Thursday, January 31, 2013

Patience


Boy do I wish I could go to the store and buy this virtue.  I'd stock up!  Parenting without patience is like children without sleep....a complete disaster.
 
On the way to the boys soccer classes last night we got stuck in traffic.  They asked, "Are we going to be late?"  With a frustrated sigh I said, "Yep!"  I then proceeded to watch car after car cut in front of the LONG line of cars at the front of the traffic-packed exit ramp.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  The drivers who aren't patient enough to wait in line like everyone else so they speed up to the front of the line and then dart in when they find a small opening.  It seemed like a good opportunity for me to explain the importance of patience to the boys...AND MYSELF. 

Me:  "Is it nice for those drivers to cut in front of us?"
Boys:  "No."
Me:  "Is it fair?"
Boys:  "No"
Me:  "What should we do?"
Grayden:  "We should love them mom.  When Jesus was on the cross and the people were mean to him, that wasn't fair.  But He still loved them."
*Silence*
Me:  "Exactly.  We have to learn to be patient with others, even when they aren't kind or when they do things that aren't fair.  Instead of getting upset, we choose to love them."

Now listen friends...Most conversations about virtue or God don't go so well in our household.  Usually, my "spiritual teaching" is interrupted by "poopy" talk or some random fact they feel they need to tell me that has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.  Clearly, God orchestrated this one.
 
Let's pray for patience for our children today!   Patience, like that of Jesus, gives us the power to choose to love others even when they don't deserve it.  It protects us from trouble.  It keeps our hearts from anger and bitterness.

Lord, help my children to be patient with everyone.  Show them that kindness is better than paying back wrong for a wrong (1).  May they understand that a patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly (2).
 

(1) 1 Thessalonians 5:14b-15
(2) Proverbs 14:29 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God Moments


I went for a run late last night in this crazy warm weather. I had my earphones in listening to Renee's music, no kid songs or sports radio. About five minutes into my run a thought crossed my mind..."Pray for your kids." I resisted for another minute before the thought came back even stronger..."Pray for your kids NOW." Reluctantly, I turned off my music, pulled out my earphones, stuck them in my pocket, and said, "Okay God. Here I am."

Earlier that day, the kids and I met Keith for lunch at a little deli shop. As we were eating, I looked over at 3 men waiting for their To-Go food. All three were peering almost zombie-like into their smartphones. I watched them for nearly five minutes. Only once did I see one of the men look up from their phones, and only to then quickly return to it after a few seconds. I don't presume to judge these men. I recently upgraded from a good old fashioned flip phone to a smartphone, or what I like to call my "fancy phone." After only one month, I have to deliberately tell myself to put "fancy" away else I would busy myself with it any spare moment I get.

The point of all this is simply...SO VERY MUCH IN THIS WORLD IS VYING FOR OUR ATTENTION. Whether it is music, fancy phones, career, entertainment, food, exercise, sports, money, relationships, hobbies, or beauty.

How often do we turn it all off and say, "Okay God. Here I am."

I fear that my children will become so enslaved to this world and all its attention grabbing "Turkish Delights" that there will be no room for the "Here I am, God" moments.

My prayer is this:

Lord, allow my children to understand that the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Grant them the strength to set their minds on things above, and not on earthly things. Teach them to treasure time with you above all things. May they choose to seek first Your Kingdom above all the distractions in this world vying for their attention."

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2

"The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 Jn 2:17

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." Matthew 6:33a

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Compassion




When our sons are the cause of each other's hurt they show very little compassion.  This lack of compassion is usually rooted in one of the following selfish excuses:  embarassment, fear of getting into trouble, or blatant denial.  Their apologies are empty of concern and spoken only to save their own "hiney"
 
 
Jesus' time here on earth was driven by compassion.  Though He was NEVER the cause, He could not bear to see His people hurting.
[Matthew 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 15:20]
 
 
 
Today, my prayer focus is that my sons would have genuine, heartfelt compassion toward each other's hurt. 
 
Will you join me and pray this for your children as well? 


"(1) Jesus, help my sons to be driven by compassion as you are.  Toward each other, help them to be compassionate and gracious, slow to become angry, and abounding in love.  (2) Teach them to live in harmony with one another, to be sympathetic to one another, to love their brother with compassion and humility."

(1)Psalm 103:8
(2) 1 Peter 3:8


 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bedtime Blessing

Most nights growing up my dad would tuck me into bed and pray this blessing over me.  I felt so very loved listening to him ask God to "keep me" and to "turn his face toward me." 
 
Will you join me and pray this over YOUR children as you tuck them in tonight?

 

Numbers 6:24-26
 
"May the Lord bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."