Unstoppable

Unstoppable

All of us have been through those middle school years. For some the transition may have been smooth. Then there was the other half, whose transition came with many obstacles. Either way your life was changed. You entered as a little kid out of elementary school and left as a teenager ready to meet the high school years. Not only was your body going through transformation, but so was your mind and emotions.

If you are a parent of middle school children, or should I say tweens who end up as teenagers, it can be like a riding a carnival ride. You want to have fun, but you also realize that the ride was put together in only a couple days. It can be a little unstable and perhaps a little scary.

During one of those tumultuous rides I have had the privilege of experiencing, I was having a very serious talk with the Lord. I was asking for wisdom and felt the Lord gave me three areas that I could spend time praying over.

  1. Revelation of God’s love.
  2. Loving Oneself.
  3. Understanding the power of honoring (or respecting) one’s mother and father.

That sounded simple enough. But as I was thinking about those concepts, I needed to make sure they were stable in my life. First, I needed to adjust my oxygen mask, so to speak, then through prayer I could help adjust my middle schooler’s.

REVELATION OF GOD’S LOVE-

That is simple enough. We know the Sunday School song, “Jesus Loves Me”. We’ve read the bumper stickers, “Smile God Loves You” that is inclusive of a smiley face. I know how cliché these words can sound without the leading of the Holy Spirit. I have been told that God loves me since I was a child. But it took me a LONG time to get the revelation.

In my youth I worked hard for that love so I could have a pat on the back. And as an adult I resolved to have a godly home. But it wasn’t always the case and when I would make unwise choices for my life, I would beat myself up. If I let someone down, especially my heavenly Father, I would be angry at myself.

But if I REALLY had the revelation of God’s love, it wouldn’t have been such a strenuous walk. There was a time while I was beaten down emotionally and spiritually when the Lord spoke to my spirit to trust him. My reply: but I don’t trust myself! I knew that I was imperfect and would make mistakes.

Then I heard him say, “I never told you to trust yourself, I said to trust ME.” It is hard for those of us who want to have control to let go and allow the Lord to work in our lives and in those around us. But it is necessary to allow him to display his love towards us. So, I chose to take the step to trust God’s love.

It was that same love that David experienced. Though he had made unwise choices at times, his heart was humble, and he was devoted to the Lord. God said about him, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

It was because of the revelation of God’s love that John could write, “the disciple that Jesus loved” about himself in the Gospel of John. He understood the deep love that the Lord had for him. It allowed him to stand with his Lord at the cross. It allowed him to endure suffering, as well. It also allowed him the honor to receive the visions to write the book of Revelation.

LOVE YOURSELF-

When I say to love yourself, I do not mean it to be a self-centered statement. It means to take genuine care of oneself. It’s concept: “I am worthy.” It gives a person the ability to make wise choices for themselves whether it is mentally, physically or even spiritually. It gives the individual the power to put up boundaries and surround themselves with positive input.

It loves the body you are in. It even makes it easier to consume the proper food, view clean content and make wise friendships and life influences. Believe me, this concept will keep you from much heartache.

Once you can love yourself, it will be easier to love those around you.

HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER –

Well, that is a nice statement and a great Bible verse. As parents is easy to want to share this one with our kids. But as I was meditating on it, the reality of its power became more evident.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

If you think about it, respecting authority creates peace. Respect for our elders, teachers, bosses, police officers, judges and our highest office –presidency, begins with honoring our parents. Those you see fighting police officers, destroying property in the name of protest, making rude jesters and comments towards those in authority probably never learned to respect their own parents when they were young. (Of course, perhaps no one took the time to teach them.) Regardless, honor brings peace, peace brings blessings. Blessings create the ability to enjoy your life with longevity.

Be Unstoppable-

Though there are many views and suggestions to help raise our children, tweens and teens, these three concepts are some of the tools they will need to face the giants that will try to defeat them. This isn’t just for the young. It’s for all of us.

There is transforming power in God’s love. We can only love him because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).

How can we share his love without the revelation of his love towards us? How we can love others if we do not first love ourselves.? How can we bring peace to our families and our societies if we do not first show them respect?

I pray that the youth today experience a God-encounter inclusive of the powerful revelation of HIS eternal love for them. I pray that they will take that revelation to their peers. I am believing and praying that the Holy Spirit will transform our children, tweens, teens, their parents and grandparents so that our land can rise up with the knowledge of God’s love.

Then we will be unstoppable and can spread his Gospel .

God bless

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

I have a slight change in my blog as Mother’s Day approaches.

I just want to say Happy Mother’s Day to those who are anticipating children, to those who have them at home and underfoot, to those whose children have grown up long ago and to those who have lost their children through tragedy and loss.

