Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fighting for the Next Generation....Transformation in Myself

I can remember when we first moved to Austin. Sally was just a few months old. Everything had just changed as I knew it. My mother had passed away, sally was born, stew had a new job, we left memphis where all my mentors where and moved into an apartment in Austin TX. Things were a little "out of my control". Change was reality in every sense.

Some of my past struggles with anorexia began to come up again. That scared me so much. How could I be so weak and turn back to my old ways and still pursue ahead with strength in all that was so new?

2 Corinthains 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace (my unmerited love for you alone) is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I remember one night going back in to check on sally as she I looked over her, I was overwhelmed with the role of being a mother....I knew that both sins and beliefs can be passed down to generations and in that moment I whispered to her..."I will fight for you, sweet girl." What I meant by that was that I was going to fight against the weaknesses of my generation...and seek the Lord to destroy the idols that I had in my own fight against my anorexia temptations was no longer about was about my children...about a new generation.

The internal working of my heart is given great motivation when i realize that I am not just wanting to change for me, but to let Him change a whole new generation through daily battle with sin and the growth and change that happens within me that leads me to Believe God in all things, for all things effects my children...effects a new generation.

psalm 78
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,

Being a parent can be scary...especially when you begin to see your sin...but it is through the process of seeing our sin, turning to God and rejoicing in His work for our lives, that transformation will happen...and with transformation, new things will arise for the next generation...old things will be gone and new things will arise...for Him!

So what are some of the things in our home, we are seeking not to pass along to our children? What are the things we do want to pass along? More later....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Help support orphans in India

Go check out this blog and read on how you can buy some girl hair bows and help support sarah's covenant homes in India.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fighting for the Next Generation....Confessing Sin


RUTH 1:21-22

21 I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?"

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

I doubt Naomi, in her great sadness had little thought about what God had given her in Ruth....though it looked like she was empty-handed, God had placed in her care, a woman who would be one who would bare children that bore children from whom Jesus came from. This has helped me remember that some things God is giving to us specifically in our children. That we bring forth a new generation for him....This should help us as mothers...even fathers raise our head high and pursue parenting with all we have!

But what if your week looks like mine did this week? I had no patience....often times i just wanted to get in my bed or go away to a coffee shop and be alone rather than instruct my children in the Lord or take care of them. What if you become so frustrated that it leads you to bursts of anger towards your children? What if you no longer feel love towards your little pooping preciousness and start dreaming of when they will be out of the house on their own?

Well, It is real. It happens. It isn't fruitful, but real, none the less. And something that all of us can relate to whether you admit it or not. So what do you do with those weeks? what do you do with those times you "fail" as a mother? You cling to the Gospel!

Micah 7:7-9

7But as for me, I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.

8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;

" when I fall, I shall rise;

"when I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be a light to me.
9" I will bear the indignation of the LORD
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
" He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.

Confessing Sin is huge in our home. And it is just not for our children. When I have wronged my children, I admit it to them. Confessing sin and believing the gospel is the work of God. To believe the gospel in those moments or after those fruitless moments is redemptive for our children...for the next generation. To show them that the same God we sin against is the same God that redeems us is powerful!

Mark 1:15

15and saying, ""The time is fulfilled, and" the kingdom of God is at hand;" repent and believe in the gospel."

John 6:28-29

28Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing" the works of God?" 29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

Some days for us preschool moms may seem so mundane and never ending with matters of doing...but let us remember that the work of God is to believe the gospel. Let's model for our children repentance and believing the gospel. They will learn more about that from your life than anything you ever instruct them.
It is good to confess sin...though i fall, yet shall i rise...more later...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

You can obey me, Because I LOVE YOU...

Therefore be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.

Ephesians 5:1

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32

I've found in my own journey with following Christ that when I doubt God's love, I never obey Him. If I stay at the place of confession that "i am more wicked than I could ever believe"....I am never moved to obey God. but when I rise up in the truth that "I am more loved than I could ever imagine"...then obedience begins to take shape in my life. My heart desires humility rather than pride. I long for Jesus.

When I realize that I am accepted, justified, loved with a never-stopping, never-giving up, always and forever love (as the Jesus Story Book Bible reads...), I hear God's commands differently. I am set free to follow them, b/c all of them are created in best...God's glory!

When I realize that I don't have to be the most together, best image, perfect friend, and accepted child, my idols fall from my hand and I run to God, my father. While i was sinning, Jesus died for me (romans 5:6-8). What love! He set me free when I could not free myself. He did not set me free to have eternity alone, but to glorify Him here on do good works. (ephesians 2:10)

As I began to think about God's love for me and understanding my pride and belief and unbelief. I began to apply it to parenting.....rather training in the Lord.

I tell them, "because I love you, you can obey me." When they disobey, I point out their unbelief...their pride. "You have forgotten how much mommy loves you..." and I remind them of love...humility...and implore them to believe that I love them. "love is to obey what God has commanded" (1 john 5:3)...."children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (ephesians 6:1)

I instruct my children, that to obey is not my commandment, but that it comes from God first. I am always trying to point everything back to God...His character...His way...His truth...If I can't...then perhaps it isn't necessary.

