Monday, October 8, 2018

Persistent Parenting Is Persistent Discipleship

I get it.... you're tired.  You've BEEN tired... and you're STILL tired...

..... but please do not give up...  do not stop short!

I've been at this parenting adventure for twenty two years and counting.... and I'm not done...even with my eldest.

Sorry to bust your bubble if you thought this particular race has a finish line.

It doesn't.

I have come to realize that though the provision part of raising them eventually concludes, the discipleship of them has no point of conclusion.... nor should it have (!) ....especially in this culture and climate that is particularly hostile towards God and those aspiring to live a God-centered life.   Make no mistake: though you may choose to silence your voice for even but a mere moment.... the world absolutely will not silence its voice.  This walk...this Christian walk... is a walk of vigilance!

Weekly....if not daily... I challenge my adult children concerning their aspirations and goals: Is God at the center, driving those aspirations and goals?

It is not enough to simply say yes.... but HOW?  There should be notable action steps behind the "yes" perception.

Such conversations are not always 100% hackle-free, but I make no apologies for getting in their space and holding them accountable to their daily choices.  While those choices are their future, and they are either life-giving choices or death-making choices, beyond their well-being.... OH, PLEASE HEAR THIS!.... they are a part of the bigger picture.... The Church picture... The Bride of Christ picture:

Am I doing my part to bring weight to THAT awareness?  Are they being made into "without spot or wrinkle" -- or are they knowingly contributing spots and wrinkles to the Bride of Christ??

As a parent, are you asking THIS weighty question first and foremost of yourself... and then secondly, to those in your charge?

This is paramount!

I am convinced less and less Christian parents are.  Let's face it, on a daily basis, it is far easier to let such issues slide than to contend for righteousness' sake.

But contend we must!  It is what we were called to do first and foremost when we accepted Christ's salvation and Lordship!

I get that some of you feel as though you are running out of gas or have run out of gas.

I, too, have felt that way.  Anyone who has toiled long AND faithfully in the field of discipleship has, BUT we must individually take heart so that collectively we can advance forward.  (Re-read that!)

When I have arrived at such a place, I have laid in the middle of the floor.... legs and arms stretched out to the max as if I am preparing to make a snow angel ... with an expectancy that God WILL refresh me.  I block out every thought.... I picture entering His throne room....His arms out wide.... falling into those everlasting arms as He infills ALL that I have need of, both the known and the unknown (to me) needs.  I will stay in the floor until I feel "topped off" IN His presence; then and only then do I peel myself off the floor and move forward BY His presence.

Many there are who attempt to do parenting apart from God.....even Christian parents!

I cannot imagine a greater tragedy.

To do so is truly to fulfill the expression "the blind leading the blind".

Dear ones, I hold you and those you hold dear in your heart in my prayers today.  May you be FIRST found to be a responsible part of Christ's Bride, dedicating your days to becoming more and more His image; then secondly, raising those in your charge to be ever mindful of their individual responsibility to be a growing disciple of Christ.   Neither is for the faint-of-heart, but with God, in God, through God, all is possible!

Press on, dear ones!

Persistent Parenting Is Persistent Discipleship!


Thursday, October 4, 2018

We Made It!

I promise one day soon I will return to Joy In The Morning with great diligence, but for now, I am in a deep season of preparation that includes co-running a multi-million dollar operation I did not see coming four years ago.  As I told my husband recently, "God is building my shoulder muscles up, along with my stamina... or He's trying to kill me."   Take heart those who love and support JITM, I truly do have the faith and the knowledge it is the former and not the latter.

I consider it a blessing and an honor to come along side my boss (aka: Head-honcho) and help her do what we do on a daily basis.... which is MUCH!  I marvel at HER!

These past four years have been LABOR-intensive from both a personal and professional perspective.

Professionally, running such an incredible operation, experiencing double-digit growth during my tenure under her leadership, mine, and one more incredible team has been a blessing NO ONE but God saw coming!   To go from a stay-at-home-mom to co-shouldering such a huge operation as been an honor and an incredible season of growth for me!  Thank you, my beloved BJ, for such an insane opportunity, your trust, and your confidence!

Personally, no words... well, few words.   These days I so often look at my three kids (and my husband) and think, "WOW, what growth!"   THE truly one-and-only wondrous Lord above knows the shear amount of tilling / working the soil and sowing the seeds over the past two decades I have tackled every day.  It has taken EVERYTHING out of me, but the coming harvest as it just begins to pop out of the soil is utterly BREATH-TAKING.   Praise HIM, He has and remains utterly faithful: "He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful."  Isa 30:23

I titled this entry as "We Made It!"  because we made it!

I packed ONLY "comfies".... oh, the thrill, ya'll!  And can I just say, "Hello 72 degrees!"  The temperature actually matches the month here!  #odetojoy

I remain incredibly tuned-in and grateful for this season and the paramount cornerstone it is to what HE is doing for the future.  #legacytoHim

Grow, dear ones!  Never, never, never give in to complacency, nor the world's watered down version of God or what it truly means to be a Christ-follower.  Be ALL  IN or be ALL OUT -- BUT BE!

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."  Ecc. 9:10

Godspeed, dear ones!  ♡