Faith in God, Who Gives Crazy Ideas

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9

“So, I got this crazy idea”, is usually how most of my projects have started out. They are usually followed up by, “Oh, you can’t do that Kim. It won’t work.” which then of course, THEY DO!

So this, I’ve learned has become the formula for when God is asking me to do something.

It starts off as an idea I think is absolutely not possible, and not only can’t see how it’s going to work; I don’t want to be the one doing it.

“No. No. No. God, what are you going to make me do? ” He pushes me outside my comfort zone, every. single. time. It sucks.

I do not want to host an ice cream social for the community. I do not want to knock on all my neighbors doors, to invite them to a block party. There is no possible way I can collect enough plastic bags and then make sleeping mats for the homeless, that would be enough to serve in any significant way.

All of which are done in the spirit of loving God and loving others (Mark 12:30-31), being a light to the world (Matthew 5:14), and making disciples (Matthew 28:13).

But it’s all about trust, right? Having faith.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

Oh my gosh, Lord, what are you going to make me do now?

He doesn’t always give me the whole plan of how I’m going to pull it off, but he usually always gives me the excitement that comes with it before, rather than after. I see his vision. And I get so excited!

Then, in my excitement, I announce my crazy idea, and time and time again, it is followed up by people telling me it won’t work, or I can’t pull it off, or I’m crazy.

Oh, I know!

They’re not being mean, or unsupportive, they just know me really well. And they’re right! I can’t do any of these crazy ideas. But with God, I KNOW, I can (Matthew 19:26).

He gave me a vision. I can’t see how I will get there, but I can see what it looks like in the end. And I usually have the best time ever!

So, with that…

I GOT A CRAZY IDEA!

How do I know? Well, I’m terrified, for one, and I’ve already heard, “It’s a great idea, Kim. I just don’t know how it’s gonna work. People aren’t going to want to come. Most will not be ready for it.”

I can’t tell you how I got this idea. I can’t really remember when it started to grow, but I know with all my heart it’s something worthy and honoring to God. I can’t, not try.

When I went back to college to earn my degree in Christian Studies, people asked what I was going to do after I graduated. I told them really I had no idea. I was ok with it, because I knew God had a plan but if he had revealed it to me at the time, it would have completely freak me out.

We’ll guess what? I think this may be it!
We are The Peacemakers.

It’s working with moms who have had a child or children with an ex-partner who remarried, and now has another woman who is involved with her child’s life; the step-mom.

Yes, I’m aware that divorce is not biblical. But it is, however something very prevalent in today’s Christian churches. So why instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, and not talking about this population of parents, as if it is taboo; why not see how we can bring them together in unity, that is God honoring, and show the world the power of Christ’s forgiveness, compassion and love, for the sake of their children?

The goal is to be able to put aside difference, FOR THE CHILDREN. It’s not to become best friends. It’s not to restart a relationship with an ex. But it is to be able to come together to co-parent so their children continue to feel safe, secure and loved by both sets of parents.

Many times, most of the time, probably all of the time, the step mom /ex wife relationship is sabotaged from the beginning because of one thing…the ex.

They may be completely lovely people but already don’t like each other. There is a barrier that immediately goes up. They are the enemy.

They don’t even know each other, and yet they share two very important things that should bring them together, instead of pull them apart; the children, and a relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

They may not go to the same church, but they may go to a church somewhere. So why then, can’t they work through this, if they claim to be followers of Christ?

It is almost an “ok” thing, to not have a relationship or even to have a bad relationship with an ex and ex’ wife. It is understood. It accepted. It is never talked about at church. It is never addressed, but yet ex-wives and step moms go to church every single week.

For whatever reason, a traditional single family unit is no longer a possibility, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for the next best thing.

Therefore, I propose we come together for the best interest of the children.

The children, who by the way, are God’s children. Why would he not want this?

So with that, I’ve met with my pastor, and I’ve been interviewing friends; some of which who share children, and some who have counseled moms who do. And I’ve been collecting a lot of great ideas as to what THIS could actually look like.

My next step is to hit my Bible. I know, everything I need to know is already in there. My job is to drive in and find it.

