Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When Our Words Come Back to Bite Us

These kids of mine are a bunch of fun.

And a bunch of work.

Somebody is almost always having a meltdown, a crisis, a secret, a lapse in judgement, a belly laugh, a fear, a concern, a practical joke (our whoopee cushion constantly changes locations) and let's not forget...a question.  Or about a thousand.

This phase of life with my kids gives me such appreciation for my parents and some of my friend's parents that allowed me to hang out at their house a lot during my teenage years.

I am learning alot as I teach my own kids about life, Jesus, consequences, responsibility, and so on...

Striking a good parenting balance between easy going and uptight is my goal.  But I usually end up being more one or the other rather than a good mix of in between.

Lately I have gotten pretty uptight about stuff left all over the house. Every day.  Multiple times a day...

A deck of cards.
Random jewelry.
Nerf guns.
Craft supplies.
Nerf bullets.
Candy wrappers.

I huffed through the kitchen stomping and talking to no one in particular in a rather loud voice about how I felt more like the maid than the mom.

Shep looked at me and said, "Babe, we can give them serious consequences for this.  We need to come down harder on them and make them believe us when we say we do not want them leaving stuff all over the house."

I stopped in my tracks and said, "I know we can punish them and make them mind.  I just wish they would obey us because they love us."

And there it was.

Truth.  And my desire...for my children to obey and not be punished.

Haven't I heard that (or read that) somewhere before?

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  John 14:15

The Lord expects of His kids the same thing we expect from our own.


Not out of obligation. Not out of manipulation.  Not out of aggravation.

Obedience out of LOVE.

It hit me pretty hard.

Parenting is not as clear cut as I want it to be.
I desire for my kids to grow up and be considerate, responsible, and honest folks that love their Lord and love others.

However, just like me, they are bent to go their own way and do their own thing.

Like.......leave their junk all over our house all. the. time.

If I love them~
I will correct them.  At times with gentle reminders and mercy.  At other times with discipline and punishment that is as unpleasant for me as it is for them.

Because He loves us...He is faithful and kind to correct us.
Because we love Him...we obey Him.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


There is an all surpassing love that can be known and experienced.

There is a love that covers any wrong.

There is a love that can pay any debt.

There is a love that most only dream of....the stuff of legends and fairy tales.

This love can melt stone and move mountains.
This love can part a sea and drive out fear.
This love resurrects dead things and brings life anew.

Past the retirement of feelings, this LOVE is steadfast and immovable.  Never shaken.

We cannot bend it.
We cannot pervert it.
We cannot purchase it.

This other-worldly love does indeed exist.

It rescues lives every single day.
It seeps into cracks where the tiniest bit of faith thrives.
It changes landscapes and makes our difficulties into stepping stones of grace.

This LOVE is patient and kind.
This LOVE is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
This LOVE does not even demand its own way.
This LOVE is not irritable.
This LOVE keeps zero record of wrongs.
This LOVE hates injustice.
This LOVE rejoices whenever the truth wins.
This LOVE never gives up.
This LOVE never loses faith.
This LOVE is always hopeful.
This LOVE endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13)

I honestly cannot measure up.  As much as I want to love those closest to me in this fashion I fall short.
My heart is impatient and self seeking even on its best day.
I lose heart and want to give up so easily.
My hopes can be dashed as quickly as a light turning red.

But this LOVE holds me.
This LOVE has me.
This LOVE is working inside of me.

This LOVE so astounds me that I cannot help but want to see others held in a LOVE like this.

Most days we don't acknowledge it.
Hours pass and life ticks off a day at a time without us stopping to pause over a LOVE that changed everything in our lives.

I want to relish this LOVE that was so freely given to me and so costly to the Giver.
I want to delight in it and see its boundless expression.

Let's not live like we are unloved.
His LOVE has purpose.  It saves the lost.  It frees the captive.
Shamelessly proclaim all this LOVE does for you...and watch it do the same for others!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it."
John 3:16-17