It’s almost inevitable. Kids behaving badly in public and moms wanting to hide under a rock.
It happens to the best of moms!
So what’s a mom to do when her child begins to behave badly in public? How can a mom teach her children to behave themselves?
1. Begin setting very clear expectations at a young age. Even when your children are only about two, you can convey your expectations to them and when you have defined the ‘code of conduct’ for your household, your children will begin internalizing those expectations and make them their own.
Remember, clear expectations come with certain consequences when those expectations aren’t meant. It doesn’t mean your children will never misbehave, but if you set clear expectations that are accompanied by certain consequences if those expectations aren’t met, then your children will know those expectations are real and important.
Example: If your children begin whining in the store and pitching a fit because they want something, then the clear expectation needs to be, “If you whine or start acting up because you want something, the automatic answer will be no. If you ask nicely, I will consider whether or not we can get what you’re asking for.”
2. Make your house rules, heart rules. Behavior is the evidence of character and character is a matter of the heart. You can make rules but if you don’t work on tucking integrity and character in the heart of your child, eventually, he/she will no longer feel bound by your rules because he/she does not feel the need to do what you say any longer.
For example… interrupting others is not only rude, it’s disrespectful and it’s important that we teach children not to interrupt when they are young so they don’t grow up to be adults who are rude and disrespectful. (That’s why I absolutely LOVE the Interrupt Rule).
But when they don’t follow the rule, it’s important to not only have clear consequences but also disciple the heart of your child. The consequence might be that they have to sit in time out for 5 minutes or something that is relevant for your circumstances and location, and age-appropriate, as well. But you also want to shepherd their heart.
Perhaps when you get home, you could sit down together and role play about how they could handle it better and share various versus about respecting others.
Verses like Philippians 2:3, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
3. Teach your children how to become problem solvers. Many time children feel frustrated because they can’t do something or figure it out on their own. Parents often become their problem solvers, so they go to them for every little thing and never learn to figure things out on their own. A parents job is not to answer every question and solve every problem for their kids. A parents job is to teach children to do those things on their own.
Example: When you children ask you how to do something, rather than answering it for them, ask them how they think it should be done and walk them through the process. Help them learn to think for themselves, don’t think for them.
4. Instill a missional mentality in the heart of your kids. Children naturally think of themselves but a parent can help children think beyond themselves by caring for the needs of others. This will help them become more considerate of others in their surroundings.
Example: If your children are rambunctious, someone could get hurt. Maybe they like running around the grocery store but the elderly lady who needs a cane to keep herself steady is flustered because she knows that if they bump her, she would fall. In order to help your children see how important it is to care for those around them by behaving themselves, you could take them to the home of an elderly friend or a senior citizens home and have them help clean their house or their room, or make them a meal and explain how hard it is for them to do those things on their own.
Teaching children to care for others will help them think beyond themselves and be more aware of their behavior when they are around others.
5. Point out good and bad behavior in others. You’ll want to be cautious when you do this because you don’t want your children to become judgmental or begin comparing themselves with others. But you do want them to see the difference between good and bad behavior when demonstrated by others.
Example: You’re at the grocery store and the little girl in front of them begins whining to get a candy bar. She starts getting loud and acting up. That’s a great opportunity to discuss the way that little girl behaved when you get in the car and ask your child how it made him/her feel when he/she watched the little girl whining. You can also ask your child to describe the little girls behavior and ask if your child wants to convey that kind of behavior to others.
It’s also VERY important to do the same when you see another child behaving well.
This is definitely one you want to be sensitive about how you handle it, but they see behavior all around them. Good and bad. They are already taking mental notes about how others behave. You can carefully use some of those times when you see other children behaving well and behaving badly to help your children think through their own behavior.
There are no cookie cutter answers for every child because their are no cookie cutter children or cookie cutter moms. But these are some foundational ways to help your children behave themselves in public.
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH YOUR CHILDREN BEHAVING THEMSELVES IN PUBLIC? SHARE YOUR STORY HERE.
Mommy, are you thirsty? Spiritually dry. It’s an awful place to be. Hell for those who have been satisfied by cool, refreshing Living Waters. Are you there? We’ve all been there. A mom is notorious for pouring out every drop she has for her family. It’s no surprise when you want to crawl into bed and throw the covers over your head…or fight the urge to never get out of bed in the first place.
