Letting Go

Letting Go

Last night at the dinner table my husband and I were having a discussion about our soon to be Kindergartener. My husband was concerned about how the other kid’s at school would treat her. Would they pick on her? Would the bully her? Honestly this is not just a fear that he has it is a fear that I have. But then again what parent doesn’t worry about their child’s safety when they send them off to school.

Our Kindergartener is different then most kids. She has Down syndrome. One thing that my husband and I have had to do a lot of in this journey with her is to let go. We have had to let go of the fear of her being sick, we have had to let go of the idea that she may or may not accomplish all that we hoped for her, we have had to let go of the idea that she may never have children. We have had to let go a lot.

Now I am not saying that these things will not be possible for her, just that we have had to accept that the ideas we had for our daughter prior to her birth may not look like what we had hoped they would look like and that God has His own plan for her, and it is better then we can imagine.

We will have to let go of the fear that she will be picked on and that she may be bullied. We have to put her in God’s hands. It is so hard to put something you love so much in the hands of God.

We as human beings like to be in control. After all there is comfort in being in control. There is comfort in knowing the outcome, and comfort in success.

I wonder how many other things we have in our lives that we have a hard time letting go of? Maybe you have a hard time letting go of your finances, maybe it’s a family relationship, maybe it’s an addiction. We all have things that we don’t completely give up to God.

” 7.Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

There is a huge burden that is lifted when we choose to let go of that thing that is holding us back from a closer relationship with God. When we let go the burden is no longer ours, it becomes God’s. We are not strong enough to handle our vices on our own. We need God’s strength and His help to let go.  Trusting that He is faithful, and that He always has control is not always easy but it is always worth it.

Let go, and give your life to Christ.

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Road Trip

road-trip

If you have ever gone on a road trip with children for more than an hour then you will have undoubtedly experienced you share of Are we there yet? He’s looking at me, and  I have to go to the bathroom.

Traveling with kids can be an experience but I often wonder how we sound to God on this road trip called life?

How many times have you asked God: “Are we there yet?”

As humans we have a hard time waiting for pretty much everything. God’s timing is usually not our timing and when we do have a waiting period one can be sure there will be some form of toddler whining. We want what we want when we want it and we want it now.

But just as parents have a clear view of their destination on those long road trips God has a clear destination for our life. You see God can see the big picture, He knows where the road ends. His timing is ALWAYS perfect timing.

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Sometimes when we wait on the Lord it is for a long period of time and other times it is for short periods. While we wait we are refreshed if we wait on the Lord. It is when we try to force the hand of God that we are out of His will and consequences abound.

“but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Can you trust God to help you get to your destination on the road trip of life? Just like a child must rely on their parent to take care of them the Lord wants to do the same for you.

Don’t grow weary waiting for what you have been asking for. Remember that the father can see your destination and He will always be faithful and will not forget you.

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Mirror, Mirror

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I read an article recently written by a mother who was concerned about how her poor self-esteem was impacting her young daughter. I thought this was interesting because how often do we as women pick apart our bodies and don’t think twice about who is in the room?

I know I have become more aware of my own self-criticism around my daughters. They watch everything we do and everything we say. Are we passing down our poor self-image to our daughters?

The last thing I want as a mother is for my two absolutely, perfectly, gorgeous and amazing little ladies to see themselves as anything less than that, and I know that is not what Jesus wants for them or myself.

How can we combat our programed poor-self image? We can battle it with the word of God. We can take charge of our view of ourselves and show our children what Jesus thinks about us by what we say about ourselves.

Here are some verses you can use to help combat low self-image and self-esteem:

1. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Proverbs 139:14)- You are wonderful because God created you!

2. Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17:8) -You are the apple of God’s eye!

3 .For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the   earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6) – You are God’s treasured possession!

God made you an individual. Out of all the people in the world He created you to be you not someone else. Our sweet little girls are constantly bombarded by images and the media who tell us all to be a size 2 and 5’8″. Our babies don’t have to believe these lies, and we don’t have to allow the enemy to steal the beauty that God has uniquely given them.

We can start by begining with the things we say about ourselves and model a Christlike attitude for our children. We and you, yes even with all the things you don’t like about yourself were created by the most perfect being of all, and God does not make mistakes! You are valuable, worth-while and treasured.

Why would Jesus die for you if He didn’t think you were amazing?

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Parenting that Ends

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I recently spoke with a parent of adult children who claimed that since their children were grown up now, they have taught them all they can teach them. I have to say that I don’t agree with this mentality and don’t believe it is biblical thinking.

Yes, it is true that after a certain age your child will make their own choices whether you like them or not but it does not mean that you get a free ticket out of parenting. You will always be that child’s parent no matter how old they get. They may not like what you have to say or choose to follow your advice, but you can still lead by example and be a wellspring of wisdom for them in tough life situations.

