Friday, August 29, 2008

The Tongue Part 3

"There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18

Note: Although one could probably spend a whole blog on this subject itself, I promise this will not become a kin to the endless Airplane movie sequels! :-)

The power of LIFE is also in our tongues. Some may call it semantics, but if we believe the Bible is true, then it is true, no exceptions. Our children may have bad habits and tendencies, but we have the opportunity to speak about them with honor, declaring what they will be and what they will become according to how their Father in heaven sees them! Again, the Holy Spirit is constantly reminding me of the potential of my words when I am frustrated about certain actions of my children's that seem never-ending! This is especially dangerous for us moms who like to vent our complaints to each other (which little ears pick up on more than we realize!). Can you picture Jesus venting His frustrations about His disciples (or us, for that matter) to the Father? I don't think so! It all starts with what is in our hearts. Love? Honor? Criticism? Judgment? Then, if we stop to notice, we see what we are modeling by the little mirrors around us. It may take more faith for some of us than others to see and declare the potential of heaven in our kids, our husbands...ourselves. Regardless, ALL things are truly possible, we must only believe!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Tongue Part 2

I have also noticed on my journey of parenting so far, that there are some phrases that have been passed down through the generations that aren't always given much thought before they come flying out of well meaning mouths. For example, "you made the mess, now you clean it up." Well, that's seems like a nice, responsible statement on the surface, but when you unpack it, those words don't model the life of Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom of God. I'm sure glad Jesus doesn't say that to us! Granted, there are consequences to our actions, but we are NEVER left alone to deal with it. Jesus was the greatest servant of all time! As far as I've come in this journey with Him, I've learned that love makes up for my lack, it picks me up in the middle of my mess, it helps me out when I least deserve it. Love serves and love gives, relentlessly. If helping my children clean up their mess of toys helps to put their feet in the tracks of Jesus on the journey of servanthood, then it is worth it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Tongue

"Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit" Proverbs 18:21

It seems that the power of our words is often an oversight in parenting. Simply our careless use of the words "always" and "never" is a good indication of this. Another classic example is the "cute" shirts we thoughtlessly don on our kids with messages like: "I'm the boss" or "Spoiled Rotten" or "Here Comes Trouble". With three girls very close in age, I already find myself professing how terrible the adolescent years will be like in our house. The Holy Spirit has caught me time and time again with a gentle "careful!" There are already dozens of voices in the world saying what our children are, should be or will become. SOMEBODY on this earth needs to speak The Truth over them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Supernatural Exchange

I've noticed over the years (the more recent ones to be more precise) that time being with Jesus translates into more hours in the day, better rest and an increase in energy for "life stuff" (i.e. chasing kids, changing diapers and making a gazillion meals a week, to name a few). Though it has taken awhile to figure this out, I have learned that when I am feeling particularly tired and low on energy, I need to consider when I most recently was deliberate to hang out with Jesus. I don't really know how it works, but it's pretty wild to think that a supernatural relationship translates into such tangible "natural" consequences. And at the same time, I want to be with Him because I love Him so much! Really, when you think about it, God makes it rather easy to learn to be dependent on Him. For me, through that increasing reality of dependency has run an ever deepening river of love for my Daddy. However, I wish that my original motivation for being with Jesus, once I fully committed my life to Him, was this intimate love that I now know.

Children, it seems, are born lovers (of course, they are made in the image of The Greatest Lover of all time!). Their desire to love and be loved is played out in a wide variety of habits and behaviors, verbal and non-verbal. The younger they are, the more easily they love and forgive, anyone and everyone. As a mom, I am trying hard to channel this God-given ability into a reckless love for Jesus. I don't want to pass along what was passed to me: the stigma of Christianity to "spend time with God everyday, praying and reading the Word" just because that's what Christians do. Instead, I want to give them a model of such deep abiding love for Jesus, that they can't help but hunger to know Him more, searching out whatever resources are available to understand every facet of Him. Before I married my husband, I looked forward each day to every bit of contact I could have with him, in whatever form. I didn't have to force myself to schedule in time for him because I knew it was the "right" thing to do as a fiance'. Only prior commitments and urgent responsibilities could keep me from being with him. And even then, nothing could keep my thoughts and prayers from being with him all the time! My heart had been captured by this amazing man who was to become my husband.

It makes me curious to think what my life would be like today had I known this intimacy when I first met my Daddy. That's neither here nor there. This is where I am now and I am absolutely determined, relentless, in fact, to make myself and our home available to the powerful, loving presence of Jesus, The Only One who can reveal His passionate love for His kids - and mine!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Clearing My Head

Somewhere along the way, the importance of getting "away", stuck with me and it stuck hard. As I write, I am in a retreat location, away from my family, my home and the daily routine. It's amazing to me how even a 2 hour car ride, void of other humans, can bring relief to my mind, emotions and spirit. In college I always looked forward to my trips home for breaks. To be honest, I secretly hoped that no one would ask for a ride. Those drives became my time with Jesus. Just me and Him. Every emotion possible came to surface in my little orange Toyota. When I finally arrived to my destination, my head was much clearer and my spirit lifted.

This morning, as I peeled my children off my legs in an effort to get out of the house, I assured them that "I will come back a better mommy". My four year old, Seraphina, asked if she could go with me. Before I could answer, Elizabeth (5 years old) responded, "if you go, mommy won't be able to hear Jesus very well." Well said. As I drove away, I prayed that they would take note of my hunger to pull away and just be before Him.