Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mommy, Did You Hear Me? Hello, Mommy!?

I've been hearing that a lot today. I find myself spacing. Spacing when I'm driving (thank the Lord for angels), spacing when I'm shopping (thank goodness for the list),and spacing while eating. The kids must think I'm pretty strange because I'm always having to be pulled back from far and away somewhere.
What have I been thinking about? Well, today mostly the Glory of God. No, I'm not trying to be spiritual. You know that hard wrestling match I went though with the Lord last week? I see now that He was preparing me for some great feasting at His table. He was wiping me clean of all else around me so that I was at His feet, empty and ready to listen. Little did I know I was there to do some major intaking.
I sat in the Walmart McD's and as we were all munching on a dollar double cheeseburger (do you know how yummy those are when you have been dieting? Wow. I ate real slow) and as my kids chattered I could not help but notice every face walking by. The different ethnic groups, the old and the young, the light and the dark. All in the image of God. How little I think I must know of Him! I was most captivated though by the fact that the very things of his mighty hands give no thought to Him. Perhaps this is because my head has been so constantly on seeking the Lord this week that I wondered for a moment what it would be like to lack that Joy. I don't know, I don't ever want to know, but God used it to give my heart burden. Piper says that we should ask the Lord to grow our burden for the lost. Just by recognizing who He is causes that to grow naturally. He is so great and being given the privilege of participation with Him as He achieves the goal of His glory is so fulfilling and satisfying that when I am filled with it I hurt for them. Oh, that they would taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, that they would drink deeply of the water of Life for their thirsty souls. Oh, that the light would shine of His glory in the darkness of their hearts.
Why is this amazing? Well, as a mom at home with three kids I kind of forget there is anyone beyond my neighbors. I just let myself absorb how many people are really out there, made by God, unknowing of Him. Notice it when you are on the freeway, just let yourself absorb that those cars are full of people. Most of them don't know the Lord. What are their lives like? What idols have they run to to fulfill themselves? Food? Sex? Money? Beauty? Fame? TV? Work? How has it left them empty?

I was convicted by a DVD sermon I watched while walking on the monster (I have been forgetting to update my miles and have lost track. I know I've met me 150 goal so I'll be starting over at zero soon). He stressed that the glory of God is the "good" part of the "good news" and that if people don't see it, they will not understand the whole purpose for all other components of the gospel and why Jesus came, died, rose, forgave etc. I have never realized this before. Yet it says in scripture (2 Cor4:3-7). It has caused me to ponder it all day today to the point that I cannot seem to stop. This glory of His, when revealed to us is the essence of our captivation in Him. I have certainly been captivated today.

Practically I would like to say that I was convicted by Tami's comment on my Part 2 post. She mentioned that these truths were good for my children (I'm paraphrasing). That hit me like a rock. I have been so caught up in my searching and it was so hard for me to think through these things, that I never once considered them things I could teach my children. Yet, I knew she was right! They need to know that these choices are theirs as well. Choices to trust God or focus on themselves. I began to pray that day that God would show me how I can shrink these truths down and apply them, and teach them in a nutshell to my kids. After all if truth is unable to be applied, what good is the truth to begin with?

I had a break through with Princess today. It was very related to what we have also learned from Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. Yet, it was related to the issue of getting down to the motivations we have that seek self.

I was in the grocery store (don't all mommy adversity moments happen at the grocery?) and Superkid was in the large part of the cart sitting down (he stopped fitting in the kid seat ages ago). I put the first bag in the cart. He began to fumble through to see what was in there. Princess told him to not mess with the bag. Now, this has been an ongoing issue with she and I that she is not to "Mommy" them unless I'm asking for her help or I am not there.
Long story short she told me she was trying to help. Since her tone was not very nice when she told him, I was pretty sure her motivation was control. Yet, how would I get her to see the bottom line of where her heart was? I said an inside prayer for wisdom.
"Princess," I said. "You may very well be right. You may very well have been wanting to help. However, I would like you to know right now so we are clear, that when I am there, this is not a help to me or Superkid. Superkid does not need that help because I am here to deal with anything that comes up and to make the judgement as to whether he is in trouble or not. So, in the future you now know that that is not a help I'm needing from you. So, if you find yourself tempted to boss him, you need to consider that your sin nature is causing you to want to be in control. If that is your motivation, then you need to stop. When you boss your brother and sister out of a selfish spirit that longs to be controlling for the sake of your own feeling of power, you are in sin. If you want to help with a serving spirit, that is wonderful, but you now know this is not a help need that mommy has."