Even grown children are watching what their parents are doing and are impacted by their decisions.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)

Neither of these verses say “until your child is 18”. We should always honor our parents in the Lord, and as parents we should always lead our children in a Christ like way.

My 22 month old daughter watches and imitates everything I say and do. An adult child may not imitate everything you do but they are still effected by your choices and behavior.

Like I mentioned earlier, we never stop being parents.Being a parent as a child grows older simply looks different and changes. We may no longer necessarily have direct control of the situations that arise in the lives of our children, but we continue to be parents by offering Godly counsel and direction.

By living like Christ and leading by example we continue to parent even our adult children.

Saying your parenting doesn’t matter anymore simply because your child is now an adult is lazy parenting. It says I am off the hook now, and it says that you no longer care about what happens to your child.

Parenting is a forever commitment. What would happen if Jesus one day said he was not our Father anymore because we were no longer children in the faith? That would be a scary and sad thing. Instead Jesus continues to parent us even as we mature in the faith, why would parenting our children be any different?

Parenting does not end.

 

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The Changing Game

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Recently my husband and I sold our home. This was our first house, we brought both our daughters home from the hospital in this house, and started our lives together there. As you could imagine there were so many memories and emotions wrapped up in our home. We had lived in this place for four and a half years but it was time for a change.

I don’t think most of us are comfortable with change. It is often difficult and uneasy. There is a fear of the unknown. My husband and I knew that it was best for our children and our family to move to a safer location.

What has helped me deal with all the emotion that comes with selling a house is knowing that even though my life may be constantly changing God is unchanging.

When our lives seem like they are out of control we can get our peace from knowing that God is still in control no matter what.

My biggest worry out of all of this was how my two daughters would handle this change. They have been struggling to adapt to their new environment and as painful as it is to see them struggle as a mother I know that we made the best decision for them.

Often times we will be faced with a change that is difficult or uncomfortable but God knows it is the best for us. Just like children who have moved to a new home, we as Christians symbolically move to a new home in Christ and the journey is not always pleasant.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I love that we can be anchored in Christ in the midst of change and turmoil. Our children will see our peace and will feel secure and safe simply by witnessing Jesus working our situation out for good.

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Perfectly Imperfect

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I was born the eldest child in my family. Being the eldest meant that I often got handed the most responsibility out of my two younger siblings, it meant that I got to do things before them, and it meant that I had to be an example for my brother and sister.

When does teaching your child to set an example for others go too far?

I think in all parents there is an idea that is imbedded within them, an idea that their child or children are perfect. Love is blind right?

Let me ask you, what is your definition of the perfect child? Is it a child who has straight A’s, who is in every activity known to man, is popular and well liked, is always well behaved, what about beautiful? My point is we all have an image of what we want for our children and sometimes as parents we get carried away and push our children too far.

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that we shouldn’t push our children, or want the best for them. I am simply saying that we must be careful to not lay the mantle of perfection on their shoulders.

Jesus was the only perfect being ever, period. As amazing as your child may be they are still not nor will ever be perfect. If your child was perfect then the cross and the sacrifice that Jesus made would be meaningless. We would have no need for a savior if we didn’t need saving.

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” (James 3:2)

“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So you see we cannot be perfect out of our own will, we receive salvation as a gift from God by the grace of God. Children are no different. We all need Jesus to help us. None of us can be perfect we can only strive to be more like Jesus every day.

Have grace for the shortcomings of your children, after all Jesus had grace for yours.

 

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Temper, Temper

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I will never forget the first meltdown I experienced with my eldest daughter, it was frightening and unnerving. Not only had I never seen a child so small become so angry but had no idea that it was even possible.

Over time, and through consistent consequences for incorrect behavior the meltdowns improved and became less frequent. In addition we began to understand the issues that our daughter was experiencing that were triggering these out bursts.

Initially I questioned my parenting skills. I thought “What is so wrong with my parenting that my child is behaving this way?” That’s when the Lord reminded me that anger in and of itself is not bad, it is what we do with our anger that is important.

The Bible tells us in our anger we are not to sin.

“”In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” (Ephesians 4:26)

God gave us emotions. Even Jesus became angry, but His anger was a righteous anger.

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]” (Mathew 21:12-13)

As parents our job is to teach our children about their emotions and the appropriate way to deal with their feelings.

For example if your child is hitting out of anger, explain to them that it is ok to feel angry but it is not ok to sin and hit others.

Ask your child if there is anything that is bothering them, then use that opportunity to talk them through the situation so they understand.

When our daughter was having problems with tantrums we realized that there was a communication barrier and her anger was out of frustration for not being able to communicate her wants and needs.

This gave us the needed information to help her communicate better which in turn dramatically improved her behavior.

God does not want your child to be emotionless, and He does not want us to eliminate uncomfortable emotions. God wants us to learn how to use self-control and not allow our lives to be governed by our feelings.

Feelings may lie to us but we can always trust the word of God and the Holy Spirit to discern right from wrong.

Turn to Jesus He will help you.

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