I’ve struggled with feeling spiritually dry this summer. Being so exhausted, enjoying much company and travelling quite a bit. Taking small moments here and there to reconnect to Jesus hasn’t been enough. Today, I finally made a point to get in His Word and His presence was near. It felt like forever since I’d experienced Him so close. It almost felt like a reunion. I’d never wept in my devotion time before—until today.
Through my tears, I asked forgiveness for so many things, most especially, my unbelief. While meandering on the path of spiritual dryness, I learned to avoid a few steps in the future that have the power to lead me along the path towards that dry place.
“But Martha was distracted…” Luke 10:40
Distraction was my first step along my path of spiritual dryness. With the kids home for the summer distractions became a constant. My usual morning schedule was rewritten by younger-needier people who ceased to catch the bus at 6:11am for a few months.
What I originally thought was a good excuse for hit and run devotion time was nothing more than an excuse. A.W. Tozer said it perfectly, “Anything that keeps me away from my Bible is my enemy.”
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
Doubt was step two. Once I’m distracted, my eyes are no longer on Jesus, so they come to rest very comfortably on “myself”. Once good ol’ “Self” is the focus you might as well turn out the light. His still small voice is drowned out by the insecurities of me, myself and I.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Step three is a doozy. After a few weeks, spiritual dryness made a fork in the road. For the faithful saint, the one who remembers to trust, they go off on the path to the right, remembering to continue and persevere, even when His presence is not a constant from day to day. But, for those of us who falter and stumble in the “trust” department, we take the path off to the left. This path took me deeper into the dryness of my soul…destination disobedience. From here, whatever promises He’d given me, I’d forgotten. Which means His purpose for me was set down and left behind.
Disobedience is the hot wind that beat down on my dry days, the lynch pin that secured the chains of separation and kept me from the abundant life He promises.
Are any of you thirsty? Is your soul parched and dry? Are you too hoarse to even cry out for a drop of living water? Trust in Him. Persevere in what He’s called you to do. Pick up your purpose again. Don’t lay it down and give up. He has so much to pour into His children who continue in faith.
I have some great good news to share with you my Mom Initiative friends and fellow mamas.
But… before I do, do you ask yourself these questions?
1. How can I increase my child’s self-worth?
2. How do I build family unity?
3. How can I encourage my kids to be friends?
4. What do I do when my child lies or steals?
5. How can I effectively deal with tantrums and whining?
6. How can I control my own temper?
7. What can I do to be a good advocate for my special needs or gifted child in the school setting?
8. What limits should I establish on media?
9. What makes my child act the way he does?
10. How can respect be put back into my family?
Each of these questions would require at least a chapter’s worth of words to effectively answer.
That is why Becky Danielson and I wrote, Raising Little Kids with Big Love. I’m excited to tell you, it has just been published and is available on Amazon (coming to brick and mortar stores soon) .
The book is geared for parents and grandparents of kids, toddler-nine. It can also be read in a book club or small group setting. There is a companion study guide that accompanies the book. So if a family ministry leader or children’s pastor wanted to lead a parenting class the material is provided.
Becky and I know this book will be a blessing to parents of young kids because it provides tried and true, practical faith-based tools and tips to assist moms and dads to be the parent they want to be.
And.. if you have a tween or teen,our book Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love is coming soon.
Please help Becky and me spread the word to those with young families.
Thanks for sharing my joy!
August…not the month but the word. Do you know what it means?
According to the dictionaries, it means inspiring reverence or admiration, of supreme dignity or grandeur, majestic, venerable, eminent, worthy of respect because of age and dignity, high position, having exalted birth, character, state, or authority.
Sounds pretty descriptive of God, doesn’t it?
God exhibited all those august attributes when He spoke creation into being. Each seed of God’s Word stood positioned at conception’s gate, primed and eager for the Starter’s pistol to sound its commencement, and when God spoke His Word of power, He released the seeds of life and reaped the harvest of creation.
Scripture says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.” (Ps. 33:6 Amp)
All matter came alive at the sound of God’s voice. Within that matter is His voice imprint, His Word, still to this day, resonating in the entire universe, within every molecule, every atom, and every cell of every created thing – plants, animals, planets, sun, moon, stars, mankind, everything.
