Monday, March 28, 2016

When You Know They Know - Angie Tingle

Our children return from college for their spring break.  They enter home to sleep, be fed, and be heard.  
                        Father, that is home . . . entering into Your place of peace to rest,
                        be fed, and be heard.  

Our daughter shared a written moment, a tender moment of Truth bubbling out of her that she had journaled.  And it let our hearts know that she knows.  She knows where guidance can be found.  And she wrote:

I flopped onto the bed with a sigh.

At last I had been given some free time for a few hours from the babysitting. I had been up the night before with Joseph, who had a horrible cough, and we were both exhausted, but that little two-year-old has two naps a day and if I am lucky I get a quick power nap between caring for his other siblings. 

I lay there trying with all my might to fall asleep, but two things were stopping me: the incessant crying and whining that was going on upstairs and the Still-Small-Voice in my head telling me to go the extra mile.

I curled tighter, determined to make-up the hours of lost sleep. 

Choose this day whom you serve, daughter.
The battle inside my mind began in earnest. Lord, she told me I could rest. I don't need to go up there right now.

Who is giving her a chance to rest? She was up last night, too.
But she is the mom. She is used to being this tired all the time and I was up more than she was. 

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself. 
I sat up grumpily. Fine, Lord. I'm going. 

Do all things without grumbling...
Isn't it enough that I going up there to help her? Why do you care if I'm cheerful about it or not? 

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
God, I'm too tired to be thankful and cheerful. Can you hear the kids up there? At least two of them are crying the other one is whining. God, I can't do it! I'm worn out and emotionally empty.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.
I walked up stairs and into the chaos of life holding tightly to His Word. I knew that if I let go of Him, I would fall.   And my God held onto me.

After reading the journal entry, I closed the book and smiled.  And I prayed:
                        Father, at the end of the day when all is said and done, I just
                        want to know that our children have the tools to live this life
                        for You. That they have You . . .

                        . . . or maybe it is knowing that You have them first . . .
                        in the palm of Your hand.  

                        You have let me know that she knows!  Thank You

May you know Jesus Christ is the One who hears your prayers.  And in that place of quiet with Him, may you find rest and sustenance and a listening ear.  It is home.

Love always,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Dating Game - Lisa Clark

If your children aren’t of dating age yet, they will be soon.  Do you have a plan? I guess that’s the main takeaway here.  When it’s time for your children to start the process of dating, whatever that looks like in your home, do you have a plan?

Brad and I discussed our dating game plan early on.  16.  At the age of 16, our girls would be allowed to “car date.”  Until then, they could do the “group dating” thing, go to dances, hangout.  But never alone.  Always supervised.  When they turned 16, one was ready, and one was not. 

Our children need to NOT feel pressure from us to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.  I’ve noticed through the years that moms, in particular, REALLY want their daughters to be loved by boys.  Moms, please don’t put this pressure on your girls.  Some girls are ready (in their mind) to date a boy in middle school.  That’s a problem.  A middle school child isn’t capable of these types of relationships for many reasons.  Mostly because it ostracizes him/her from the other kids.  16 isn’t a magic number.  It was the number we chose in our family.  You might decide a number isn’t good for you and you want to make a decision according to the situation, person, your child, etc.  That’s fine, too! The point is…Have a plan. 

We decided we wanted our girls to experience dating situations while they were still under our roof.  This allowed Brad to meet the boy, visit with him, get to know him, and make sure he understood the expectations.  Curfews were VERY important to Brad.  It wasn’t so much the time on the clock, but the matter of respect.  If you were smart and respected him, you came home 10 minutes prior to your curfew.  Curfew was hard on one of our girls.  She shall remain nameless. 

Takeaways from The Dating Game:

1)     Have a plan.
2)     Don’t pressure your son or daughter into dating.  They will know when they are ready!
3)     Communicate before, during and after the date. 

4)     Do what is right for your family.  All families do this differently.  That’s okay! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God is Just

Family Fun Icebreaker: Where is your favorite peaceful place to sit and think?

Question: What is God’s Character?

Today’s Big Idea: God is Just
The justice of God is another characteristic that defines Him. Justice, in these passages, means God’s fair judgment. God is a just judge. He decides between right and wrong, and His choice is always right. God directs you between right and wrong. He knows it can be hard for you to see the right decision sometimes, so He helps you by providing His Word to give you guidance. Since God is a just judge, He must judge sin; sin is anything that opposes God’s moral law. Scripture explains that all who sin against God pay a penalty for their sin. The penalty is death or separation from God (Romans 6:23). God shares that He set up His law to define sin for you, helping you to see your need for Him. He knows you lack the ability to keep His laws on your own, and He gives you the tools to keep His laws through His Word.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.
He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! Deuteronomy 32:4 NLT
He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way. Psalm 25:9 NASB
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving kindness of the LORD. Psalm 33:5 NASB

Walk with God:
 Read aloud and discuss.
God is a just judge of sin. He wants you to recognize sin in your life. Comparing yourself to someone else who can do everything perfectly causes you to notice all of your imperfections. God hopes that you see your need for help when you look at Him. As you realize the high standard that He sets for you is very difficult to attain on your own, He desires for you to turn to Him for guidance. He wants you to see that you need Him to help you.

Discuss with your family: How well do you think that you judge the sin in your own life? What do you think you can improve?

Prayer suggestion:
 Pray for God to help you see His just judgments for the things you question.

I will be praying for you!