I’m the lucky one. I get a double blessing. Not only in the end, I will be brining people closer to Christ, in the process I get to be closer to him as well! How exciting is that!

However, like any of my crazy ideas, I go into it with a lot of fear and hesitation.

After one of my interviews, I walked to my car and thought to myself, “Why are you doing this? It’s not going to work.”

What if both moms are not Christian? What if one or both are too wounded to focus on the children?  What if the step mom is the “other” woman?

But as quickly as my doubts came, I heard a voice inside me say, “They said the same thing about Girls’ Club”.

And like THAT, my fear went away.

This is going to happen. I don’t know how this is  going to happen, I don’t know when this is going to happen, but I know this is  going to happen.

I have faith in a God who gives crazy ideas, so that the rest of the world can watch and wonder, what is that? 

All for his glory, we will show the world.

And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. – Acts 2:44

End of Year Expectations

I have struggled with expectations I have put on my kids and their education, their entire lives.

I was a child who never earned straight A’s, but I strive for them like nobody’s business. I graduated at the top 10% of my class, and I received a scholarship to a community college.

Don’t be too impressed. I lost it after my first year and my friends were in the top five and received scholarships and acceptance letters to universities.

Not doing homework, was unheard of. The amount of stress I put on myself led to migraines and breakdowns. Getting good grades was what defined me.

So, to have children who constantly do not turn in their homework, routinely bring home C’s and lower and just do the bare minimum to pass a class, has just about driven me over the edge. I have been disappointed and heartbroken time and time again.

However, things are changing. I have changed. Instead of comparing my children to me and what I was capable of as a child, I am learning to accept them for who they are and what they are truly capable of doing. I am no longer allowing their success or failure define who I am.

We may not have had any kiddos who have received any scholarships, acceptance letters into their favorite University or even applied for community college, this year.

We don’t have anyone with straight A’s or perfect attendance.

But we do have…

A kiddo who stuck it out and graduated, after losing his privilege to live in our house, two months before the end of school. He may not be going college anywhere right yet, but he’s working and paying rent somewhere and has bought his own form of transportation; as unconventional as it may be. It’s his and he’s the one who purchased it!

We have a kiddo, after struggling with his grades all year, and especially his last semester; who looks like he was able to pull a minimum grade up at the very end to avoid summer school!

We have a kiddo who after years of being suspended once a year, has managed to not only keep his nose out of the front office for the whole year, but has also avoided D’s and F’s, for the first time since third grade. And is coming off his IEP in time for him to start high school!

We have a kiddo who has transferred schools last year. Not once this year has he been sent home for fighting, crying or leaving his classroom or campus. He also has not been a target for any bullying and the kicker…made Honor Roll for the first time ever, this last quarter!

Oh I’m not done!

We have a kiddo who struggled all year with D’s and F’s. We were concerned he wasn’t going to pass the fifth grade. Even being grounded from the Internet and video games for over half the school year, didn’t seem to be helping. Although, his last quarter grades may not have been all A’s and B’s, he still got all his F’s up to passing and will be entering the sixth grade next year!

Finally, we have a kiddo who may have never have struggled with any of her grades, ever. But has proven herself once again just how versatile and capable she really is. Last year she transferred schools with her brother to a much smaller classroom. I was actually concerned it would hurt her socially, however she made new friends, both inside and outside her class and has still made Honor Roll three out of the four quarters!

We don’t have any rocket scientists, obviously, when it comes to their education. But I still feel these kids have ROCKED the 2015-2016 school year!

And I don’t feel I have lowered my expectations for any of them at all, but have certainly changed them to match who they are.

It is amazing the amount of love that blooms and heart that swells, with just accepting who my kids are and what they are capable of doing.

I think we’re all looking forward to what next year can bring and to see how much farther they can go!

I’ve Been Robbed

I feel like I’ve been robbed. Not physically, of course, but those kids, they take everything. 🙂

Oh I know it’s not their fault; they’re just kids. It’s all my fault, really. I went into motherhood believing it was a consequence, rather than a blessing.

They are the ones who take, rather than give. They were an obligation, rather than a gift.

Now that I have had a change of heart, I wonder how I could have raised my children differently.