God’s Word never dies. Peter said, “The word of God which lives and abides forever…the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:23b, 25 Received Greek Text) Would that just be His written Word or would that include His spoken Word?
David said in Psalm 33:9, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” (NIV) Meaning it remained, endured, continued.
And the writer of Hebrews tells us, “The word of God is living, and powerfully working.” (Heb. 4:12a RGT) The Greek word for “powerfully working” used here is energes, which means active, operative, effectual, at work, or powerful. The living, breathing Word of God is active and operative, giving “life and breath and all things to all.” (Acts 17:25 RGT)
Not ordinary words, God’s words are unseen, living entities, actually working energy and living matter of the eternal kind. A part of Himself.
And that part of Himself came to earth as the Word, for Jesus is “the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1b NLT) He graciously shares His Word with those who love Him. Just as God’s Word gave life to the universe, His Word gives life to body, soul, and spirit because Jesus said, “The words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63b RGT) If we have invited Jesus to rule our hearts, we have that living Word within us.
However, do we who know God appreciate His majesty and grandeur?
Step out into your backyard, or go to the outstretched ocean, or a gorgeous garden, or a flourishing forest, or the majestic mountains, whichever may be your favorite scene of nature, and just look around you. What greets you?
*Does the morning dew comfort you with the thought of drinking in God’s mercies or of His showering you with blessings?
*Does the mist of the ocean kiss your face with soothing relief, offering you God’s vast supply of living water to restore your tired body?
*Does the garden’s produce reward you with gratitude for the harvest of nourishment or fill your senses with its floral bouquet?
*Does the lush green of the forest refresh your soul as the trees unfurl emblazoned boughs as a canopy of shade and as a pavilion for the feathered set to convene their songfest?
*Does the purple mountain’s majesty fill you with awe for inspiration, stimulate your creativity, enliven your dreams?
All these are the entities of God’s voice imprint, surrounding you… pulsating in every living thing.
How can our hearts not feel gratitude to the One Who made this magnificent world and surrounds us every day with His august presence? Who pours out new mercies every morning? Whose Spirit is generously shared with all who love Him? Should we not bow in awe and pour out worship, thanksgiving, and unrestrained praise?
So, now, what is august to you?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8
Mom, it’s so easy to get stuck in some stinking thinking. Believe me, I know…I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Trust me on this though, this is one place you just don’t want to hang out in because it will start to affect every single aspect of your life. We’re going to jump in today and talk about how to change your stinking thinking.
Your marriage, your kids, your job, your health, all of it is affected by what starts off in your thoughts. There have been several amazing books on this particular topic, so I won’t even try to restate what’s already out there, so I’m taking us straight to God’s Word, specifically in this verse (I call it the Whatever verse), to start to get rid of some of our, and maybe our kids, stinking thinking. It’s my hope that by taking them one at a time we can get real practical on making a difference today.
- Whatever is True –
- Whatever is Noble -
Dictionary – admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition
God’s Word – A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10 NIV
- Whatever is Right -
- Whatever is Pure -
- Whatever is Lovely -
- Whatever is Admirable -
Dictionary – excellent; first-rate
God’s Word - His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. Matthew 25:21 NIV
- Whatever is Excellent –
Dictionary – possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good
God’s Word - You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Psalm 45:2 NIV
- Whatever is Praiseworthy –
Dictionary – Laudable – worthy of praise
God’s Word - We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4 NIV
You see mom, everything we need to know on how to get rid of that “Stinking Thinking” is right there in Philippians 4:8. It’s not necessarily easy, but it can be simple enough if we take the time to walk through it together.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a mom, a woman, a wife (whatever hat you wear) that has this “stinking thinking’” thing under control. It’s time we to let the words of Philippians 4:8 soak up into every fiber of our souls, and while we are at it, let’s share what we learn with our kids too.
What about you…
- Which of the “whatever’s” do you need to work on first?
- How do you think you can start teaching this to your kids?
JOIN US at our FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE and continue the conversation there!
It is that time of year, so I have some Back-to-School Tips for you!
Some of you have already begun your first week. Summer is shorter every year, it seems.