And Happy Mother’s Day to those that wanted children and never got the opportunity to have them on this earth. To them I ask that the Lord would reveal to them the great influence they have had in people’s lives who may not be their child but whom they’ve loved just the same.

During this time I also wanted to joyfully relive a couple “mommy moments” of my own. Of course the joy is because most of those “mommy moments” were many yesterdays ago. Just kidding. But seriously, now I get to watch my four grown children go through similar things with their own children. And I also have the opportunity to have a younger one at home to do it all over again. At home or miles away you really never stop being a parent.

My first child was born when I was 19. I look back and realize how incredibly young I was. I made a comment once that I felt like people looked at me and assumed that I was a pregnant teenager. “Well”, said a friend, “you ARE a pregnant teenager.” Hmm, I guess I was. Nineteen is that weird age when you are no longer a kid, but not considered an adult, yet old enough to die for your country.

Then when I was pregnant with my 5th child I was on the opposite side of the spectrum.  I was the older mom, the one considered “high risk”.  I recall standing in line at a check out counter when this little girl, maybe 6, looks up at me and asks me if I was a grandma. I was pregnant, but not with my grandchild. I was hoping her mom would quickly complete her transaction.

As a parent you can be guaranteed that your children will use their ability to embarrass you. Some incidences you simply want to run and hide. Others are more light-hearted, like when one of my sons convinced me that he could sit by himself in the front row of the church when he was around 9.  He leaned back in his folding chair (we didn’t have pews in that church) and fell during the service making a loud crash while also knocking over the chairs beside him. I sat quietly in my chair. The thought that rushed into my mind was, “boy I’m glad that’s not my kid“. It wasn’t intentional but I didn’t get up or even move. Some nice lady got up and helped him as I innocently sat seemingly oblivious to the incident. Oops.

As a mom, I’ve endured the sleepless nights of a newborn, of a sick child, of a loud slumber party (when no one slumbered) and waiting up for a teen not home yet from the dance.

There was never much “down time”.  I have had the opportunity to go to wrestling matches, swimming practices, baseball and soccer games, gymnastics, dance and cheer amongst other events. One summer we almost lived in the van going from practice to practice and then from one game after the other.  Of course there were concerts and the Christmas programs and birthday parties. I volunteered for EVERYTHING it seemed.

And then there were accidents. They each had their share but I was in the emergency room the most often with my second son, from getting attacked by a neighborhood dog which included many stitches, being hit in the eye with a paint ball gun (we thought he might lose his sight) to busting his arm which needed a couple of surgeries. And as they got older I got the call regarding car accidents (which fortunately was never major) and the call about a broken down vehicle when someone needed rescued.

There is emotional heartache that goes along with motherhood too. Several times the kids would come home saying someone was mean or said cruel things on the playground or someone was left out. And it was hard watching your child try so hard on the baseball team but rarely get to play. As they got older there were relationship dramas and sad breakups. I have walked with them through many disappointments. Sometimes they kept things hidden that eventually came out later in life.

One of the most difficult moments that I recall as a mother was when my six-year-old Facebook-20170509-123217was lost in the mountains of Colorado when we had gone on a family camping trip. I was horrified. It took Search and Rescue and what seemed like forever (but was only a couple of hours) for him to be found. I counted it as one of my worst days and best days.

But there were also precious fun times. The most memorable times were those that were the least expensive, like when the kids would gather around me in the evening as I read to them and more recently listening to my youngest talk about her plans for her future. Then there were road trips, hiking adventures, watching movies together or just talking around the fire on a cool night.

I cannot count the hours I have spent praying for my kids. I would go into their bedrooms and cry out to God regarding a trial they were facing or simply pray for their futures. It broke my heart when my oldest left the house so quickly. It was hard to take when I waved goodbye to my second born as he left to Afghanistan, promising he’d return. It was heart wrenching to watch my daughter choose to join the Army and be stationed so far away. It seemed unfair to say goodbye to my youngest son as he hurriedly left the state as soon as he graduated.

Where did those moments disappear? That is what being a mother is all about. Loving your children through so much from the moment they are conceived until, well, forever.  It’s about cherishing the moments we have together and then having the wisdom to know when to let go.

Fortunately for me I have the opportunity to have a younger one at home so I can enjoy the laughter and the heartaches all over again. And fortunately for me I have grown children that are a joy to visit and a joy to watch as they parent their own children.

Whatever part of this life you find yourself in today…Happy Mother’s Day.

“May your children rise up and call you blessed.” Proverbs 31:28

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PS: Happy Mother’s Day to my mother who taught me how to be a mom and is still teaching me the wonderful qualities of motherhood.