Strong Women

Where I share what I'm learning from God's Word and how I'm growing in Biblical Womanhood

This Parenting Gig February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 10:21 am
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I’ve struggled with this whole parenting gig lately. I’m utterly crazy about my kiddos. Seriously, I don’t think I had any idea that I had this much love in my heart before having kids. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. There is just something so incredible about having little combined versions of yourself and your best friend to take care of. You can look at them and just see pieces of yourself and this man that you’re madly in love with. God had a neat plan with people having kids. What’s frustrating though is when your kids start sinning. Am I right?

I knew that I’d have sinful children, but really, I don’t think I ever imagined that it would look like this, or that it would evoke in me the kind of emotions that I feel about it all! This is rough stuff friends! So I’m working through a few things:

1) I am reminding myself that this little person is a person that God has purposefully placed in our family. He is perfectly suited to us as parents and that even in the times when I feel really incompetent to handle what the little guy (or girl) is throwing at me, I am competent in Christ. He has given him the perfect parents for HIM and he has given us the perfect children for US. He is growing all of us in His perfect way though these relationships and the struggles that come with them. And the end result for all of us who trust in Christ will be looking like Christ. It will be beautiful!

 

Little man driving his Jeep.IMG_6325Sweet Toddlers! IMG_6405IMG_6410

2) I always knew that I was going to have kind of a rough time in these early years. Babies and toddlers are most certainly not my forte! I can’t even tell you the feeling of freedom I felt when I stopped working in the nursery a few months ago, or the feelings of fear that grip my heart when I think about helping my husband teach our new 3-5 year old class at church. I told him he’s going to have to do a lot of the teaching! But while kids this age range might not be my strength as far as communicating goes, I am still MY kids’ mom and I can’t skip over these very, very important years. For one, I don’t want to miss it! There are so many moments of pure joy watching them grow and learn and say the most adorable things. So even in the ugly times of fits and tears and flat out defiance, I have to consistently discipline them in love, showing them Christ and the gospel.

3) And I pray. Pray, pray, pray. I pray for myself-that I would be wise in my choice of words and actions. That I would not be controlled by my own emotions in times of disobedience. That I would be more concerned about the hearts of my children than the image I’m projecting to those around me of myself. Oh, so many things to pray for. I also pray for my kids’ salvation. I have to recognize that they have unregenerate hearts at this point in their life. They are depraved. And they don’t have the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts like a believer does. And it’s my job to share the gospel with them.

4) So I try to turn times of disobedience into Gospel moments in their lives. It’s hard, at some level impossible, for them to fight sin. My children aren’t Christians. They don’t have the Holy Spirit. Not that they can’t choose right. But it is hard. And it’s ok to tell them that. The book Give them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick talks about this extensively and gives some great examples of conversations to have with your kids (although some of them are pretty long). Here’s what some of mine have sounded like. ‘L, I know that it’s really hard to do what’s right. The incredible thing though, is that Jesus came to die for your sins. He lived a perfect life and then died to become the perfect sacrifice for the sin that you just committed in your heart and in your actions. He died so that you can be forgiven! Isn’t that incredible. We have a loving God who wholeheartedly extends grace to us in our darkest moments. He loves us more than we can ever imagine.’ It’s not perfect, but slowly, I think he’s starting to understand. Before I read that book I thought it was going to be about giving your kids a break (like don’t hold them to too high of a standard, don’t discipline them when they sin…. give them grace.) Thankfully I read the book and got the concept right…. give them grace–give them the gospel of grace. Give them the gospel. It’s really the most important thing I can do as a parent. So my husband and I try to turn these moments into moments when we can tell them about Jesus. As my son has gotten older, this has gotten easier and more fun.

So…. while I’m struggling, I’m not despairing. I’m working through this time, knowing that it’s a season. Parenting is not easy. No one has ever claimed it to be. And it is lots and lots of fun. But in those rough moments, the ones where I kind of want to hide in my closet, I take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and dive in. Because my kiddos need me to be their mom, to shower them with love, and to teach them the gospel… and I’m happy to do so!

