Stop & catch your breath ! I feel as if we are in a constant sprint -We are in the midst of a super busy season of life, end of the school year wrap-ups, intense parenting, daily house chores, packing lunches, sports practice, work schedules--- it can all pile up just like the baskets of laundry stacked on my bed currently. So , as I sit down to write - to process - What reoccurring theme seems to keep coming into our conversation- What am I constantly saying that seems to be on "repeat"? What does God have for me to learn in my daily life - amidst the chaos and distractions ?
This school year has had its challenges for us - an abundance of family discussions, plans and prayer. Throughout this fifth grade year (23 days left to go & counting), my oldest son, Cole, has come home from school with head dropped and defeat on his shoulders. It has not been grades or trouble in the classroom- rather, the words of his peers have taken him down. You are slow. You are fat. You can't play baseball. You are not important to the team. Hurtful, sharp, defeating words have caused him to doubt himself. They have hurt him so he naturally wants to retaliate (and so does this Mama Bear). What do you say? Punch them one good time and they will learn their lesson - stick up for yourself - say hurtful words back -
repay evil for evil ???
Parenting is just plain tough. Answers are sometimes (most of the time) not easy- but isn't it amazing when the small people in our house teach us about the character and BIGness of God - when parenting changes us - forces us to reflect on our adult behaviors- God has given us his word to guide us and our own struggles as well. I have also been hurt by words - most severely by those closest to me. We have higher expectations for our family members or friends - for those who know us best - with whom we share our hearts and lives. I have confronted those who have hurt me, I have refused to speak to those who have hurt me - and I have retaliated with my own words as well. Where did that leave me? _ still hurt, controlled by their words, enslaved to sin - not centered in the approval and love of Christ which is where He desires for us to rest and be. But freedom has come to me in the forgiving, the conversations, the extension of grace to others - my need for others' approval has been lessened by my growing confidence in being God's daughter.
In a recent sermon series about the life of David, Andy Stanley stated, "Refusing to respond in like kind (evil for evil) may be the most Christ-like thing you EVER do." Remember the popular "WWJD" bracelets - What Would Jesus Do? As a Jesus follower, it is required (like in scripture) to return good for evil - that it what is asked of us. Extending mercy in not retaliating may be the first step - for Cole - mercy looks like not getting physical with his friends or saying hurtful words in return - but "Christ-like" looks like choosing to continue to be kind to them - helping them when they need it - encouraging his friends in their endeavors. As an adult - mercy is perhaps taking the step to forgive. Doing good is giving them your valuable time to listen or have coffee and conversation. Maybe its extending an invitation for continued relationship although you have been hurt. Being Christ-like in response to hurt is not the easy path - however, it is the path that we are asked to take - obedience in Christ.
Freedom is released when we can let go of others' actions or words that have caused us pain - it is a choice to live confident in our value in Christ - rather than relying on external influences for our approval. We hold securely to the favor and approval given to us only by our Creator - and we release others' words or actions - It is a choice to react - with mercy, grace, kindness, forgiveness - and although it seems unnatural - It truly is supernatural - It is being Christ-like - It is being remarkable - It is freeing.
For Cole - it has been a bumpy year - tears, doubts, frustrations - but I pray he can hold fast to Lord's favor and approval of Him - that he will not be chained to other people's actions or words. I ask God daily that his desire for others' approval will shrink - that his confidence in God will soar! As for myself- I hope I can live this out for him as well in my daily life - choosing good - choosing God's character - over evil
a mid-thirties mom and wife seeking truth, peace and joy in my daily life. mom to two wild, snuggly, and fierce boys - and wife to my best friend and bearded man of my dreams. My joys are giving and receiving gifts (its my love language- not materialistic) - pushing my limits and extinguishing my stress in the workout room- serving others in the medical profession and in my community of friends . i love doing life with others - the phone calls on way to work, the couch discussions, the annual camping trips - My community of friends would tell you I am as authentic and outspoken as you can get - sometimes you can find my husband hiding behind a pillow! My parents thought I would always be a lawyer- I have a strong passion to get the last word - I just cant walk away. Marriage, Motherhood, and my walk with the Lord continue to push me, shape me, and change me. I pray this blog will bless just ONE - and the point to the ONE-