She seemed to totally understand the difference. I thought "Lord, if I could live in a shack and never have a frill in my life to speak of, yet my life was full of those clear and precise moments with my kids, I'll take that again and again."

I'm still praying how to apply these truths specifically.
I'm blown away with the flood of thoughts on God seeking His glory. You know the amazing realization is that He will have a passion to fulfill it and I am part of that fulfillment.
It makes the end of the story that I've always known to be a victory, all the more glorious. It makes Him SO BIG! It makes me so amazed to be on His mind. It makes me thankful. It brings me joy.


Christina said...

God has been teaching you so much lately. I have been praying for you this week that He would show you how to impart the truths you are learning to your kids. (Seriously!) Thank you for sharing how He did that! Isn't He GOOD!

karen edge said... you mind if I print that dialogue out and just read it directly to Em? (just kidding!)

But thank you for some wisdom in the EXACT situation I face with her...

Alicia said...

Thank you! I had no idea your were bringing me before the father in this specific way. Yes, he is good!

You and me both girl! I think I'll print it and recite it myself:). Seriously though, I later had a longer talk with V (after this writing) and asked her to tell me in her own words what we talked about, tell me what the two motivations can be. She again, had it , solid.
She was filled with joy, I was filled with joy....oh, the great gift of obedience that the world does not know is that joy. She walked away and was immediately hit with a sister who would not do something she asked.
In one sentence I heard her frustration level rise in her tone of voice. I was near and all I said was "Victoria, here is your first opportunity." She smiled at me (smiled at me! did you catch that! not sighed at me, not scoweled at me, not screamed in defensive verbige! I just made up another word:) and continued on to talk to her sister about it with calm voice and grace. She did not get what she wanted from her sister, who did not cooperate (sp?that doesn't look right) spell check for comments:)
She walked away and came to me. She was discouraged but I said "you did what was obedient to God! do you not have joy?! She presented a quirky smile like she was trying not to show her joy because of the battle with frustration and said "but she did not do what I wanted". I said that from this point, mom and dad take over and she does not need to carry any burdens at all.
This is where life becomes not about being perfect, but striving for the glory of God in all things. That burden is light and I am amazed I've carried the other one (frustration in imperfection due to a desire to be sinless only for the betterment of myself spiritually and not for the glory of God) for so long!
Let us always bring our children right to the heart of the matter which is always the sin of self glorification and the opposite of the goal of God glorification.
This brings change in them, and us. Not performance, change. Change that they carry all through thier lives and blesses them each step along the way.
I will have no greater joy that to know that my children walk with the Lord in this way. Nothing is better.

Anonymous said...

I can not tell you how delightful this whole thing has been Alicia.

And that you brought the lessons that God was "home schooling" you in and you "home schooled" your daughter. Discipleship... true "Home schooling" is discipleship.

We so often talk with God and then moments later we too are met with an opportunity and we forget and the Holy Spirit reminds us... Love the Lord... How can you love the Lord in this. Our loving obedience no matter what the response from the other person, our loving obedience is how we show our love to our precious savior. Nothing hurts him more than when we doubt His word and disobey. His word was written for our good. I love this passsage in Isaiah 48 : 17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. 18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river,your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Oh may I never doubt that obedience is always the best way. Trust and obey there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, then to trust and obey.

Just had to take a break before things get going here today.

Again I have delighted in this week so much, because God in His own intimate way has taught each of us more about Himself so that our faith would increase and we would be quicker to obey and as a result more quickly be blessed with peace and joy.

All Glory to the one and only God!
Our God reigns...

Tami Rutledge Bond servant by the will of God! Thank you God!

tricia w. said...

I have similiar conversations with my son. I pray that God will work in his heart and give me the wisdom as to what to say to him to get this behavior to stop. I have finally finished the first chapter in Desiring God and I have a few minutes so I am going to try and watch the first John Piper video.