Archives for posts with tag: prayer

I can hear it before I see it.  Some days it’s louder and faster and more powerful. Other days it’s slower and  more quiet and peaceful. But I can always hear it before I see it. DSCN1597.jpg

I know plants can’t hear. But I’m sure there’s some sense of the water raging by.

DSCN1613.jpg

And spiders hanging by threads inches from the waters edge….I’m sure that they are aware of the powerful force of the waves beneath them.

DSCN1571

whitewater

And rocks,…more like boulders, that have been there in the midst of the water’s flow…they stand still as the river rages on.  I’m sure there’s erosion, but it’s a little by little wearing down.  It’s a standing in the midst of the raging waters…they’re still standing steady, well-grounded, as the waters rage on.

 

DSCN1677

The rock stands the test of time, but the flower…not so much. But then again perennials come back year after year, and if not perennial, well seeds reproduce and the flower lives on through its seed. But in its short life time as this flower?  The delicate presence remains delicate and beautiful and present no matter the flow of the river a few feet from the ground where it has grown.

As my camera lens was  zooming in on the plant, the spider, the rock and the flower, these objects came into focus, into clear view.  But the more I focused in on the objects, the more the fast-moving waters became blurred. I loved looking through the lens and seeing the objects standing still in the midst of a world of water rushing by. And I loved it for a few reasons.

Sometimes life can feel like the world around us is in fast forward overdrive motion. And we can be tempted to focus on those waters. And it might cause us to lose focus…to lose a sense of a clear view of who we are and what our purpose might be. Yeah, raging waters, spinning worlds,…they move fast. But that doesn’t mean the rock does. Or the flower. Or the plant, or even the tiny spider hanging on its web. Yes, I loved seeing the steady standing still of the objects as the water rushed by.

DSCN1877.jpg

And I love seeing people stand strong and steady in the midst of the storms in their lives. I’ve witnessed it quite a few times just this week in ordinary souls who choose to stand strong when their worlds come crashing down with difficult news or circumstances.   Steady hearts stay focused. But not on rushing winds or raging waves. Steady hearts stay grounded in truth.  In love. In hope beyond themselves. Staying steady and faithful in a world that encourages people to bail on beliefs and get caught up in the waves of the next momentary trip,…staying steady in this world encourages people to have hope and maybe stay steady themselves. Yeah, it all seems to depend on where the focus lies… on lies or truth…on hope or defeat…on integrity or momentary choices that can get us caught up in a current we had never intended to ride. A wavering heart can lead to wind-and-wave-driven feet. Steady heart….steady feet.

Well, these feet were so thankful for the walk and exercise, and the FitBit was congratulatory when I hit my steps goal. But am most thankful for the encouragement that comes when there’s a little time to reflect, to think, to see, to wonder. Am thankful that God’s Creation speaks (LOUDLY) of His Presence, and that His steadfast love can keep the most wavering of hearts steady when they are stayed upon, focused upon Him.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S. I can hear the river before I see it. And the cool thing is, I can hear the Word of God and ‘see’ with eyes of faith things come to life before I see them. I can trust, believe, stay steady and hold on tight to the Truth…and I believe….that then it’s just  a short walk or a long walk until I see it fleshed out in my life or the lives of those around me. Sometimes hearing comes before seeing, and believing comes before the answer is seen. But much in the same way that i can hear the waters rushing and then know the river is there, I can read the Truths of scripture and trust God with each prayer…because it’s only a matter of time before I catch glimpses of the answer…or better yet, catch glimpses of Him in the midst of it all.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,

for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of Lord endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13

 

DSCN8536.jpg

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”  ~ Elisabeth Elliot

DSCN8786

Sunflower in the Backyard July 2017

If a sunflower could wink, I think this is what it would look like. It’s slowly unfolding its petals and unveiling what’s beneath a little bit at a time.

Kind of feel like life is like that sometimes. Sometimes it takes a good good long while to see the bud turn to a bloom, and then the bloom to surrender all the petals to reveal what’s beneath. Sometimes it takes awhile to see hard work pay off, lessons be learned, efforts bear rewards. Sometimes, most times, good things just take….t i m e…

Just wanted to give a little reminder for those of you waiting to see the fruit of your efforts, the answer to prayer, the evidence of things hoped for.  Faith keeps its heart and eyes wide open even when there’s a slow unfolding of what may be hoped for or expected. Yes, faith keeps its heart and eyes wide open even when it can’t see any signs of what’s hoped for. Why?  Because faith doesn’t want to miss the moment of the unfolding, the unveiling, the revealing of the hope realized.