Between the two of us, my husband and I have six kids. Six kids can be expensive, as you might assume. I often feel bad we’re not able to provide them with some of the opportunities that other kids in smaller families have.

People tell me all the time I should put my daughter in dance. I would love to be able to do that, but if I put her in dance, I feel I should put Fun in soccer, and Smart in baseball and, and, well if we put every child in something, we just wouldn’t be able to afford it.

I’ve always felt everyone should have the same. Everyone should be equal. It’s either all or nothing.

But then most of the time it means they get nothing. I hate having to tell them no all the time. But I also feel bad when I let one have something, or get to do something that the others can’t. And they know it, too.

“But that’s not fair!”

Now I know, life is not fair. But I’ve just always felt, in my house it should be. It’s my responsibility to make it be. But you know what? Fair doesn’t always feel right either.

So recently I’ve come across Matthew 20, again. You know, the parable of the vineyard workers? I’ve heard the story a thousand times, but I can’t say I’ve ever applied it to a real life situation.

That is until now.

Recap… A land owner goes into town to hire some workers to work in his vineyard for the day. He promises them a full days wage. Then again, at 3:00 and around 5:00, he goes into town to hire some more. At the end of the day, he pays everyone the same, and the workers who had worked the full day got pretty upset.

Do you know what he told them?

Should you be jealous because I am kind to others? – Matthew 20:15:b

I’ve spent my entire motherhood believing it was wrong to not enforce fairness. It was a sin, really.

Having a blended family has put even more pressure on me, since I would never want Mike to think I’m favoring my kids over his.

But honestly, I now realize I’ve been looking at it all wrong. Instead of judging me, I should have been training them.

I love them all, and I don’t show favorites but it really is OK if an opportunity presents itself for one child, and not for them all.

Should they be jealous because I am kind?

Sometimes one of them can get an extra soda, or go to a movie, or spend the day with grandma, and I don’t need to feel guilty about it.

I do, however, need to teach them to instead of worrying about my behavior, they need to start looking at their own.

Yes, life is not fair. And no matter how hard I try, life is not going to be fair in our house either. And by trying to make it fair, I feel like I’m being robbed of being kind.

Most Undeserving, but Covered in Grace

It was 17 years ago. I was working at Valley Center of the Deaf as a secretary.

Prior to being their secretary, I was a job coach. Daily, I drove to my clients place of employment to address any work issues regarding communication or culture differences, they or their employers, might be experiencing. If I wasn’t doing that, I was working with my clients on job leads, resume building, and interviewing.

It was a lot of work for an introvert. There was just so much human contact and customer service, on a daily basis. I was exhausted.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I knew this was going to be too much for me. I had spoken with my direct supervisor and had asked if I could transfer to a secretarial position that had just opened up.

Everyone thought I was crazy. Why would I go backwards on my career ladder? Honestly, I didn’t realize I was.

But I knew working in an office with a handful of people and a whole lot of paper was going to be less stressful than working with strangers, representing clients, and educating the world of work the meaning of reasonable accommodations.

I needed less stress considering I was entering into a new field of work that I knew nothing about, and quite honestly, growing up had no desire to enter; the ranks of Motherhood.

I had a lot to learn in a relatively short amount of time, considering I had only had a few experiences with babysitting, which all were dreadful and none of which included an actual baby.

Thank you Jesus for that. That would not have ended well.

I had a lot of learning to get caught up on.

I had a friend who took pity on me and one night, invited me over to practice giving her baby a bath. Pathetic, I know and I was.

Afterwards, my friend left me alone with her child for just a minute as I was suppose to put her in her jammies for the night. Upon returning she found her baby in only a diaper and me wrestling with her arms and legs to be still.

“She won’t let me put her feet in.”

“You have to make her put her feet in.”

I then watched her masterfully take hold of each limb and place them in their respective position of the jammie, all within seconds.

My kid is so screwed.

My son’s dad taught me how to maneuver the diapers. The pretties, face away from you and down when placing it under the baby’s bottom.

Mother-in-law taught me to push all the plumbing down into the diaper, after weeks of not understanding why I had to change my son’s clothes and bedding at every nightly feeding.