Sometimes behavior gets worse in our household before it gets better...of course, some still remains worse until fruit bearing age...but more important than behavior modification is something dearer to my heart... that they are grasping truths about the reality of life...God...His purposes for them and us...His purposes for circumstances and the things around them.....His way-that there is no God besides Him.....Truth found in the Bible....Truth about themselves,...they are sinners, they sin...they can never find a way around their sin but through Jesus....and that b/c of His great love, they can be set free to love as well. And my prayer is that from generation to generation, the gospel will be more see, the goal of my love.. from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith....1 Timothy 1:5

and perhaps a new generation will rise up with my children and after my children to call on the name of the Lord...more later...


Me and the girls have been sick with the flu..but i managed to get out the valentine treats for my kiddos this morning....the girls got matching pj's and slept in them all day....I did too...this was one picture we managed to get between naps...maybe others will be later...but happy valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Working on those example...

So here is an example from yesterday:

Wesleygrant hits his sister....I go in to teach the gospel! (Lord help me!...i think this was the 10th time they had been fighting...)

"Wesleygrant, who made you?"
"why did God make you"...... he doesn't answer, he is angry at me for asking him such a thing...sinner!
"God made you to glorify Him, wg." "He made your hands to love and serve people, not hit people"
"But sally stole my toy!"
"Wg, i know and she was wrong for stealing...but you loved that toy more than you loved sally and so you hit her."
"sally don't steal my toys!!"
"wg, let's try tell sally that we don't steal and come get me if she doesn't listen to you.".... "you run to me and love sally more than your toys".
"but I am so angry!"
"yes, and your heart is prideful." "You can humble your heart and make it right with sally, or mommy will humble your heart for you with a discipline." (i.e. spanking)
"okay...sally, I'm sorry..."
"Wg, that isn't making it right...what do you say?"
"Sally, I was wrong for hitting you...I'm sorry"

things were made right and sally had to do the same apology...but you get the just of the a later time with wg and i alone, i tell him the real gospel of Jesus...and i do this all day long everywhere we go and sit and lay down. =) now, you can't have a conversation like that with a one year old and probably not a 2 or 3 yr old....we've added to this conversation over the last 2 first it was just you are not loving...tell her you were wrong...and slowly we've WG understands and has reached 4 1/2 yrs and I'm sure it will change over time as they get older.

Let me interpret the gospel here for you:
God has made us to glorify Him, but we can't and don't b/c we are sinners. We can never please God or know or be known by God in our state. We are as pridful as Satan and every sin is rooted in pride. Jesus brought humility and love and grace and boar our sins instead and paid a penalty of death that we owed God for our sin. Now, Jesus is our hope...salvation to those who believe and a stumbling block to those who don't. Jesus shows us what love is and God's word tells us everything we need to know to be a follower of Jesus. We walk humbly or he humbles us. In christ, we can run to God everytime and be loved, helped and corrected through any sin. and in the end, our whole made to glorify God and will glorify God because of Jesus. All our joy is found in Christ alone. There are no other gods. We don't need anythnig but Him. We are to worship Him alone...and not turn our affections on something other than Him. This is a Christ follower.

This must be the story that feeds the roots of our kids lives everyday...don't worry about the much attention on the roots....

Our kids are sinners....Jesus is the only hope....Train them in the wisdom of the, not pride....confession of sin andlove Jesus more than anything on earth...and use everything they have and are to glorify him...that is their destiny...they are made to do this...we just help them see that little by little, minute by minute...more later...

"The Roots of the Fruit..."

"Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants all around your table."
Psalm 128:3

"I live in Syria and have inherited a healthy looking olive tree in my garden. I've been here almost a year and haven't seen any sign of fruit. I've heard you have to know what you are doing to get olive trees to fruit. Is that so and if so, what's the secret?" (taken from a website regarding growing olive plants...)

I found myself relating to the woman who wrote this question...not regarding real plants, but my children...=) "i have healthy children in my home, i've been changing diapers for almost a year and haven't seen any sign of fruit. I've heard you have to be a perfect parent...i'm not so sure about this mother role...what is the secret?" =)

As the gospel continues to change stew and I's lives, I have found that it is my central place I go for any advice or help with training my children. "What does the gospel say?" is the question i ask in all situations with my children. And it, along with the explanation from a friend, is where I came to really focus on roots rather than the fruits my children were bearing or lacking.

Did you know that an olive tree can't even bear fruit until about 4 yrs of age? and then different varieties can't bear fruit until 16yrs of age! Well, when i found that children were referred to in the bible like "olive plants" language and thoughts behind what we "do" in our home to teach our children unfolded.

How often have you daydreamed about your children obeying you...sacrificially serving you...never complaining or arguing...being adults and serving Jesus with their lives? I know you have...and I have too. I mean, when you've instructed them and spanked them and done everything your 'child-rearing' book told you to do? Don't you begin to think about the fruit? look for it? poke at the darn child to see if there is anything producing?? of course we do!

But as i "rediscovered" the gospel in my life, i began to realize, it is more about the roots.... fruit sure doesn't just come up from nowhere and quickly...we've discovered that in our own all takes time and with attention on the roots.

We had an aloe plant in our garden and it looked so horrible after we planted it...i was ready to pull it up and throw it away...but with Jonathan, our expert gardener, we discovered that the roots of the plant were needed to have ground to drain water we did that...still looked awful! then we discovered that sometimes plants look bad on the outside, b/c they are putting more energy into planting their roots rather than producing on the! that was genius to me! that was my kids!! man do they look unruly on the outside sometimes, but i was determined that I was going to help plant their roots in the truth of God and no longer expect fruit before bearing years....whatever that may be.

focus on roots....that is what we are doing....

Tomorrow I'll give you an example in our home...for now...i think this is long enough...=)