This year we have two in our local public high school, one in sixth grade (in our school, they still have 6th grade in elementary, which I LOVE) and one in second grade. I am homeschooling her. So back to school in the Smith household can be rather crazy, trying to get everyone established–forms filled out, doctor and dentist appointments, school supplies, new clothes and curriculum gathering and planning.
It kind of makes my head spin, you know? But once we are established in a new routine, it seems to all come together somehow.
So I thought today I would share a few ideas that may help you in your back to school doings and goings, from someone, who has walked out this school journey with four kids in various stages of life for over 14 years now.
First, keep it all in perspective.
Not everything is the most important thing to do. We tend to go in crisis mode (and boy does that affect how our kids respond) and our blood pressure rises and we try to get it all done in one day. That is a destructive day waiting to happen, right there. Rather, keep in mind that some items are due early, but some things can be put off without any trouble. So in bits, do the first thing that needs to be done and then move on from there. Write a list and make an asterisk by the most important items. Make it workable–with your daily schedule.
After all, some things really can wait. Do they really need a new backpack the first day? Or new shoes? Or their teeth cleaned? Probably not. So why keep up appearances? Be bold and let some things like this slide to next week or next month, now and again.
For instance, we just returned from family vacation, having driven 17 hours over two days. We returned late in the evening and had an early morning registration for one of our high schoolers. Our printer was out of ink, and I had forms to complete. It could have been really stressful, but rather we figured out how to print it, and he filled out all that he could, while I wrote a check for the fees. Then I signed and completed them. At sixteen, he can do his own registration! So, I sat in the car and figured out a menu for the week, went to the grocery store – a neighbor happened to offer to drop him at home–WIN-WIN. It was productive and stress-free time! God is in the details, my sisters. He really is.
Let God be MORE in your dailyness–and your stress will begin to go way down, bringing peace and joy to your heart.
Second, take time and LOOK for the laughs–then WRITE them down, so you don’t forget!
Laughter is the best medicine. And back to school offers much fodder. So be on the look out for the absurd and the funny. It will keep your heart lighter. And your kids will also begin to look for the laughs, as well.
Kylie: Mom, I need some praying paint.Me: You do? Why?Kylie: For school…my teacher says I need praying paint.I pause a moment and consider where the source of praying paint might come from…Heaven, perhaps? Lord knows, I pray enough when Kylie, Tabor or Noah begin to paint. In fact, when Noah was four, he designed a wonderful painting on his wall…behind his door. I considered writing “Noah’s Art” on it and leaving it at that…but decided that it might encourage him to paint more walls behind doors. Back to the story…Me: Kylie, do you have a supply list with praying paint on it?Kylie: Yes Mom, here it is.
Finally, begin a system of stewarding and organizing that will help you throughout the years.
I love in Mary Poppins how she says, “Well begun is half-done.”! It is a statement to live by, I think.
I will talk more about why we are homeschooling our youngest next month.
But today, what back-to-school tips do you have that work for you? Share them in the comments!
Have you ever felt like the mom you are is very different from the mom you thought you’d be… from the mom you want to be?
Motherhood seemed so much easier before I had kids but it didn’t take long to realize that although being a mom is the biggest blessing on the planet, motherhood is messy and harder than I ever thought it could be.
So, how can you become the mom you long to be… not a perfect mom, but a mom that is the best mom she can be?
It’s about knowing Christ, embracing your own uniqueness as well as your child’s, embracing your God-given role with passion and persistence, and discovering how to parent on purpose using a biblical foundation for intentional parenting.
To become the mom you want to be, you…
1. Don’t go it alone
2. Embrace the fact that God created you and your children on purpose and for a purpose
3. Understand having children means your life is no longer just about you
4. Discover loving your children well is more than butterfly kisses and overwhelming emotions
5. Give your children the attention they need without making them think the world revolves around them
6. Wield your words well and consistently speak life into your children’s lives
7. Instill character not only by what you say and how you teach them, but most importantly, by how you live
8. Overcome the tendency to be overwhelmed, don’t dare compare, and understand that there are no cookie cutter moms, or cookie cutter kids or cookie cutter solutions… and there is no such thing as a Pinterest perfect mom
9. Parent on purpose and live intentionally not randomly or reactionary
10. Choose the imprints you leave on your children’s heart, on your husband’s heart and on the heart of your home
11. Remember, motherhood lasts a lifetime and that you never stop being a mom no matter how old you or your children are
12. Fight for your family foremost from your knees
More often than not, the mom we are doesn’t look like the mom we want to be and we spend our whole journey as a mom trying to get to where we wanted to be in the first place.