May I remind you, I was 27 when I had my first child.

I did not deserve a baby.

My babies did not deserve me as their momma.

My son was probably around one. He was already walking and getting into everything. It was a Saturday and his dad had to work. I too, had to go into the office to bring in documents and print the billing that I was able to put together at home.

I remember thinking it was not going to be an easy task considering I had to bring my son in with me.

It was an extremely warm day, as all Arizona days can be. I popped the trunk of my car, as well as propped open the three doors that led to my office in the front of the building.

My son sat quietly in his carseat as he watched his mom walk to and from the car as she carried boxes into the building.

I left the driver’s side door open to let the air circulate and keep the car cool.

Upon grabbing the last box from the trunk, I used the weight of the box to help slam the lid down, I used my right hip to push the driver’s side door close, and kicked the two door stops out of the way to let each door slam behind me as I entered the hall to my office.

In my office, I probably moved some boxes around, turned on my computer and printer, made some room on my desk to work, and as I started to open the billing program, thought to myself, why did I think this was going to be difficult?

… … …

THE BABY!

Now I could say, it was only five minutes, but do you know what could happen to a baby, or anyone, who is left in a car, on a hot day, in Arizona, with the windows up, for only five minutes? And what if it wasn’t just five minutes???

I was the mother who left her baby in the hot car, and nobody knew.

I don’t deserve my babies, and my babies don’t deserve me as their momma.

My heart cries everytime the news reports of another child who has died inside of a car.

My heart cries everytime I hear of family, or a friend, or a friend of a friend, or of a stranger, who has lost their child in their sleep.

My heart cries for the mommies who’s baby’s eyes never opened.

My heart cries everytime a child goes missing, or one runs away.

I cry for those who struggle to become a momma.

I cry for those who can’t.

I don’t understand why my son was saved and others are not. But I know it was not because of me. I am undeserving and there are far more deserving parents out there than me.

I understand to the depth of my soul the amount of Grace; unmerited favor, my Savior showed me that day, 17 years ago.

It is why I take my job as a mother so, so seriously. For whatever reason God felt it necessary to place these babies in my care, regardless of my desires, capabilities, and qualifications and then protects them from me at the same time.

I cannot express the amount of fear, gratitude, self-loathing, change, that took place that day. Rearview mirror face the backseat. Counting kids, in the car and in the house. Checking the backseat after dropping the last kid off, then rechecking and checking again once I’m at work…until my last child was six. Ok, I still do it.

I do not deserve my babies and my babies don’t deserve me as their momma.

I will continue to strive to earn the honor that was placed upon me at their births.

And more importantly I will continue to strive to honor the God who protects my children through all my striving.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your grace and your mercy on all those who are undeserving, undeserving like me.

Tending to the Seeds Among the Weeds

Parable of the Wheat and Weeds

Matthew 13:24-30

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.  Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

As a mom, I wanted to take a moment to understand this passage. After reading and rewriting this passage, I’m started to understand for the first time that we are expected to live among the weeds.

This make me think about how Christians go crazy with fighting to have certain laws not passed or politicians from being voted into office.

We’ve been encouraged to believe we are not of this world, but are to reside inside the world. We are only here temporarily. For what purpose, I would say is to bring others with us for when we go home.

We’re not here to change, take over or pull weeds.

Countries have tried going into other countries to take over. That certainly has never been received well or without resistance.

Wars have been fought and lost over foreigners coming in and trying to change things up.

Jesus has told us he wants us to live among the weeds. He is the farmer. He bought the land. He planted the seeds. He employs his workers and harvesters, but sometime during the night, the enemy has come in and scattered weeds.

The farmer has sacrificed his land. But when the time is right he will call his harvesters to gather his wheat among the weeds and store them with him.

He says if the weeds were to be pulled, you run the risk of uprooting his wheat too.

How many times have you heard someone say they don’t go to church because of how Christians behave? Their roots have been uprooted. The farmer has a much harder time replanting them after they’ve been damaged and a lot of the times they never recover.

Parable of the Wheat and Weeds Explained

Matthew 13:36-43

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”

Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.

 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

I have come to realized I need to stop beating myself up over all the weeds that have crept into my kids lives; bad influences, attitudes, and peer pressure.

