Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In passing

Sometimes, it's the words spoken in passing that have the largest impact. The other night, we went to hear a guest speaker at our church. He had inspiring and challenging words for us, his audience. My spirit resonated with his teaching. But, that's not what challenged me the most.

Early in the service, he had an alter call for those that needed/wanted victory in some area of their lives. I went forward, feeling like I am 1 step forward & 2 steps back on this parenting journey. As he was praying for the group, he said something that is almost a cliche in prayers. He said, "As they stand in agreement with you..."

Immediately, those words shot through me and penetrated my soul and instantly, I realized, "I am not in agreement with God about parenting."

The lies I have believed in this area are many. First, and foremost, "These kids are interrupting my life." Or, "These kids are a burden, not a blessing." Scripture is clear. God views children as a gift and a blessing. (Ps. 127:3) I have often stated that I believe they are a blessing, but that they don't often bless me, but, somewhere along the way, I began to see them as a pain in the rear. I forgot that they are not accessories to my world, but they are my world in this season.

I have believed, "This is too hard for me." Not being a real organized or Type A person, home management is difficult for me without children. Add in a boatload of kids and it seems very close to impossible. When He changed my heart about children (we were planning to stop at two), I admit that I envisioned the serene families that grace the covers of the homeschooling magazines. I really thought that He would change my personality to one that would excel as a mom of many. I expected it would be challenging; I did not expect it to suck every ounce of flesh out of me, only to go deeper and find some more. With the rest of Christianity, I say I want to die to self, but I don't actually mean it.

Going along with the last one, I believed, "I've been duped." This is not what I signed on for. I agreed to have many, well-behaved, exceptional children. I did not agree to have children with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, anxiety disorder, and Down syndrome. For that matter, I didn't even agree to have children with a sin nature. They are often mouthy, disobedient, and slothful. Basically, they take after their mother. Parenting is hard. I keep thinking it should be easier and am always frustrated that it's not.

I need to renew my mind and immerse myself in the Word until I am convinced, with every fiber of my being, that my children are a blessing, that I can do all things through Christ, and that He who called me is faithful. Basically, I need to get in agreement with God.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Funny thing about obedience

In February, we felt pretty convicted that God wanted us to get rid of Direct TV. Actually, I think we thought we were supposed to before that. February is just when we finally discussed it with each other. We decided to go for it. Only, instead of canceling, I asked them to bump us down to their most basic package, thinking it would be basically network tv only. It wasn't. It was all their kid's channels and a few channels we didn't watch. After two weeks of watching tv just as much as we did before, only stuff we didn't actually like, Shawn called and got our old package a reduced rate. Sigh.

We justified it by acknowledging that we don't watch much television in the summer and soon our viewing would be a distant memory as we spent our time outside. Only, it was one of the hottest summers on record and we actually watched more than ever because it was too miserable to be outside.

During this time, there were two distinct areas in my life that I was praying/begging/pleading to have break through in. I begged God. I quoted every relevant Scripture I could find. I humbled myself. I asked for wisdom. I had others pray. I cried...a lot. I played worship music. I rebuked the enemy. All of it was to no avail. There was no change and I was beginning to believe that there never would be. This was my life, and I was miserable.

Three weeks ago, Shawn decided that we would finally cancel our tv subscription and that we wouldn't even bother hooking up the box to get network, either. Thinking of the midnight nursing sessions with the new baby I have to look forward to, I was less than encouraging of this plan. I cried a little and even had a small panic attack when I thought about not having the opportunity to collapse in front of the tv every evening. I told him he would have to make the call. He did and was assured that everything would shut down at midnight. We stayed up until then watching all the shows in our DVR that we could fit in as a last hurrah.

I admit to being mopey about it for about the first week. But something strange has happened in the following weeks: the two areas of my life that needed break through, have gotten it. In His mercy, He has chosen to give me what I begged him for! I have seen new life after months of dormancy.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:2 &3 (NIV)