-able moment! Where, how, why?????? is all I can think!

Don't misunderstand, I am not complaining!  Ranting yes, complaining no!  I know that I chose to be a stay at home mom and wife, and while on a some days I would trade it for some time alone, even if that meant an office with other work, MORE days than not, I am very thankful for the opportunity my husband provides for me, to be able to stay at home!  But occasionally, I wonder where are my priorities?  Where have I gone?  Am I doing the best for my family, because I really do feel like I am on a runaway train, and I really just wish I had a magic wand to say "POOF"and all the mundane things would be done, so I could do more with my kids, so they wouldn't argue with each other more, so I could spend more time with my hubbie, so I could nurture myself with a little me time....better yet, maybe an "EASY" button! But I don' I am trying to reflect on what is important and what I want to spend my time on.

Easy, I want to spend my time with my kids, my hubbie and my hobbies, because these things are a great investment and when I spend my time there, I see how much God has given me and I can just be drawn into Him and He can wrap His arms around me and love me like only He can do! Then and only then will the train begin to slow and be a gentle journey on which I can truly take in the scenery and travel across the bridge to happiness and keeping my sanity, instead of falling off the cliff!

I know that all that other stuff will still be there, but when I invest my time in my priorities, then I know that God will make me content and more productive in the mundane.  I know he will allow me to rest in Him and in my good life, with my great (yet still arguing and picking on each other) kids, my wonderful husband and the happiness that comes with them and my time!

So, if you feel you are on a runaway train....think about your priorities and get rid of those flashing red lights!