Yes, in a life of faith, it’s important to keep eyes and heart wide open even when circumstance screams to move on, shut down, and close our eyes. Faith opens its eyes and heart wide…regardless.

And when the unfolding comes, eyes of faith see what we’ve known and hoped for and believed was coming all along. Keep pressing on, praying through, staying free…you never know when the slow unfolding will reveal something even more beautiful than what you had imagined. ❤

DSCN0820

Sunflower Field in Kings Mountain, NC July 2017

Blessings ~
Heather

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”  Hebrews 11:1,3  

DSCN0802.jpg

Sunflowers ❤  Kings Mountain, North Carolina  July 2017

 

 

daytwo26

“God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.”  ~ Oswald Chambers

grains of sand.JPG

Heavy heart,

steady now

Watch and pray a little longer

Heavy heart

Ready now

When  you’re weak, He is stronger

He’s Stronger than the greatest chain

When all else fail, He remains

He’s greater than the deepest need

Bondage breaks when  Jesus frees

Steady heart

Study truth

Breathe the Words that you’ve been given

Ready heart

Stand renewed

Live the Life that He has given

Linger in the Word awhile

Stand renewed, breathe in and smile

Steadfast stand on what is true

What He says He will do

Beating Heart

Courageous stand

You’re not alone in the Battle

All is at His Command

Be not anxious or rattled

For He is faithful, He is true

What He promises He will do

Surrender to the path, His way

Trust Him with your life, your days

Heavy heart

Lift your voice

Sing a new song of praise

Lift your eyes

and…rejoice!

He is with  you always

Your worries as the grains of sand

All are sifted through His hand

What He allows, He will use

Cast your cares, He cares for you

grains of sand

Heavy heart

Steady now

Be strong and courageous

Walk in faith

Walk in love

Forever, Sing of His greatness

Forever, sing His Praises.

spring again 3

Well, I found myself thinking something today. I was thinking that I didn’t want a lot of effort in certain areas to be “All for nought”.  I didn’t want years of effort and prayer and work to be futile, meaningless, and void of any good benefits.  Like so often happens, what we think tends to come out in our words in a matter of time. For me, it was only a matter of minutes before what popped into my brain came out in my words.  ” I just don’t want it to be all for nought.”

There, I said it.  I didn’t want all of the effort to be wasted.And that’s a natural thing to think, hope, and say.  But that’s in the natural.  The walk of faith though, doesn’t live in the natural. It wades into the supernatural and is like a journey of going deeper and deeper into the depths of who God is.It is choosing to change our thinking so that it’s not about us.  It’s about Him. It’s not about our goals, it’s about His purpose in our lives.

When I was saying I didn’t want the efforts to be “all for nought”, I was forgetting something. I was forgetting that with God, nothing is wasted. I was focusing on me bearing the fruits of the labor. I was forgetting that it’s my job to be faithful to Him.  It’s His job to do with it what He will. I was reminded today that nothing brought to Him comes back void.  And that?  That is a beautiful truth to focus on.

And why is there a picture of trees?  Trees take a long time to grow.  Lots and lots of time.  And they start from a little seed.  An acorn, a hickory nut, a maple seed can all fit in the palm of my hand.  But year after year after year, they grow.  Sometimes answered prayer is like that.  We plant the seed.  God gives the growth.  Sometimes it sure doesn’t grow as fast as we’d hope.  But good things take time.  And lots of prayer, and along with prayer, faith that God is hearing that prayer.