 

 

 

Quotable Wednesday – May 16, 2012 May 16, 2012

Filed under: Quotable Wednesday,Uncategorized — caperry5 @ 4:33 pm
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I’m going to start a new little Strong Women Study tradition…. Wednesdays will be quote day! I’ll share things that have stuck out to me from my reading from the previous week. Enjoy!

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 4):

If you’re going to receive reproof, correction and instruction from your husband, you must be humble. If your heart is proud and you think “more highly” of yourelf than you “ought to think” (Romans 12:3), you will resist reproof from your husband. Why should you receive correction if you’re already fairly perfect? [Emphasis mine]

 Does that make anyone else say ‘ouch!’?

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 5):

In case you’re wondering if your husband is your neighbor, think about this: who is closer to you than your husband, your closest “neighbor”? In the parallel passage in Matthew 22 Jesus says, “the second [command] is like [the first]” (Matthew 22:39). Meaning, the command to love your husband is a corresponding command to loving God. You are to love your husband with your whole heart (emotionally and passionately), soul (the very core of who you are), mind (every thought), and strength (every action). You are commanded to be “all in.”

All in…. Love my husband with all my emotion and passion, at the very core of who I am, with every thought and every action. This is a big task to live up to straight from Matthew and cuts at the very core of my selfishness.

From Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey (pg. 67):

Before this section he had done a brief walking through of Ephesians (which we’ve been going through at church) and he got right to the beginning of chapter 4 (which is where we were last Sunday) and he makes this comment:

If you’re anything like me, when you think about your calling as a Christian, your thoughts probably go to What am I going to do for God? Jake feels called to serve the poor; Maggie’s called to nursing; Leroy’s called to the mission field; Juanita’s called to raise her children, sometimes even her husband. We often view activity and calling as synonymous.

This is a common misunderstanding of God’s calling by the way…..

But here’s a truth we don’t always think about: God’s glorious agenda for our amtiion, like his glorious gospel, begins not with what we achieve but with who we are.

Walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called means I have a new ambition. Instead of gunning for my own glory or comfort, I’m ambitions for a changed life.

This was the main thing the Lord was opening my eyes to during last weeks’ sermon….. not necessarily new information for me, but it hit me where I am right now. God is doing a magnificent work in me…. bigger than anything I can even imagine for myself. He is changing me into the image of Christ and doing a gospel work on me from the inside, at the very core of my being.

From Rachel Chan’s song Still Singing:

I’m gonna show the world the love that you gave this little girl before that I knew that I could even talk to you and that you’d always want me to…..

I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’m grateful to be with you and I never have to worry because tomorrow brings everything you’ve planned for me

Father in heaven your Son died for me and soon I’ll be free from any danger and Jesus my savior will light up my life eternally.

When darkness tries to hide me from you your Holy Spirit guides me to the truth that you are always with in front of me no matter what my eyes don’t see and so my soul is still singing

Father in heaven your Son died for me and soon I’ll be free from any danger and Jesus my savior will light up my life eternally

I love you, I love you, I love you….

I’m gonna show the world the love that you gave this little girl before that I knew that I could even talk to you and that you’d always want me to…..

Been loving this song lately and the theology it brings to my mind.

-God loved us before we were ever aware of it and his draws us to himself.

-Then there’s His hand in our days… ‘tomorrow brings everything you’ve planned for me.’

-And the love I can show back to my savior and to the world because of what he’s done for me.

Great reminder.

From The Excellent Wife Day by Day by Karen Eiler (pg. 9):

The truth is that, when it comes to their wives, guys have love and respect so inextricably linked in their minds, there is no real difference. If they separate the two concepts, they’ll almost always choose respect over love. Yes, it’s that important! Most men would rather be respected than loved by their wives. In fact, if your husband thinks you don’t respect him, he is going to feel you don’t love him…. I’m assuming you love your husband and, because you love him, you want to do him “good and not evil all the days of [your] life” (Proverbs 31:12). If that is the case, then you need to understand that the best thing you can do for him is to respect him. That is the how of love; loving your guy the way he wants to be loved means making sure he knows, beyond all doubt, that you respect him. [Emphasis mine]

We’ll talk about this more in another post. Respect is so important to men. I have observed this in my own marriage and found this to be very true.

Hope this will be enjoyable for you and maybe cause you to read some books/blogs you’ve not read before!

 

 
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