Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Their Prayers Made Me Weep Today

It may not be so for you, but for me it's just downright hard being a mom some days!

When I was a girl my mother used to talk about how stressed she was when her house was a mess, and I never understood it. There were times that I'd long for her to sit down and play with me and she'd tell me that she would as soon as, as, as....

Yet, after clothes were washed and dishes scrubbed, she'd make time to sit and play a game with me, or she'd include me in baking with her.

I now know what a labor of love that was because I understand that she likely had 15 things she put on hold at those times,  just so that she could pour into me.

Now that I'm a mother, I understand that stress that comes when my house is a wreck. Unfortunately, keeping my home like I'd like it to be has been a struggle this past several months, as I've been in a tough MS season.

This week I'm finally feeling better, and so I'm on a tear to get my house in order. Yet today, the reality of just how much needs to be done really set in for me.

And I started to get stressed...

As I sat down to eat breakfast with the children I was all bent out of shape. Things weren't off to the start that I had planned in my head, and I saw before me a day full of struggles. 

So before we ate I said,
"Today I want our prayer time to be different. I want us to go around the table and each thank the Lord for something that He has done for us. I want us to die to ourselves in prayer to Him, and then I want us to pray for someone else."

It seemed a simple enough foray into new prayer territory, albeit a tall order in respect to the request to die to self.
I wasn't expecting much, I only wanted them to stretch. My aim was for us to take "saying grace" seriously.

The words that dripped so easily from their lips made the walls of stress in my heart, and the unrealistic schedule in my head crumble like stones made of graham crackers.

Caedmon started us off and it went something like this...

"Lord, thank you that Mom is feeling better. 
Thank you for our family, and for the way that we all love each other so much. 
Thank you for YOUR love for us!
Dear God, would you please bring "K..." to you? Would you please save him, Lord? He needs to know how much you love him!
And Father, would you please grow "A" and "T" in their walks with you? Help their faith really grow strong."

"K" is a boy that we knew when we lived in Arizona. He was such a tough kid for Caedmon. Truth be known, he was a tough kid for me too.

But my sweet son has never quit praying for him. Caedmon thinks of him often, and it's almost always in regard to his salvation.

"A" and "T" are some young men that Caedmon felt led to share the plan of salvation with. He says that they both prayed to receive Jesus with him, and he is invested from his heart in seeing them grow strong in their faith.

Amazing. He's 11.

My tears began during his tender prayer. I'm not kidding when I tell you that when I sat down to eat with them,  I was all up in a fit about things that were important to me.

God spoke through my kiddos to show me that what's important to HIM is truly at work in them, and that I was the one that needed to die to myself so that the day could go the way HE had planned for it to!

Next it was Brennan's turn to pray. She is often a reluctant pray-er, and so I expected it to be short and sweet.

I was so wrong!

She opened her mouth, and out poured the most humble words to her King.

"Dear God, would you please bring "S" to know you? I really don't want to get to heaven and him not be there. 
He's really special to me Lord, and I love him a so much. 
Please surround him with Christians who really love you and can show him about you. 
Reach out to his family too, Lord. Show them how much you love them, and that you're really real.

Thank you for our tree house, and for our dogs, and for each other. 
Thank you for my Daddy and Mommy, and my brother. 
I love them so much!"

Yeah, she's 9.

Until today, I had no idea that her heart was so burdened for "S" and his family. 

Mind blowing what our kids will share with us when we give them the time and focus to do so.

It's that time of year again. Homeschooling is kicking off, and all the wonderful moms around me are talking about their curriculum plans and schedules and classes they're taking their kids to, and, and, and....

And it all sound so great to me, and my flesh wants to be just like them. I want my kiddos to know all of the things that theirs do.

And so I get myself all up in a dither thinking I'm failing my kids because they aren't fluent in Spanish, or they can't recite all the states in alphabetical order, or neither one of them can play the violin, or, or, or...

BUT two favorite words found in Scripture.

BUT GOD showed me today that my children are learning. They aren't involved in a program to teach them about God, they are rooted in His Word.

He, by His Spirit, is developing in them a love for the lost.

He, by His Spirit, is teaching them His precepts as we spend dedicated and focused time in the Scriptures.