My motherhood journey was like a messy experiment and my kids were the Guinea pigs… I wrote The Making of a Mom so yours wouldn’t have to be. The list above highlights each chapter of The Making of a Mom to give you the tools I wish I would have had when my children were young.
I wasn’t the perfect mom and I didn’t do everything right. The Making of a Mom wasn’t written by someone who successfully navigated every area of motherhood and did everything right.
It was written by someone who learned a few things along the way… more often than not from her failures as well as some of her successes. And the 12 keys listed above will help you become a more intentional, more determined mom to those precious children God has gifted you with.
They are looking to you, sweet mom. Be the best mom you can be… be the mom you long to be today!
If you’d like to know more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group to help other moms become the moms they long to be, click here and get started today! If you’d like to join the MILLION MOMS community and connect with a M.O.M. Group in your area, or help us start one in your area, please click here.
If you’d like to learn how to start a M.O.M. Group in your area and you wonder what it might look like, CLICK HERE.
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH WISHING YOU WERE THE MOM YOU LONG TO BE INSTEAD OF THE MOM YOU ARE RIGHT NOW?
We all need someone we can trust…the kind of friend who has our back and who knows our secrets, yet treats them as if they are their own.
We all need someone like that in our lives. And we all need to be someone like that for others.
Mentoring is a mixed bag. It comes with the joy of walking through life with others, but it also comes with the responsibility of guarding those relationships and stories others share with you well.
Recently, I’ve had several conversations with women who were walking through a painful place or facing difficult challenges. They didn’t need someone who had all the answers, they just needed someone that cared enough to listen without judging and speak the truth even if it was hard. They needed someone who was willing to hear their hearts and join them in the journey of a season that was too hard to go alone.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many women have someone to turn to that they know they can trust. How many women have been burned because they confided in someone who sold them out for the mere urge to divulge what they know.
Do you have that kind of mentor? Are you that kind of friend?
Or do you run out and tell the tales that were told to you in confidence?
We all need each other and we are definitely better together, but if we don’t guard our hearts and mouths, we compromise our relationships and undermine our own integrity.
SO, how about you? ARE YOU A STEAL VAULT KIND OF MENTOR?
DO YOU HAVE A STEAL VAULT KIND OF MENTOR?
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BURNED BY SOMEONE WHO WASN’T AND IF SO, HOW HAS THAT AFFECTED YOUR LEVEL OF TRUST WITH OTHER WOMEN?
I didn’t make waves. Gave in rather than cause a fuss. I decided early on the peace was worthy of any cost.
I considered this a virtue.
Or at the very least, not a problem.
Good Christian girls don’t make waves. Making other people happy was the right thing to do.
I thought I was noble.
And then I had children.
Two beautiful, amazing, extremely strong-willed, quite vocal, opinionated children.
My “noble” people-pleasing tendencies had hit a crossroads. The only way that I could avoid conflict and make my kids “happy” was to give in to them.
However, the more I tried to appease them, the more unhappy and demanding they seemed to become.
And I became more angry and resentful. It made me so mad that they kept putting me in this uncomfortable place. Why couldn’t they just obey?
My parenting approach during their younger years was truly the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
I gave way too many second chances. “No” didn’t really mean “no.” It was just the starting point of negotiations with Mom.
I required far too little responsibility of them because it would often cause full-blown drama.
The quest for all this “happiness” (cough) came into ironic full bloom in the middle school years. All those “yeses” that should have been “no’s” resulted in a lack of respect. The responsibility that wasn’t given gave way to an air of entitlement.
Not much bliss going on in my house.
I had to make a crushing acknowledgement: I wanted my children to be happy. However, my overriding desire was for my own happiness. That was at the root of my people pleasing. Their approval, their happiness was really about filling a void within myself.
A void that only God can fill.
Gradually, this approval-addicted mama came to her senses. God slowly showed me how to quit looking to my kids for my worth. It has been a long, painful — and incredibly freeing — process.