So, when those ‘seeds’ are planted and prayed for…I want to learn to trust God with the results.  I do what I can, He does what I can’t.  When I don’t see the results the way I’d like as fast as I’d like, I need to just remember that just remember the oak tree.  Roots go deep. Branches grow out. There are dormant periods. Only 1/3 of the tree is seen…I don’t have eyes to see anywhere near all that is going on with my “seed”.  And after that tree grows tall…then comes the acorns…more seeds to be planted…more fruits of labor, etc.  And who knows how many beautiful acorns will come and be planted from one giant oak tree? So, am thankful for the oak tree.  For the reminder that what may seem “all for nought” is …..Not.  Definitely NOT.  Am so thankful for that.

pebbles

Pebbles.  A millions little pieces that can become the ground we walk on.  As a child, I knew the feeling of walking barefoot on little pebbles, for we had pebbles that filled the spaces around the back of our home.  We played in pebbles by making mounds, we smoothed the pebbles with rakes, we threw and scattered the pebbles with buckets and dump trucks and were strongly reminded to make sure the pebbles get back to the area within the brick and not in the grass. I love the feeling of those little smooth pebbles under my feet…if it’s a group of them that is.  If it’s one pebble on a concrete porch or kitchen floor, then it sure doesn’t feel great at all.

Rocks were a love of mine as well as I was intrigued, even at a  young age, by the designs and composition of rocks.  Fools gold and mica were always a fun find and I secretly hoped that one day while looking for crawdads under creek smoothed rocks that, maybe, just maybe, we’d find some real gold.  My grandfather knew of my interest in rocks and would bring me back samples marked with their origin.  His visits to the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert afforded treasures which he brought back home. My favorite little treasure however, was from the black sand beaches of Hawaii.  It is not permitted to bring back the sand, but somehow, my grandfather managed to gather the sand that had “accidentally gotten in his shoes”.  I still have that little bottle of sand from the beaches of Hawaii.

As a child, one of my favorite things was to play in the creek and build little dams. We lived near a golf course and would hunt frogs and crawdads as well as golf balls, but when there were none to be found, we’d build dams in the creek.  How fun it was when we got to go to our friends’ house who had a big mountain “creek” in their back yard.  We were busy for hours constructing dams and watching how we could change the flow of the water.  That’s a powerful feeling for a little kid and what a feeling of accomplishment it was to build little pools in the water.  Of course, they were all temporary, but oh, the fun we had in the building.

I built a rock wall at the dream land that we had purchased years ago.  It was on the lake.  It was a work in progress and a labor of love.  I should have LABOR in capital letters as they weren’t merely rocks that were part of this wall, but really some could’ve been classified as boulders.  I would move these in centimeters with the greatest of effort and ingenuity ONLY when no one was watching!  I’d be asked, “How’d ya move that, Mom?!”, and would smile and think, if you only knew!  Another fun memory was paying the kids ten cents a rock and 25 cents for the bigger ones.  This kept my lively brood pretty active at the lake when they were done with fishing and swimming.  I could see the business minds in a few of my children pretty quickly with this mission as their dimes and quarters sure added up, as the rock wall was built up with their finds.

Not sure why I’m going on and on about rocks.  But as a big mission of this blog is to kind of share with my kids thoughts and beliefs, memories and hopes, well, I’m just going to go with it.  So here comes another memory.  In college and in the early years of working, I loved to go hiking.  I especially liked walking the trails less traveled, those which you must be strategic to navigate, the trails where you’re rock climbing without the belay rope. I love the challenge.  I love the beauty.  I love the jumps to safety and the feeling of a mission accomplished. I love the climb.

And now?  Well, these days, I’m not rock climbing, or walking on those pebbles outside of the home I grew up in. I don’t hunt for crawdads under rocks or build dams in creeks.  The rock wall is long since buried, but I do still have that sweet little rock collection from my Papa  Les, including the black sand from Hawaii.  But my favorite rock collection these days is in a large bowl.  Years ago, I started putting a rock in a jar for the answered prayers in our family. At first, I wrote down some of the answers in a little prayer journal, but that got lost.  I’ve started a new one each year and love to see the little pebbles just pile up, a real visual of how God is so very present in our every day lives and how He truly does answer prayer.

