Oct 212016
 

My daughter was dealing in what I like to call “extremes” this week.  Grade school pictures.  Happened.  And even though I tried to reassure her of the positives, her phrase to sum it all up to her Dad when first walking through the door was, “I got my school picture and it is %100 bad.”  And the bad does not stop here people.  This week just keeps comin’ at ya.

Emotions.  Oh to know and understand them.  This is the real chore.  With 3 girls under 7 in tow and home.  The 2nd “extreme”  came out while consecutively keeping a hula hooping session underway (she has watched her mother multitask and fail miserably, so I am sure her subconscious competitive spirit was in full swing).  “I came with my best friend to play the game with everyone, but when the circle came to my turn, they skipped me.  And my best friend didn’t even stand up for me.  And so I said, ‘Well, I guess you just don’t like me and don’t want to ever play with me.  You are not my friend anymore.’ ”  (Of course this is the reader’s digest version for you all.  I would be happy to expand the what was a 30 minute conversation of wading through tears and story plot if you email me.  And don’t have a life.)

The words of making up possible reasons or excuses for the others wasn’t a good idea.  The mama “Jesus teaches us…” only made the hula hooping the main event.  And the mama empathy seemed to move the slow faucet drips to a constant waterfall of tears.  So I was at a loss.  Once again.  In mothering.

But I couldn’t help but think to myself- “Man, she is definitely making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ (don’t you love the intense analogy I used here).  If only she could see herself through the eyes of Jesus and me, to stand on truth here instead of focusing on the wounds of other’s.  Then her “NOT’s” mindest and heart could be propelled into the present and future as an opportunity to empathize with other’s in their times of woundedness and exclusion and find strength and unfailing love in the arms of Jesus.  He is the ONLY one.  ONLY Savior.  ONLY friend.  Who will never let her and us down.

As I looked on my daughter with self pity, the pride came before a fall as I found myself living in dual mindsets as her this week.  “A little birdie told me” of a conversation which happened among some of my dearest friend’s.  In which I wasn’t there.  But even though I had recently layed my heart and soul before them, without knowing it they crushed it.  Because when looking for someone to fulfill a specific role in ministry, my name wasn’t considered.  It was NOT a factor.  I was NOT considered.  Picked.  And at this point, I also, like my daughter, when to the “extremes” or the I’m “%100 bad” mindset.  I won’t deny it.  I was wounded.  And this is where Satan earns his paycheck.  I went to the dark place.  I didn’t believe God would ever use me, because He must think like everyone else and consider everyone else but me.  Because I am NOT.

Memories of 7th grade NOT being picked for the basketball team came to mind.  Of being the 8th bride in the “7 brides for 7 brother’s” Musicale (if you didn’t catch the gist there, I was NOT in the show due to their only being 7 brides and not 8.  Sorry if I just insulted your intelligence by explaining this joke, my husband tells me I am real good at doing this.)  And so.  the NOTs kept.  On.  Coming.  But I remembered what to do when “100% bad” hits.

Go.  To.  my heavenly Father.  And be.  In His lifegiving company.  And Sit.  Asking His Word to speak to me.  (Getting His download of me instead of others’.  And at this point I KNEW Satan was real upset.  So good!)  And let me tell you-I came out fully loved.  fully valued.  fully gifted.  fully rebuilt.  fully strengthed.  fully geared up to be sent out to serve.

I wonder if you are in a “%100 bad” mindset/circumstance today.  Well guess what?  When in the dark pit, there is one best thing to do.  Look up.  To Jesus.  And allow His light to shine on in.  Or maybe, like my daughter’s hula hoop, you are in a round and round and round cycle of negative/untrue/”hula hoop lies” thinking towards yourself and/or someone else and don’t know how to stop?  Will you ask God to enter into this place and guide you into all Truth?

And so I pray for you today, my sister, the same prayer I prayed for myself.  “Lord come and speak and help and renew.”  The outcome being the 100% bad mindset of “NOTs” (that other’s, ourselves and the enemy infiltrates our minds with) strangely amounting to NOTHING.  And we find ourselves humming the true song of the love, hope and purpose in the mighty name of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (The Message)  Strength from Weakness

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 102013
 

When I’m sweaty and tired on a run, or neck deep in dishes at the end of a long day, or listening to fighting children, or feeling lonely, I hear a Voice say, “It’s okay that you’re messy and tired. I don’t want you to get it together or go faster or do it better. I want your faith. “

I think our kids would say the very same thing to us. More than anything else, I’m convinced what they need most from us is faith.

This morning before school, Michael was disrespectful and I was frustrated. Despite my best attempts and many strategies, the altercation ended with him getting out of the car at school in a tearful huff and slamming the door in a fury.

Hebrews says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And Romans says, “Hope that is seen is really no hope

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That’s tough! The seen and the unseen duke it out on the turf of our minds and hearts. I want to see humility and respect in my kid. I want a son who can communicate, who isn’t locked up or shut down. When Michael and I are in the thick of it, much of how I respond

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comes from a place of fear that he won’t end up with these qualities. It is easy to be driven by fear, as I grow anxious and impatient with what I see; I become desperate, impulsive, and pushy.

A friend I look to for her parenting acumen says, “Parent the child you want.” Interact with them as though they already have the qualities you so long to see in them. What would it look like for me to take on that hopeful, expectant posture with Michael? To believe I already have that emotionally intelligent son, and speak with

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him from that place of great peace and confidence?

In the catechesis, we gather after Easter and light the paschal candle as we read about Jesus, the light, coming into the world. We read about his death and snuff the candle. Then, as we meditate on the resurrection, we re-light the candle.

We wonder with the children about this new and powerful light that will never go out—the light that is stronger than death, stronger than evil, stronger than sin, stronger than darkness. And like the tongues of fire on each head at Pentecost, Jesus shares this light with us.

In this liturgy of light each child lights a personal candle from the Paschal candle as we say together, “Michael, the light of the risen Christ is for you…” “Heidi, the light of the risen Christ is for you…”

 

As you interact with your kids, how do you have faith in the light that is stronger than the darkness (in them and in you!)?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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