This year has been like none other for me in many ways but the most pivotal has been my walk with Christ! I have studied, prayed, sought and fought harder in my spiritual walk with the Lord than I have in years! I hate to admit it but I had become complacent and content with where I was (or so I thought) so I prayed “sleepy” prayers before falling asleep (often not finishing a thought let alone a prayer), I went to church but didn’t really “listen”, I read the bible when I felt like it or when it “fit” into my schedule, etc, etc.
This year however my eyes where opened to what I had been missing out on through this complacent lifestyle. Call it a “wake up call” direct from God himself but factors, situations, and issues in my life put me in a place that I had to change my ways and seek Him regularly!
It started with “my girls” from church and a little devotion book called Journey that we 3 decided to become more accountable and get our lives back on track with what God wanted from us not what we “thought” He wanted from us. We email and respond to each other regarding a daily devotional dealing with our innermost thoughts and feelings and it was through this time with my girls that I started to realize just how much God loved me in spite of my actions, laziness, behaviors, words and deeds. It came from realizing that as much as I love my own children……He loves me a thousand more times than that! That is still something I struggle wrapping my mind around, He loves me more than I love my children and unconditionally ~ WOW!
Did you know that from the very beginning, God created men and women to be in a relationship of blessing with others and that He designed the family to be the first place, the main source, of this blessing of unconditional love, acceptance, value and worth? As a mom of 3 growing children, ages 15, 12 and 7, I am being tested in these ares of love, acceptance, value and worth each and every day but one thing is constant ~ I love then UNCONDITIONALLY!
This past spring.summer, along with all the other crazy things going on around here, I had the wonderful opportunity to have a young lady walk into my life who changed my own thinking about being a responsible parent. While this young lady is only 17 and just a senior in high school, she has gone through some pretty tough trials, the kind that change a person forever. She taught me to love my children no matter the mistake (we all make them too right?), she taught me to hang onto my faith even when things don’t appear to being going as planned ~ the perfect plan that God has in store for each of us. As I reflect back now, all the time I spent with her, talking and sharing personal experiences and God’s truths, I realized that this time of accountability with my devotion girls (which had/has me studying and researching like I’ve never known/done before) prepared me to fellowship with this young girl. You see, what she has gone through in her young life may be leaving her feeling that she is not loved unconditionally, that there are conditions to love, acceptance, value and worth. BUT through God’s perfect plan, He planted her in my life for a reason and I hope and pray that what I shared with her gives her the realization that she is loved unconditionally, that no one loves her more than her Heavenly Father, that there is no mistake too big for our God, and that He does have a perfect plan for her life!
What I’ve learned through this situation is that we as parents have a responsibility to extend blessings to our children, just as our Heavenly Father extends blessings to us. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” We have to speak good to and for our children in order for them to receive it. Our children need to hear us say “I love you…I’m proud of you…You can do it!….It’s Ok……It will be alright!” At two critical times in Jesus’ own life ~ His baptism, when He was about to start His ministry and near the end, on the Mount of Transfiguration ~ He heard His Father’s voice from heaven, “This is my son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
We have to encourage them to be all they can be in life. We have to help and guide them reach their potential by enlarging their vision of God, our mighty God who always does things in abundance and works everything together for good! We need to find out their dreams and dream with them. We need to value them as the valuable blessings they are ~ when we value people, we find out their likes and dislikes, we hurt when they hurt, we celebrate when they celebrate. This is how we encourage them, we invest in them.
We need to be reminded and teach our children what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” We need to use our words and actions to change our children’s future, to give and treat our children as the blessing they are, a blessing from God!