I’ve shared prayer jars with some of my friends, and I can still remember my friend Janet.  When she opened the gift and I explained the meaning, she just smiled and proceeded to pour a bunch of marbles in the jar!  I smiled as she said that He has answered so many prayers already!  She was battling cancer and God did so many beautiful things in her life during that time.  He made His presence known.  With prayer, sometimes the answer is yes.  Sometimes no. Sometimes wait, there’s something so much better.  But He answers, and just like my rock wall, the dam, the group of pebbles, a collection of rocks that represent answered prayer is a beautiful thing to see.  It is for me.  We are to call to mind His blessings.  The Old Testament speaks of building monuments to remember His deeds.  And rocks?  These rocks, and these little pebbles, can be such a reminder of His blessings…for we are reminded that if we don’t praise Him, the rocks indeed will.  Praising God that even rocks have value and meaning.  If they do, how much more do we?

Blessings ~

Heather

P.S. If you’re wondering how this all fits in the monochromatic theme, well, you’re probably in good company because I forgot that little detail!  But it was in my mind all along, because, in most of the analogies, the rocks are grouped together and become one.  Kind of like the picture of the pebbles I shared…they are many different shades, but they are one group of whitish pebbles. The rocks of the dam were many, but together, they were a powerful one.  The stones in the jar are many, and they are one beautiful message of One who answers prayer.  I can see the individual rocks or I can see the whole picture.  I can see the individual hues, or I can see the one color…And I know it’s a stretch, but that, that is how all of these memories of rocks hopefully fit into this monochromatic theme for the weekly photo challenge!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/monochromatic/

mountain blue

“Pray with your eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

~Oswald Chambers

Yep.  This is a reminder to myself.

I hate to be a broken record, but here goes… we have lots of transitions going on in our home with one son going to college on the coast, one daughter moving to the mountains, and one son moving to Sweden…all within a 2 week window (which occurs simultaneously with me going back to teaching after a nice long summer.  In fact, three of those four things all happen between August 14th and 15th.) So, there are lots of details and checklists to be dealt with. In the midst of it all, we’ve seen lots of answered prayers and doors open and I’m thankful…I really am.  But today, I lost sight of the big, for the little.

With all of the good going on, I still found myself this morning just worrying, agitated, fretting…all the things that Psalm 37 (which I have been camping out in this week) says NOT to do, I was definitely doing.  Even though I so know better, I just couldn’t get out of this frustrated funk I was in. My to do list was growing instead of getting shorter, because it seemed that each attempt was met with more challenges, almost like clicking on a link on the computer and having it open up three more windows. I had done all I could with some things and was waiting on responses, so my hands were tied and my frustration was just growing.

I finally decided to run some errands so I could check some things off the list, and that’s when it just hit me…there were lots of inconveniences in the day for sure.  Lots.  But the bigger picture?  It made all of these small little things seem so minute. My little list of things bothering me is a reality, but so not significant in the big scheme of things.  The inconveniences are just part of life.  But how I handle them?  That isn’t insignificant or small.  It’s pretty big.  These little things shape and mold us… Again, gotta give a great Oswald Chambers quote.  He said, “The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something.”  It’s as though these little things, the good and the bad and whether we handle them well or terribly,…they shape us, they grow us, they make us.  They are not just little insignificant things in our day…they lead us somewhere.

So here’s the thing regarding mountains and molehills.  Seeing mountains in the distance with wide open spaces and seeing how big and beautiful they are help us keep perspective.  Majestic huge mountains are a reminder to me of how big and beautiful God is.  He created mountains…can He not handle my little molehills? And molehills?  Molehills are kind of  symbolic for me of just feeding on worry.  Moles are rarely seen….they quietly burrow, causing destruction in their path.  If they aren’t dealt with in a matter of time, they can cause a great deal of damage. So it is with worry. Moles, are like me focusing on the worry, the agitations, the little things that I so can’t control. In the same way that driving up a long mountain road and then catching a view of the incredible skyline of rolling mountains is something I’d prefer to have as my view, looking down at the ground at the ground crumbling underneath me is not where I want my perspective to be. I’d prefer to see mountains instead of molehills in this analogy. (Oh, and you know, when someone is looking down at their feet, others tend to look down to see what they’re looking for…  I’d prefer to keep my chin up and eyes out with hopes that wherever my kids land, their focus is not on the molehills in their lives, but on the mountains. )

