Friday, January 22, 2016

Using God's Word to correct and train....part 2

I started this series yesterday and will continue for a few more days.  Read the introduction for some background on why I felt called to share this.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Face it: as mothers, and simply as parents, we are exhausted.  Beyond what we can sometimes think we can handle.  But it isn’t necessarily because we haven’t gotten enough sleep over the years because we’ve had several opportunities to catch up.   But we are exhausted because we are adulting and parenting.  Every. Moment. Of. The. Day.  When we were expecting our children, folks never hesitated to warn us that we would be tired because the infant babe would keep us up at all hours of the night, but no one warned me of the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and relational exhaustion I would face head to head with that necessary responsibility of rearing the best capable “next generation” that would come from my family once they became toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children.  Thanks for the heads up, friends. 
My “babies” were so sweet and innocent, and for some time they were easy to instruct and reprimand with simple bad action/simple consequence measures.  But about the time my oldest daughter turned 3.5 years and my youngest was on the verge of 2, the world completely morphed.  Attitudes were raging and sin was coming to life in their little bodies more than I had ever seen before.  This, in turn, brought my sin out more than I’d like to admit.  I tried to treat our days with popsicle, fun stickers, early bedtime, extra coffee, more time on the “pink rug” (our special time out spot) but NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING was working (and I just kept adding more coffee to the mix anyway…).
I was now entering the trenches of motherhood, which I quickly learned wasn’t a term I coined on my own.  I had several companions in the same season, and several who had gone before me (and made it out alive!), but folks no one ever warned me of this!!!!! After I got over the anger and rage, and forgiving their mistakes, I moved back to our own trench and sat.  I sat helpless for some time.  Some days we didn’t function.  Some days we were a hot mess.  And then, as the Lord always shows himself through reading in Scripture, I was moving through and uncovering the life and story of God’s people in the Old Testament, in the book of Deuteronomy. 

By this point, the Israelites have seen their share of the trenches.   They have been held captive by mean and demanding Egyptians, seen the power of God displayed through the plagues over the land, and journeyed far without what they thought they needed most.  And they whined, oh how they whined! For some reason they kept forgetting who was really in charge and all of their provisions were being met.  So here they are, Moses, their leader, reminds them of the commandments that God has given them as they continue to move forward into the promised land.  And then, Moses, through the inspiration of God, throws them the best instruction they could ever receive.  It was like the closing statement to their pep talk at the end of a huddle.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 as written above.  LOVE God with ALL YOUR MIGHT.  But not only that, TEACH these things to your children.

Perhaps that’s when the light bulb went off, the glass shattered that the Holy Spirit began to really change my heart.  In the trenches of motherhood, I was allowing all of our sin to work against us each and every day to indirectly weaken my might.  I had become complacent in my quiet times with the Lord because I was feeling so defeated, but friends – that’s exactly when I needed to be strengthened the most! Since I was spending less and less time reading His Word, I wasn’t bearing much fruit for my children to see.  So there, in reading these verses, there was great encouragement to take on a whole new perspective in parenting all together and start looking at those trenches in a completely different way.  Just as the Israelites were to heed these instructions so long ago, they can be so important for us to reap encouragement today.

Are you in the trench today? Maybe the stormy, snowy, cabin fever type of day got the best of you and your children?? Please don't be discouraged....there is great instruction found in God's word alone that helps guide all of us along the way!


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