The road to a healthy, respect-filled relationship with my kids hasn’t progressed in a straight line. Sometimes I still fall back into old patterns. But not nearly as often as I used to.
When I’m unsure about whether to say “yes” to one of my kids’ requests, I’ve found it helpful to ask myself a few questions:
- Is this about my comfort? I ask myself if I’m saying “yes” — or letting something slide — because I don’t want the conflict. Is my decision in their best interest — or mine?
- Will saying “yes” to this bring my kids closer to being an adult that is responsible, giving and loving? Letting our kids have what they want feels good — for the moment. I’ve had to train myself to take a long-term view in my decision-making. I’ve learned the hard way that the self-serving decisions I make today have a negative long-term effect on my kids.
- Is this an area where I can give grace or do I need to stand firm? Knowing when to give grace or stand firm often depends on the unique strengths and weaknesses of the child. If a child is generally very responsible in an area, but makes a mistake, perhaps you can give grace. However, if it’s an area of weakness and/or one where they are consistently pushing boundaries, it’s important to stand firm. No matter how loudly our people-pleasing nature is screaming. The bottom line is that answering this question really requires asking for Divine wisdom daily — sometimes moment by moment!
Setting new boundaries — and enduring the resulting pushback — has been hard for me and my kids. But we are all better for it.
And while I still hate conflict, this “nice Christian girl” has learned to fight.
Like summer, for instance. Where did it go? How is it already time to buy the new shoes, meet our teachers, and begin the busy days of fall?
It amazes me that at the beginning of the summer, my girls’ hair was just below their shoulders and now it is flowing down their backs, desperate for a trim. And my baby boy, he’s already outgrown his six month clothes, some barely worn. Wasn’t he just born? I blink, and February is now August. Time is passing, quicker and quicker.
Sometimes I panic. New routines, tuition payments, schedules – they stress me out. I wonder when I’m going to have time to get everything done, be the mom, the wife, the friend, the daughter. I’m busy. So, so busy.
I’ve just turned thirty, my husband just a year behind. It was a great birthday, not nearly the big pill to swallow as I had imagined, but it has marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. No longer am I fresh out of college, living in a big city with time ahead of me for kids and family. I smile, thankful to have had those dreams fulfilled.
Yet, with all that I’m thankful for and all that is going on around me, time still shakes my core. Maybe it’s because I know now how quickly age happens to youth. How one day, I woke up with a gray hair and dark spots on my hands. Or, as hard as I work out, my stomach still has a little hump in it from my two c-sections.
But, what really rattles me the most about time is this haunting question: Am I spending my time well – while I have it – here on Earth?
There is this urgency, you know, to accomplish and fulfill dreams and goals and ambitions. However, there is also this pull, this slow, downward pull to kneel hard with my face pressed against the floor and admit to my God that He is my everything. My soul yearns for more of him, to settle in his presence and not worry about time moving all around me.
I’m learning that time with God will reveal parts of myself that are unsettling. So much so that I want to scream and curse and just be rid of him. I think that’s the devil and my flesh resisting this commission that he gave me to love him above all else. Loving God is demanding and it takes time. But I believe that after the truth is revealed, he shifts my spirit to a place centered on hope.
Since I don’t know how long I have here on this planet, I want to hope that I’m spending my time well. That I’m not always looking to the next season, anxious and tired – instead I’m resting in today, which for me involves cleaning up after messy four year old girls and blowing kisses on my baby boy’s belly.
There are things that I want, things that I don’t think will ever go away. But I don’t want to always be wishing for more time. The facts of my schedule are clear and I don’t see it changing any time soon. Sometimes, time runs out. When time goes by too fast, we can either run and never catch it or stand in the road and watch its’ taillights disappear. We have to be okay with letting time go.
Babies will turn one, preschoolers will start kindergarten and eighteen year olds will leave for college. Daughters will get married and sons will propose. Our parents will age, sickness will strike. Whenever our hearts hurt for time, God is there, assuring us that this too shall pass.
Our time here is precious and must not be wasted. Because when our time is up, we will be judged on how we spent it. May we spend our time here well – loving God, loving others, and being obedient to how we were uniquely made to serve him.
Till next time, let your light shine!