So, it was a day for me to hit the reset button on my little attitude flying around.  Thank goodness I did.  The rest of the day has been quite a bit better.  I’m trying to focus on God and His provision and things to be thankful for (and there are a thousand)…and praying through the rest. I remember the days of having daily pow-wows with my kids to help with ‘attitude adjustments’, and today, I definitely needed a pow-wow with myself.  Thankful for re-starts, new beginnings, and the fact that tomorrow, I get a chance to wake up and start again.  And tomorrow, after I read Psalm 37 for the 37th time this week, I think I’ll couple it with Oswald Chambers’ quote:  “Pray with your eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

Blessings ~
Heather

Photo taken in Toluca, North Carolina…after a storm…July 26, 2015

closeup

Well, I know that this probably wasn’t what was intended for this photo challenge.  I realize that most of the photos will be small images enlarged to see every little detail.  But I had come across this photo last week and just love it and think that it fits in the “close up” category as well!  You see, these little guys are on their first family (with just mom and dad and siblings) vacation to  the beach.  All that day, we had talked about going crab hunting at night.  They had their own flashlights with their names and their own little symbol drawn on them.  They had their jackets and shoes on cause it was a little chilly and then again if there are lots of crabs, you don’t want them to be finding your feet! It was a sweet, sweet night…the first of many crab hunts to come in the days and years to come.  (in fact these two brothers now in their mid-twenties have just been to the beach recently and said they were looking for crabs at night as well…but this time it was to use them for bait…not just to learn more about their always-opening up little world.)

There is nothing like the natural curiosity of children.  They see wonder at every turn.  They learn and appreciate things we take for granted.  They stop what they are doing to engage in their little ever-widening worlds. Children help us to see the wonder and joy of what we may overlook in the day to day.  There are those children as well, who want to be sure that the adults in their lives take notice of what these little people have taken notice of…and respond as these little people see fit!

When my oldest was learning to talk, he loved to see trucks.  “There’s a truck.”  “There’s a truck.”  “There’s a truck.”  It NEVER got old for him.  Me, on the other hand did not really appreciate feeling the need to give him the awaited response.  “Yes, Zac, there’s a truck.”  “Yes, Zac, there’s a truck.”  You get the picture.  But what I so did appreciate was his desire to engage in his world, and then communicate about it with me.  THAT is a crucial, yet often overlooked piece of parenting: It’s in the little moments of the day that the big solid rock foundation of communication is formed.  Sometimes we think the most important communication is in the big heartfelt  moments.  But, as I look back, I think a lot of the sweetest moments, and again, the foundation of having good communication, is built in the day to day, “There’s-a-truck-yes-I-see-the-truck” moments.

There are definitely times for quiet and I think children should have a lot of quiet time so that external noise doesn’t direct and zap their curiosity and ability to think and wonder and engage.  But I do think that there are times when I wish I hadn’t shushed my kids…when I was a tired mom who just wanted quiet at whatever cost.  (Usually, it is my recollection that things always got louder on those days!)  Sometimes the cost was the child’s knowing to the core of their being that their mom wanted to hear what they had to say.  That’s a pretty heavy price.

But I’m thankful that, just like my boys who observed their little world close up with flashlights and magnifying glasses and eyes wide open with wonder, I can closely look back at situations and understand a bit more, learn a bit, and then see how God’s grace just fills in the gaps.  As my kids one by one are ‘leaving the nest’, I find myself looking back at memories, incidents, and either smiling or just wishing I could have a do-over in some situations.  But, thank God, there is grace.  Rather than use a magnifying glass of scrutiny over past victories and defeats, I am looking back, like through a window…seeing in part, remembering, feeling, but not camping out there.  Memories are a good thing.  They can make us smile and feel joy, or they can make us run to the One who can fill in the gaps with the Grace that only God can give.

There is grace for my children. There is grace for me. Thank God for His grace.  And thank God for the curiosity of a child who examines his world with eyes of wonder and faith and knows that he doesn’t have to have it all figured out.  Praying to have eyes like that…and to trust that even though I will never have everything all “figured out”, that God so does, and I can put my trust in Him.  Oh, and one more thought.  I think the ‘there’s a truck’ scenario can be very similar to what God hears sometimes,…but I’m so thankful that as I pray I can confidently know that He hears and He cares and knows the need before I even ask Him.  “Yes, Heather…there’s a truck.”

