Posted in devotion, discipleship, encouragement, just a thought

so easy to miss…..

I love my son ~ deeply and profoundly and I treasure our conversations….  

I contemplate his words, I am fascinated by his brilliant mind, I am endeared by his tender heart and I am nearly undone by his vulnerability…

He has challenged and enlightened me.  And just when I think I know him, He says somethings deep or challenging or unexpected,  but something that simply reveals a piece of him I hadn’t even realized was there …

And I find pure joy just knowing that I now know him a little bit more…

What a tragic loss if I had never really known him ~ if there had not actually been a relationship. What regret if one day I realized that my time with my son had been limited to concerns with behavior and tasks and accomplishments ~ merely desiring his acquisition of knowledge and obedience to rules, unaware of his lack of understanding….

Maybe the difference isn’t as obvious as I think it is  ~ but I think it’s everything….

Because I think that ‘knowledge’ is useless data without understanding ~ and I think teaching rules without reason is short-sighted and will not endure when tested.

And I think that it requires so much more effort to establish a relationship (as in KNOW HIM, feel his pain that no one else sees, know his fears, and hear His heart)

And I can’t help but see a connection…

What comes to mind when someone says “I really need to try to read my Bible…   or pray…”

or when I feel like the focus of a passage is reduced to “how does this apply to me?”

Something is missing ~ and it’s called “relationship”

Not ONCE in his life did my son come to me to “hear his daily input” and move on…

Nor has he gone days without letting me talk to him

Nor has he ever poured out his heart and then walked away without waiting for a response

My heart pounds with the desire to communicate this truth

God’s word is for me, but it’s about God ~ because He wants me to know Him 

So when I open His word I want to listen…

to contemplate His words and be awed by His infinite mind, to be overwhelmed by His merciful love and undone by MY vulnerability…..

I want to learn and gain understanding so that just when I think I know Him…
He reveals something deep or profound, convicting or comforting or so awe-inspiring that it challenges my inner most being

so I can know pure joy simply because I know that I know Him just a little more ~ and from this, my heart overflows in response and I am transformed…

And what a tragic loss if I don’t seek to know Him ~ if i don’t understand that the God of the universe wants a relationship with me ~ what regret if I my time with my God is  limited to concerns of tasks or merely seeking to acquire knowledge and rules blissfully unaware of my lack of understanding….

I did indeed seek to educate my son, we set boundaries and had rules ~ and I promise, his behavior mattered ~ but without understanding, without relationship what real impact could I have hoped for?  And how sad!  Oh the blessings I would have missed…

It would be so easy to miss, but He wants me to know Him, to have a relationship Him, a relationship that requires submission and surrender, a relationship that provides power and has purpose…

but

a relationship….

Posted in discipleship, poems

when she stumbles…

a battle rages for her soul
   the siren call
         of this world would pull

her in to its grip
   with persuasive lies
until bit by bit
   inside
     she dies 

she has stumbled
   don’t let her fall
Your voice she hears
    she feels so small

in fear and panic
   she glances up
and grabs a glimpse
   of light and hope 

but at her heals
   a lion roars
emotions surge
  inside
     she’s torn

between surrenders
   to right or wrong
between her longings
   of flesh or soul 

torn between
   the desperate need
for true healing
   not just relief 

the battle rages
   in her mind
from her flesh
   fueled by pride 

does she still believe
  that she knows best
or is she ready
   to truly rest 

safe in Your hands
   with her heavy load
will she walk
   that narrow road

not just her Savior
   will she call You Lord
will she learn to trust
   and surrender more 

to You each day
     as she presses on
in her brightest days
   in her nights so long 

will she embrace this life
     Your way
and live surrendered
   even in
       the haze 

this is a battle
   not of flesh nor bone
a battle to save
   one of Your own

oh help us, Lord,
   to lead and trust
to be prepared
   to do what we must

You love her more
  than we ever could
so we lift her to You
   as we know we should

we trust You in
   our pain and fear
we praise you in
   our hurt and tears 

please heal our hearts
   protect our minds
give us Your wisdom
   help us trust Your time 

we raise her up
   in Your holy name
O Jesus, Lord,
   in Your name, we pray…..

Be sober-minded; be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...”  2 Corinthians 10:5

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.    Ephesians 6:12

All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and whoever comes to Me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it upon the last day.                         John 6:37-39

Posted in discipleship, encouragement

not my problem…

that’s not my problem

nothing about that sounds good to me ~ rude, indifferent, uncaring, selfish, wrong…..

but sometimes it is just plain true

For 25 years I did my best to teach and train and guide and prepare four amazing children to be independent, well adjusted, Christ following adults, and although they’re now grown, certain instincts remains ~

The Mama Bear in me still wants to keep them from harm, spare them the frustration of living with poor choices, direct them through the tricky roads of “real life” relationships that come with jobs and bosses or future spouses ~ even their financial decisions can get my wheels spinning  ~ still desiring that they learn from the roads I’ve traveled and hard lessons I’ve learned.

Fair and reasonable concerns and desires ~ unless I tie them to a false sense of responsibility.

I think I have spent their entire lives watching for signs of how they are doing, indications of the lessons sinking in, evidence of preparedness ~ are they ready?!  Letting them go seems like the mother of all tests is before me and I am absolutely terrified at times.  How did I do? Did I miss something?  Will my shortcomings be the root of their struggles?  How will I live with that?  Is there any last minute lesson I can drive home?

OK ~ maybe a little crazy ~ but I also remember this ~

The choices before them are not mine to make, the challenging relationships are not for me to nourish or mend, what God has given them is not for me to steward.  These things are not my problem, and they shouldn’t be.  Not that I am unconcerned, simply that the outcome is not for me to secure.

God entrusted these kids to me for a season, to do what I have done.  Train them in what I have learned, show them what I know, and introduce them to the One to whom they truly belong.  I am finding that it is easy to say, but sometimes hard to live this Truth ~ they aren’t really mine, and they never really were.

I am living in a season of many transitions ~ my life right now is characterized by profound change.  The newness and importance in all of these converge to stimulate my already over-active problems-solving brain.  ~ and this is where things can get muddy, where I can begin to try to take on those things that aren’t mine to take on.

So sometimes I have to ask “Is this my problem?”  Such a blunt thing to say, but it helps me test my thinking ~ and often Truth reveals, “this is not my problem”, or more kindly put ~this is no longer my role ~ and that’s OK, liberating actually!

I may be out of sorts in this new season, but it’s not because I am “out of purpose” ~ and if I keep my heart surrendered to Christ and my role straight in my mind, I might just find out what that is 😉

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Titus 2:3-5