And by having a Mommy with Multiple Sclerosis, they are learning compassion, and responsibility, and how to help out around the house, and dare I say it...reality.

When I look around me, to the left and to the right, I see all the things that I'm not able to do for my kids. But when I look only to the Lord, He shows me that what they are learning is of eternal value, and that in my weakness He is proving Himself to be my strength!

It's easy to forget that the only thing that will remain in my children when they go before the Bema seat of Christ (1), will be what they have done by the power of His Spirit.

All else will burn like chaff.

So unless there is a way that their knowing the states in alphabetical order is going to serve them in their lives in the long run, as a tool for living out the Gospel to a lost world, I think I'll capitalize on developing their skills of memorization by using the Word of God instead.

Yes, they'll learn what's required of them by the state, because that's my responsibility before God.

But I think that after today I'm going to ask Jesus to help me stress less over the little things and focus more on seeing His Spirit already at work in their precious hearts.

He designed good works for them to walk in before the foundation of the Earth. That's what Ephesians tells me. (2)

The way I see it, I need to be diligently seeking God's face to know how to point each of them to the life's work that their Father has preordained for them. 

Today put tomorrow into perspective for me.

"Thank You, Lord."

Much love to you today,


2 Corinthians 5:9  Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for [fn4]his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


Ephesians 2:10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life Lessons from Legos

Caedmon with his homemade "Transformer."

A few days ago a friend of mine graced me with a ton of homeschooling material that she was no longer using. She invited me to come to her home and dig through all of it, and take whatever I pleased.

In the mix of wonderful books and science experiment materials, was a bag of Legos.

I was pretty excited to have found this bag, because Caedmon LOVES building with them. He will request specific sets for his birthday or Christmas and will build the entire thing within hours. He enjoys that part well enough, but his favorite part is creating his own designs with them.

He will spend hours designing aircraft carriers, or WW2 bi-planes, or houses. The list really goes on and on.

His grasp on the abilities that these little pieces of plastic have is absolutely unbelievable to me!

Once a project has been completed, he wants me to sit down so that he can show me each and every minute detail of what it does. We review colors and why they were chosen, which men do what job, what secret compartments are present and how those areas transform to look like simple sections of the overall design...all in an attempt to fool the poor Lego man who will inevitably end up in that secret jail or dungeon.

I have had to train myself to listen to all of the details, because it can take a looooong time for him to explain each part. 

For me it's easy to say, "Wow Caedmon, that's a really cool boat," all the while missing the hidden mystery that he has so carefully placed within each design.

So when I came home from my friend's house with a bag of Lego's, I knew that he'd be beside himself with excitement.

And I was right. 

Score one for Mom!

He said, "Man Mom, these are great! I've never seen this set before. These are going to be cool!"

The Legos were in ziploc baggies, separated out in some methodical way unknown to me. There were no directions, no box to explain what the set was.

Caedmon took a few of the pieces out of the bags and handled them. He looked intently at them, fingering each of the smaller more delicate pieces in an attempt to figure out what they were supposed to form as a whole.

He said a few times, "I've never seen Lego pieces like this before, Mom. These must be really from when Dad was a kid!

Ahem. "Little brat!"...thought I, his doting mother.  OK, not really. 

Just a few seconds later I heard him say, "MOM! These aren't Legos. They're Megablocks. They look like Legos, and they are compatible with them, but they aren't Legos. That's why I didn't recognize any of the pieces."

And I couldn't help myself. I had to grab the moment because it was just so teachable. 
So applicable to life!

It was the perfect time to explain to the kids why we study the Word of God inductively.

I want my children to handle the Word like Caedmon handles Legos.

I want them to know it so well that when the counterfeit comes at them, looking good and talking a good talk, they'll be able to say, "That may look like Christianity. It may seem like Bible teaching, but when we get up close to it we see that it's not the real deal because it's not founded in a precept upon precept, contextual understanding of God's Word."

Caedmon knew those blocks weren't Legos, because he has spent countless hours of his life with the real deal.

Oh that we'll all be able to say the same thing about the handling of God's Word!

Are we in it enough to detect false teaching when it comes at us? 
Do we depend on others to tell us what it means, or do we open it and spend time in it asking the Spirit of God to teach take us deep into the mysteries of His Word?

Good life lessons from Legos, aren't they?

With love to you tonight,