Sunday, September 26, 2021

National Daughters Day - A Mother's Confession!

My husband and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters and three handsome sons.  I love all five of our children equally but I have to admit back when I was birthing children there was something so exciting when the doctor would say, “It’s a girl!!”   I remember after hearing those words with babies #2 and #5  I would say to myself.  Oh yes!!  I get to purchase all the dresses and bows and girly toys like dolls, Barbies and tea sets. 

 Things were smooth sailing raising the girls until they hit around age 12 and then I have to admit rough waters began.  When I think back to those years I wish I could have a redo but I know that’s impossible.  My parenting “girl” skills were not the best and when you combined that with all the hormones of them becoming teenagers it was a collision course for rocky times.  I have to admit mothering the girls in their teen years was hard and I put most of the blame on me.  When the girls would clam up  . .. so would I.  They didn’t talk to me so I didn’t really talk to them.  I felt like they were pushing me away and didn’t want anything to do with me so I just sadly did nothing out of hurt.  This is something I wish I could go back and change.  

Author Paul Tripp states that this strategy of mine was a parenting mistake on my part.  He says, "Sadly, I am afraid, many parents accept the moat that teenagers tend to build around themselves. They adjust to the lack of time and relationship with their teen who, only a few short years ago, wanted to tag along with them everywhere they went. They quit talking when their teenager quits talking. So, at the point where significant things happen, which the teenager was never meant to deal with alone, Mom and Dad are nowhere to be found.

I know that the Bible commands me as a mother to teach and instruct our daughters in the ways of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:8).   The Lord wants us involved with our kids and that process definitely requires a relationship.  For me to have any kind of influence over my daughters it requires me to be close to them, be actively consistent and involved in their worlds even if they act like they don’t want it.  What I should have done was been more involved and more intentional about creating that relationship with my girls whether they wanted it or resisted it.   Thankfully the Lord forgave me for my mistakes and my girls did too.  There have been some very rough years which I take the blame for but thankfully the Lord heals and restores and that’s what He did with me and my girls.  Are things perfect today?  No but they are getting better with each passing day.  

If you and your daughter/daughters are having a rocky time or you fear you are on the road to that go to the Lord in prayer.  The Lord wants to hear our prayers concerning everything but especially our prayers for our children.    Author J.C. Ryle encourages parents with this quote, "The Lord is far more willing to hear than we to pray; far more ready to give blessings than we to ask them — but He loves to be entreated for them. . . . I suspect the child of many prayers is seldom cast away.”   . So never forget that prayer is the key to accessing our daughters heart so with faith and boldness we can ask Him to restore or strengthen our mother-daughter relationships. 

Building a close mother/daughter relationship can take time especially if there has been hurt and mistrust but don’t let that stop you from building and developing a friendship with your daughter/daughters again.  Keep the Lord in the center of it all and He will be there to see you through it all!  How do I know . . .. because He did it for me and my girls.  

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Being Still In A World Of Chaos

 “There is a silence and stillness that should overtake us in the presence of someone that is so overwhelmingly holy and glorious. The call to all is to be still before our holy, awesome, and glorious God.”  John Casteel

This is the final post of my 3 part series on #EmilysPinkPosts where I have been sharing Bible verses that have brought encouragement and helped me through the last month.  Over the last two weeks we have looked at Psalm 56:3 and Psalm 41:1.  Today we will look at the third verse which is, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10a. 

In a world where chaos runs rampant how do we find peace?  In a world where life brings turmoil in relationships, family and friend how can we fix thing?   In a world where where there are always trials, tribulations and hardships .. . .what can we do to stop the noise, anxiety, fear, stress, worry and tension?    One thing we can do is to  . . . . .  Be still!  Here in this verse the word still comes from a Hebrew word meaning to “let go” or “release.”  We have to be willing to let go of those things that are causing the stress and worry and surrender everything over to God.  

Just when we think we can’t take it anymore and we are about to buckle under the weight of it all God reminds us to “Be still”.   But honestly have you ever thought about just how hard it is to be still and let go and let God?   When we are in the that mode we hardly ever take time to be still.  We toss and turn at night.  Our nerves are shot from the worrying.  We constantly have noise filling our ears with even more chaos.  So how are we to Be still in the storm?  I’m going to share with you some practical ways I have found that help me bring myself back to center and to calm my emotions.

1.  Get outdoors - When I am outdoors all I have to do is look around and see God everywhere.  He is in the colors of creation  - the sky, grass, flowers, trees, clouds, sunsets and sunrises.  Have you ever really looked at the colors of flowers or even vegetables growing in your garden?  Have you ever seen a caterpillar and thought about the transformation it goes through to becoming a beautiful butterfly?   Even going on a walk and breathing in the fresh air and knowing that He has supplied the the oxygen we need to survive on this earth.  This is so much outdoors that help us to remember to Be Still. 

2.  Play praise and worship music - One thing I love about Christian worship music is that the lyrics help to take my eyes off my circumstance and place it on the the Lord instead.  It reminds me of my need for His help and to look to Him!  It reminds me of His faithfulness and His promises.  It reminds me that He fights my battles because He cares and love me.  It helps me to stop with all the negative thinking and fill it with positive thoughts and ways of God.

3.  Stop all the noise - This means putting down my phone, shutting down my computer and turning the TV off.   Its in the quiet where we can truly quiet our soul and we can remember all that God has personally done for us and His faithfulness towards us. 

4.  Pray - When we turn off all the distractions it is then we can turn our thoughts toward God in prayer.  What is prayer?  Praying is communicating or talking to God.  It doesnt have to be a formal conversation.  I talk to Him like I am talking to my best friend.   Praying is a way for us to be honest with our feelings where we can confess our fears and failures and then cry out to Him to move. . As we take the time to pray it is in those moments where we remember what is true and beautiful.  

5.  Read the Bible - The Word of God is living, powerful and active!  It is in the Word where He can speak to you, give your guidance and help to take your eyes off your problem and on to Him.  

We are living in crazy times where chaos and uncertainty is pressing in around us but we have to remember who is the One who can bring peace.  Also, remember being still is doesn’t mean doing nothing.  Regardless of our circumstances that are all around us, we can still our hearts with worship, praying, remembering in the quiet , and reading His truths.  Remember . . .be still and know that He is God and you will soon feel all the heaviness leave.