In fact, I need to start accepting that they are there. God never expected me to raise them in a weed-free environment. I didn’t put the weeds there. I didn’t just let them pop up. He doesn’t blame me for them. And he doesn’t expect me to run around pulling up all the weeds that have started to sprout.

Unfortunately they are to grow up with them. But he knows that. I will continue to attend to them, his good seeds among the weeds. I will give them what I can, and address the farmer if they are in need of something more.

He will protect them and one day he will remove all that causes sin and all who do evil from their lives. And one day we shall all shine like the sun in our Father’s Kingdom.

 

I Was Not Prepared

There is a full fledged war raging against our children. Between drugs and pornography, I was not prepared for the fight.

When my kids were little, my job was to teach them what was right and what was wrong. My influence was unchallenged.

However, as they grow, I’m finding I’m not only still teaching them what is right and what is wrong, but I’m also in somewhat of a tug-of-war with something that is pulling them away from what is right.

I don’t know if you would call it influences or forces or just evil, but I’m finding it is much stronger than me. Or should I say, it is a crafty opponent that cannot be arrogantly dismissed as not a threat to my children’s future and wellbeing.

I’m no longer fighting with the forces that are inside my house, but I’m finding there are forces outside my house that are not only trying to get in, but are trying pulling my kids out.

And they’re not good forces. They’re not safe. They are tantalizing my kids with promising fantasies. Lying to them. Manipulating them. Taking advantage of their youth and maturity.

And scaring the living crap out of their mother!

If there is an immunity to them or it, I’m not aware of it. My kids were raised in a Christian home. Well, half Christian. And maybe that has something to do with the struggle now. I don’t know.

But my kids were taught well; they were trained in the truth, but are still finding it hard to battle these outside forces. Do they even recognize the battle???

This world is big, ugly, and scary. How do we even stand a chance?

I so don’t even have an answer for you. The only thing I know is I put my trust in God. He has never let me down. Not to say I haven’t been disappointed, but my survival rate thus far has been 100%.

I know I am not promised an easy life because of Christ. In fact, if anything I should expect a more difficult one.

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22.

But I still live with hope because I am assured,

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

My kids are going to face bumps, scrapes and scars from life and this world. I hate that, but so does Jesus.

So my only advice I leave you with is this, trust your children with the Lord, never stop praying for them and be aware the war for them is real.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Promises

I have lots of reasons why I started blogging. I think the first was to show others, they are not alone in their everyday struggles of being a mom and being a follower of Jesus. I wanted to encourage.

But I had other reasons too.

I wanted to leave a digital legacy for my children and children’s children. I thought, maybe if my kids don’t listen to me now, maybe when they become parents they will find something useful or at least encouraging here. And I always want them to know how much they are loved.

But another reason is because God promises he works all things for good. I have to believe that everything I’m struggling with, everything that looks like could be a disaster, in the long run, is going to turn out pretty ok.

I have to believe every sacrifice I made, every hard decision I’ve seeked counsel on, every prayer I prayed, was not in vane.

In the end, Christ wins. He is faithful and just and he promises he will protect his children. And my kids are his children and I have to believe there is no mess they find themselves in, that he can’t get them out of.

I have to believe this, because he promises.

He promises, and I want the world to see that he is faithful. And no matter what I am struggling with, what we are struggling with, everything will be ok.

I want it to be a Testament of his glory.

I am reminding myself of this today because what we’re now going through its a doozy. I am scared, and I’m afraid, and I want to freak out, but I’m not going to because these are his children too, right?

I know I’m usually pretty transparent, and I reveal probably too much about my life, but this time I can’t. I can’t, because it’s not my life I’m worried about. It’s not my story to share.

But I will ask for prayer.

Lord, God, my Father, you tell me to trust you. You say you will keep us safe.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I’m holding you to this God. I know you won’t let me down. I know you see me, you see everything. And I know you give us free will to do as we please. But I also know,

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Lord, protect my child. Help him even when he doesn’t ask for help. Put people in his life that will help him make wise choices.

You’ve told me to …

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6)

I have done that. Now it’s your turn. And I know you will do it, because you promise.