Blessings ~

Heather

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/close-up/

loselose

Life is full.  There are great and amazing moments. . There are moments that will tear your heart out.  There is a lot of the in-between.  There are times when the way is certain and there are no gray areas in terms of which way to choose.  There are times when the way is clear and the choices and consequences are clearly laid out before us. There are times when the way ahead feels like it is clouded with fog and we don’t know where the next step will lead. There are moments of wonder and surprise.  There are moments of shock and tragedy.

All of these moments impact us and become pieces of who we are.  They shape and mold us. Our responses to what happens in our lives shape and mold us.  They define and refine our character for the good or for the bad.

I always knew that having a large family would most likely increase our “moments”.  Life is indeed full.  Full to the brim.  My family has had so much joy, but we’ve also had our share of heartache…deep heartache.  Joy and heartache are the stuff life is made of.  We all get doses of each.  But as a mom, it’s especially tough when you see your child make choices that are going to bring more heartache than joy and you can see it coming like a fast moving train, but have little power to stop what’s already been set in motion. Sometimes situations just don’t have a silver lining and just feel like a lose-lose situation for all parties involved. Like being in a baseball game that’s gone into extra innings that is ultimately lost, sometimes all we have to show for the intense effort and hard work is dirty uniforms, aching bodies, discouraged hearts and exhausted players. Sometimes there’s a lot of loss and not much gain. So what’s a mom to do?

Yes, what’s a mom to do when you see the heartache of your child, but know that part of their actions are the very thing that set the series of unfortunate events in motion? Honestly right now, I just don’t know.  This post is just part of me processing it all because although I can’t change what brought us to this point, I can hopefully help my child to learn, move on, and walk in a way that doesn’t heap more consequences, but brings more healing and wisdom as a result. I can hopefully deal proactively so that this pit in my stomach leaves and no roots of bitterness form and take hold. I love that God can use these situations mightily, it’s just the growing process sure can be painful.  So, here’s my little reminders to myself.

PRAY.  Yes, of course.  That’s the priority.  But the priority is not saying I’ll pray, not praying a little bit, but praying to God and yielding myself to Him as I offer up my child and their needs to Him in a time of difficulty.  Praying with faith is so different than just speaking mindless words.  It is passionate seeking after God’s heart for my child.  It is seeking God’s will, God’s wisdom, God’s ability over all and acknowledging that God can so do what I could never even hope to touch.  He can accomplish more in one second than I could in a month of striving, figuring out, trying to control, or trying to do  damage control.  First things first, and prayer must be the foundation of all that this mom’s to do.  Yes.  Pray.

BREATHE.  Yes.  Of course.  Breathe.  But no, I mean, really  b r e a t h e.  God knew about the situation before it occurred.  He allowed it.  He is with you.  He loves your child.  Breathe.  Have faith that God can use the situation for the good.  Seriously?  Yes.  Seriously.  Romans 8 says that He can work “all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  Pray that God will use it for the good, and believe (breathe faith) that God will use it for the good.

FORGIVE.  Yes.  Of course.  Forgive as you have been forgiven.  No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes.  Sometimes stupid, stupid, idiotic mistakes.  Sometimes sinful, selfish, awful mistakes.  We sin.  We must forgive.  There are often many layers of forgiveness.  Start with peeling back one.  Forgiving isn’t forgetting.  Forgiving is canceling the emotional debt owed and freeing both parties up to move forward without resentment of looking backward.  Forgiveness frees. Take steps moving toward forgiveness.  If you can’t take big steps, take baby steps, but move towards forgiveness.

THINK.  BEFORE speaking.  Think first.  Not react.  Not lecture.  Not condemn or condone or judge or accept.  Think.  Align your thoughts with scripture and your feelings will follow.  Be aligned with the Word of God, not what neighbors or friends or family or whoever will say about the situation.  Yes.  Words will fly from others.  Others may know of the situation and have their opinions and their convictions laid out before your child for all to hear.  But as a mom?  It is important to THINK and not react according to my embarrassment or hurt or being misunderstood.  As a mom it is important to be as objective as we can so that LOVE is the motive.  To love in word or deed.  To honor God above all else and others.  Not to flip out in words and deeds.

WAIT.  Wait and breathe and pray and think and then….only then, wait a little while longer and ask God to set up the timing.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Sometimes less is so much more, especially when it comes to words.  Less.  Words.  But after praying and breathing and thinking and waiting, well, it’s time to be a woman of action, a mom on the move who moves with confidence and conviction, but ensures that there is a proper time and place for discussion.

