Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The heart behind parenting

This quote from Jim and Lynne Jackson struck me as a pivotal concept in how we train and discipline our children:

"It is often said that consistency is an important key to effective parenting. We agree wholeheartedly.
"However, we believe consistency is not so much about the method we choose, but the heart behind the method. If our heart is consistently operating from an abundance of God’s grace and truth in our lives, we can effectively use any variety of methods for dealing with our children’s misbehavior. But if our heart is filled with frustration, fear, or anger, no method for dealing with misbehavior is likely to be effective."


"Faith does not eliminate questions.
But faith knows
where to take them."
-Linda Watkins

Saturday, October 18, 2014

He will show me the path of life

Oh my.  It's been a long time since I've blogged.  Can you tell school is in session again? :)  Not only have I been striving hard to stay motivated to home-educate my 9-year-old, but also to be disciplined with my health goals which include: daily exercise, eating whole foods, no processed food, no coffee, no joy, and drinking 72 oz. of water daily.  (This isn't just some optional "nice thing to do"—it is vital to my mental and emotional health!)

Those two focal points consume a ton of my energy (physically and mentally).  Add in maintaining the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry—the usual stuff) and I seem to have little energy left to connect heart-to-heart with my Lord... which leaves me feeling spiritually dull.

Earlier this week I read this bit of inspiration in a weekly e-newsletter called The Homeschool Minute.  It was sort of one of those "V8 moments" (if you remember those old commercials!). Senior editor Deborah Wuehler writes about being strengthened by "eating Godly bread" throughout the day, and gives this example about how to meditate on a Bible verse:

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11  
  1. You will show me the path of life: Nothing and no one is able show me the path for my life or for the lives of those around me except God. I can read books or blogs, talk to friends, purchase the right curriculum, but ultimately it is God alone who will show us His path, the reason we are here, and how to live. If I am lacking direction, I have probably begun to walk in my own understanding instead of seeking His.
  2. In Your presence is fullness of joy: Nothing else and no one else can bring me joy. I can look for joy in many things, but will only find it in one thing: the presence of the Lord. I can look for joy in material wealth, or physical healing or close relationships. I may hope for joy in dreams fulfilled or just in the lack of chaos. But I will never find fullness until I am in His presence. It's not about the things in this life that have to come to me in order to bring joy. It's not about the things in this life that have to leave me in order to have joy. It's all about me in the presence of God and the presence of God in me!
  3. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore: I tend to seek pleasure away from closeness with God. I am prone to wander and look for pleasure in earthly things or people. I think I will find it in time to myself and by myself. Pleasure is found at the right hand of God. Stay close to Him. A wandering heart will only find pain and loneliness and confusion. Wander right back to Him. We can sit in the heavenly places with Christ even if we are on this earth as we fix our hearts, souls and minds on Him; He is our pleasure.  
I just really, really needed to read that TRUTH about where my joy—fullness of joy—comes from: His presence!  Seems like a woman who has been walking with the Lord for 18 years shouldn't need to be reminded... but I know I need to schedule-in that precious time with Jesus!  Nothing I pursue on earth can replace the joy of His presence and the peace that only He can give!