Lord, grow my faith. I do not wish our circumstances to change. I know this trial will make us stronger and will bring us closer to you. So, grow my faith. The days may be long and I know they will be weary.

Provide me with comfort. Help me be strong enough to keep my eyes on you.

And may this blog be a reflection of your sovereignty and your goodness.

AMEN

Like A Child

I love my little Girls’ Club. We’ve been quite small, the past couple of weeks. I like that because it allows me to really hang with the girls and see what’s going on in their lives.

I prefer them small, but I also love, love when SEVERAL show up too. I love that the girls find friends who want to share their time with us.

I know every club night, just the amount of girls who show up, are just the ones God has intended to bring.

What’s special about Girls’ Club, is the girls let down their guard while we’re engaged in something fun.

Most are still pretty young and aren’t worried about presenting a specific image yet. They are still at an age where they can be silly. Many have no filter yet, so whatever comes into their head, pops right out their mouth.

I love that about them. They don’t try to hide anything.

One of our girls is having surgery tomorrow. Nothing serious, but hey, it’s surgery and she’s eight.  That’s still pretty scary.

During our project, I sat next to her and I got to hear all about what she expecting to happen. She’s a little bit scared but a whole lot brave. Now that may flip, come sometime tomorrow, but Friday she was able to talk freely about her concerns.

I was honored that she shared them with me. It’s such a treat seeing these girls grow and mature.

Well, everyone finished making their little bugs. They were SO CUTE.

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For the last 15 minutes they hung out, finished watching their movie and wouldn’t move as the doorbell rang. I don’t know if they figured if they didn’t answer the door, they wouldn’t have to go home, or what.

It’s nice having a safe place for these girls to come together where they can open up with each other without being criticized or feeling rejected.

It’s nice that I get to be apart of it too. I see them as how we were designed to be. Open, vulnerable, transparent, and trusting.

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. – Mark 10:13-16.

Saturate, Chapter Two Epiphany

I haven’t read a book in a while. I love reading books. The problem I have with reading books, is I get SO EXCITED about what it says that I need to share it with someone. Usually that someone is all my friends on Facebook.

See, that’s not the problem. The problem is I’m posting something, like every ten minutes. And they’re usually long. And I think my friends get sick of it. And I’m quite sure I’ve lost a friend or twenty, because of it.

What some don’t realize, is for every person I irritate, there is someone else messaging me telling me how much they needed to hear it.

So, I keep doing it. However, I do try to be courteous to those who get tired of it too.

The books I read are Christian non-fiction. So I guess my posts come off as a little preachy. I get it.

That being said, I’VE STARTED READING A NEW BOOK! It’s super good and I can’t wait to tell you about it! 🙂

The book is called, Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life, by Jeff Vanderstelt.

The title pretty much gives away what the book is about. However, I started the book thinking it would help me disciple peers, but as I read, it started to speak to me as a mother.

I’m always doubting my parenting skills. I continually think I must be doing something wrong.

If you were to line my children up with other secular children, I guarantee you would never believe mine were raised in a Christian family home.

They say Jesus is the light, well, there’s no light shining here. There is no sense of love permeating from our front door. And trust? We have locks on our front door, back doors, garage and all the windows, not to keep people out, but to keep kids in during the middle of the night.

As a Christian mom who has spent hours reading her Bible, praying with her kids and for her kids, dragging their little butts to church and youth groups, and just flat out telling them what is right and what is wrong, this is quite disappointing. Doesn’t the Bible say, ” Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)”?

Well, obviously I must be doing something wrong.

Then I got to chapter two and I had an epiphany.

Although the author is not talking specifically to moms, he states, “It’s not activities and events that are primarily Christian. It’s people. Activities and events, by themselves, are not sacred, but people are.”

So, whether my kids turn out being missionaries or hardcore criminals, I have dedicated my children to the Lord, and every parenting decision I have ever made, was done in hopes of bringing Him glory. My family is sacred.

“Our job is not to be Jesus. Our job is to believe Jesus, depend on Jesus, and submit to Jesus working in and through us to accomplish his work. We are not meant to carry the weight of the world or the mission of Jesus on our shoulders. Jesus came to seek and save. He doesn’t expect us to become the saviors.”

Therefore, I need to stop worrying about screwing them up, or I’m doing something wrong. If they do not turn out as I hope; being straight A students, volunteering their time, or just being stinkin’ decent and polite individuals, it’s ok. I am not Jesus. He doesn’t expect me to be their Savior. I am to do my best and trust Jesus to be Jesus. What they need, he will provide through me.

“Where are you tempted to hide or cover up? Do you still believe you have to perform well for God in order to receive his loving acceptance? Do you believe God loves you more when you obey and less when you disobey?”

I cannot take blame for any of their bad decisions, anymore than I can take credit for any of their good choices.

Their behavior is not a bad reflection of me, since everything I do concerning them “…whether (I) eat or drink, or whatever (I) do, (I) do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

As a mother, with less than perfect kids, this totally spoke to me. Probably not how the author intended, but it impacted me just the same.

I can’t wait to read some more!

These Kids!

A time has come that I have just as many teenagers in the house, as I do, little kids. It sucks.

I have a kid who’s running a snack shop out of a second backpack that he takes to school. Mind you, this is not something I authorized.

He just took his birthday money as seed money and bought his inventory that rivals and prices that undercuts, the ice cream truck.

I found out today his net income is about $50 a week. A week!

HE’S NOT EVEN IN HIGH SCHOOL YET!

He has a log that he keeps track of his inventory in. He knows what’s going out and how much is coming in. Today, after stocking up on chips, he sent a mass text to all his customers informing them of tomorrow’s “sales”.

Seriously? Who’s kid is this?

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of him. But it does make me feel uncomfortable.

Being a single mom for so many years and then marrying and having to provide for even more kids, we never have had enough cash flow to trickle down in the form of allowances until just recently.

All of my kids, at one time or another, has wanted to start something to earn money. I’ve just never let them, in fear of them ripping off our community.

A few months before Christmas, I had another one of my kids snatch the opportunity during a Pampered Chef party, to go out and advertise his services for cleaning up pet waste and pulling weeds, before I knew what he was doing or could stop him.

The little booger was raking in $10 for two days of after school work, every two weeks.

This one’s not even in Jr High.

I kinda feel bad for my oldest. He never learned he could hustle too, just as long as mom never found out.

At seven, I caught him tying his Halloween candy to strings and selling them as candy necklaces for $1 outside our townhouse. Also caught him selling his Tec Deck skateboards for $6 a pop at school.

The issue I’m having now, isn’t that I’m afraid of them ripping someone off, but the power they think they have because they have money.

I’m having problems, particularly with my 14 year old retail entrepreneur and his 15 year old roommate, who think they are single college bachelor’s and can’t understand why they can’t have an ice chest in their bedroom to store cold soda, even though they KNOW they are not allowed to have any food or drinks in the bedrooms.

These two, who which are part of the reason we have a second fridge and freezer in a garage, that can’t be opened, unless by key that is hidden in my husband and my bedroom; thinks it’s unfair and doesn’t understand why they can’t keep their food in their room so others can’t get into it.

I say, then don’t buy it, if you think there’s going to be a problem. Sucks not being able to trust those you live with, don’t it.

After listening to them argue with, and complain about, and try to “reason” with me All. Day. Long, I tell them tonight we will talk to Mike.

After giving my husband the grueling details of my day, I call my two swindlers into our room to let them plead their case for an ice chest.

The one makes his request. My husband looks them straight in the eye, says “No.” And my son says, “OK.” and gets up to leave.

WHAT?!?

Wait. What?

All day long they gave me nothing but grief. I stood my ground. They almost had me swayed, but I didn’t. And these kids are mastermind manipulators!

“I’m over it”, he says. Well, I’m not! Oooh… I’m….going out for a walk!

Dear God in Heaven, this is a whole different game we’re playing now. These kids are getting smarter and more devious than me. It will be only by your grace that I won’t be out witted. So I continue to ask you for your help, your strength and your will to parent these delinquents.

May Mike and I always be a united force, no matter how frustrating I find it at times. May we continue to think as one. May we serve you well, as we raise your sons and daughter.