SPEAK.  Words of wisdom.  Direct.  Clear.  Thoughtful.  Hopeful.  Redemptive.  WORDS of wisdom that offer redemption to the situation.  Consequences that move towards healing. Sometimes the natural consequences set in motion by choices take away the need to put more consequences in place.  But if there is a need for consequences, speak words of life that move towards healing. Towards Growing.  Towards Being welcomed back in if there’s been a shutting out.  Words that move toward hope.  Words that heal…and offer a way out of the darkness.

ACCEPT.  Accept that… this child?  This child can and will make choices and respond according to what they think, feel, believe. We are all born with a will….free will.  The response just might may not look like one wants it to.  Accept.  Again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  To accept doesn’t mean to accept sinful decisions, but accept that your child has a heart and mind of their own that cannot be controlled by another.  It can be trained, molded, shaped, encouraged, but….it will still forge it’s own way.  The heart will still respond as it will, but if it is coerced and manipulated, the long term goal may be sacrificed for a short term response.  ACCEPT that there is much in life that we so cannot control.  This is not in reference to consequences provided for providing consequences is a necessary part of parenting. The acceptance of which I’m speaking has to do with the issues of the heart…

HOPE.  This moment does not need to define the parent or child. Does it have an impact?  Yes. Are there consequences? Most often, yes.  Is it difficult and or embarrassing and hard to move beyond? Yes, maybe so.  But is there hope?  YES, a resounding YES!  I love how God can sometimes make the most beautiful of lessons to come out of heartache.  He can use it.  But we need to offer it to Him…That’s where the redemptive process often begins…

…and in that offering the situation back up to Him the cycle continues.  Pray. Breathe. Forgive.  Think.  Wait. Speak.  Accept.  Hope.

And last?  REMEMBER.  Remember moments of being like a lost sheep who needed to be back in the fold.  Remember the need for grace, the need for God in my own life.  Remember the great things about your child, for in times like this it’s easy to become unbalanced.  It’s as though one thing, one incident can paint everything black.  Don’t paint it black.  Keep perspective in the LIGHT of God’s grace.  Don’t paint the situation black.  There’s hope.  Bring light and life into the situation by remembering God’s grace for you and His grace towards His children.  After all…this child….was His before he or she was yours. I need to enTRUST my child to His care above all else.  Trust.

Well, I feel a little better.  Still have the pit-in-the-stomach feel with regards to our present “lose-lose situation.”  But I’m choosing to believe that when placed in the Hands of God, our loss can be transformed into gain.  Gain.  What kind of gain?  A Long-term, lesson-learned, eternally impacting kind of gain that takes a loss and allows the pain and grief from loss and regret to be transformed into something beautiful. Beautiful. It’s amazing what can happen when we offer up to God that which we cannot change to the One who makes All things NEW.  He is the Great Redeemer. He can use situations that are brought to Him.  So sister?  Mom to Mom…let’s commit to bringing our pits-in-the-stomach situations to Him, and I have a feeling, that in time, we’ll have amazing testimonies to what God has done.  No, things don’t always look like we want them to and life is full of heart-wrenching moments.  But I just love how God can take the most desperate of situations and breathe hope into  them, redeem them, and use them for His glory.  Praying with faith that He will move in our hearts and the hearts of our children as we trust in Him.

So, Pray. B r e a t h e.  Forgive. Think. Wait. Accept. Hope. Remember. and then do it again…and again…and again…And if that pit-in-the-stomach feeling just persists and won’t go away in the midst of trying to continually offer the situation up to God?  Well, it’s my firm belief that a little dark chocolate can’t hurt!  Keep pressing on, friend.  God loves us.  He knows us and loves us….and uses situations like this to not just grow up our children, but to grow us up as well and draw us nearer to Him.  Knowing Christ is an ‘all-surpassing’ gift that swallows up the loss and replaces it with more than what we could imagine.  When placed in the hands of Christ, even lose-lose situations can be turned into gain…not just for us, but for our children.  I’m so very thankful for that.

Blessings~

Heather

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,

for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

Philippians 3:8

%d bloggers like this: