Friday, October 16, 2009

Sweet Honesty

So today, it just so happened that I would be alone with my 5 year old for lunch after Daddy picked her up from school. She has been struggling lately, showing signs of "needy-ness". So I decided to surprise her with an impromptu date. She loves to eat out (like her mama) and it happens to be pay day!! The plan was for Daddy to pick her up from school and I would meet them at Isaacs for lunch, the 3 of us. When they arrived, I was already at our table. She saw me, smiled and said "I thought you were at school with Abigail for Math Maniacs?" (note: Friday is math drills day and moms get to volunteer!). I told her I was done at the school and "surprise, we are going to have a date together!" She then said, " I though this was going to be a date just with Daddy." "Would you like me to leave?" I asked. "yes" she smiled ever so sweetly. So I got my coat, passed the money off to Daddy and hit the road thinking, "What am I going to do now?"

While the "mature adult" in me wanted to be offended at my dismissal from lunch with my daugheter (that I planned, none-the-less), a smile crept over my face as I reflected on her honesty to share her heart and, in doing so, reveal her need. I have seen many an adult get offended by my children's honesty. In most cases, my kids hearts are in the right place, they just really have no concern for what people think of them. Ahhh. How refreshing! Now if I would only learn from them.....

So what did I do for lunch? I found myself in a local pizza shop, munching on a sub and watching TV with some construction workers on lunch break. That's a first in, say, FOREVER! :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Never Ending Journey

Whenever I have the frame of mind to actually talk to Jesus about my kids and pray for them, I always find myself pleading with Him: "Please, help me to do this parenting thing right! Help me to lead them into an intimate relationship with You! Help me to be a worthy mirror to them of Your love!" So I find myself on this never ending journey of godly parenting.

My most recent leg of this journey has led me to a book called "Loving Our Kids On Purpose" by Danny Silk. It is bringing some deeper revelation to some truths I've stumbled upon already. And is giving me some new strategies on how to practically apply these truths.

Here is a quote from Silk that I'm still processing and even learning to apply to my own life, in addition to my parenting. It's been a sort of continuum of thoughts from this post:

"I want to propose to you that freedom is a top priority in heaven, because it is what makes relationships possible. Heaven's culture of relationships is vastly different than most everything we see on earth because God, the Father is less interested in compliance and much more interested in love. This is the reason that He is trying to prepare us to live absolutely free lives in an environment of unlimited options more than trying to keep us from sin." pg. 36.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More blessed...

Acts 20:35 says " is more blessed to give than to receive." I've always heard this scripture used in the context of an attempt to snuff out a persons desire for something. You know, the poverty mentality? For example, the child who asks to have the last piece of candy is encouraged to give it away because, it is more blessed.... However, I'd like to propose another way of looking at this verse.

First of all, God wants us to ask Him for things! He is in love with us and wants to give us the things we desire when they are in line with His heart. I don't really believe this scripture to be Jesus' way of gently telling us "don't think about yourself and what you want." Something that excites me is hearing my husband share with me what's on his heart regarding the things he desires. I love him and want to see him delighted!!! Don't you think the Father sees us in the same light?

The entire kingdom of God operates under the sowing and reaping principle, right? If you sow kindness, you will be shown kindness. Telling lies, leads to more lies. Whatever seeds you plant, that's what will grow as your "harvest". Not only will you reap, but when you plant a seed, your harvest will be multiple times what you planted. If you sow one tomato seed, your harvest will be a whole plant of tomatoes.

This, I believe, is the reason why it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. You literally become more blessed because in the economy of God, you will always get a return for your giving. Whether you're thinking about it or not. Being on the receiving end is great too and it is necessary to learn to receive. But there is no exponential return on receiving. The Word is simply saying it as it is.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Measure of Success

Okay, so this morning as I was working with my daughter on her cyber-school, the phrase came to mind. : "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Before I carelessly blurted it out, I actually had the mind to stop and think about it (this does not always happen!). What exactly is my measure of success? My husband asks this often, especially in conversations about the body of Christ. Once again, this issue of identity is lurking, but this time it's in the shadows of "success".

If I'm trying to assemble a bookshelf, the measure of success is black and white because the goal is clear: put the shelf together so that it doesn't fall over and can be successful at what it was designed to do. However, in parenting, for example, the lines are much more gray. This is where I can easily tangle up my identity in my self-imposed measure of success. If successful parenting, to me, means children that are well behaved and I take them out in public only to witness terrible tantrems and disrespect, have I failed as a parent?

What's the measure of a successful Christian walk? Is it enough of a success to be loved, redeemed and secure? Or does the behavior of my children, how many people I lead to Jesus or how many church activities I can attend define my success? I know the answer in my head, but I think, at times, my heart has amnesia. How can I live in this revelation except to continue to prioritize time to hang out with Jesus? In His presence, I am changed. Period.