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Friday, August 08, 2008

Q&A!


I got this question submitted to me and thought I would answer it here, since I get variations of this same question emailed to me quite often. I think this struggle is common-- and if you could have been a fly on the wall at our house last night, you wouldn't be asking me how to do anything. You would just be praying for me and the hope that my kids will somehow turn out okay with me as their mother!! And so, you will see that in this answer, I don't claim to have any answers, but I can point you to experts who do!

I have been wondering lately how do you handle your kids? I have 3 and struggle with responsibility, chores, and just getting a handle on the chaos that seems to take place most of the time Do you have any resources or writings dealing with your methods? (Name withheld)

I would recommend getting some books to inspire and equip you in these areas.
One book is Life Skills For Kids by Christine Field, which is an excellent resource on training kids and what you should expect. I keep my copy handy at all times.
Another book that really inspired me, even though it's written in from a Catholic perspective (I am not Catholic), is A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot. http://www.mothersruleoflife.com/. She really deals with the order of our days and turning that chaotic atmosphere around. I would highly recommend ordering that one!
I would also recommend subscribing to Above Rubies, as their little doses of encouragement for handling it all really encourage and sustain me at times! You can just go to http://www.aboverubies.org/. (Disclaimer: I do not always agree with everything in this magazine, but it does encourage me to be a more loving mom who embraces my calling. Who doesn't need that?)
Finally, I would recommend a new book by Kevin Leman called Have a New Kid By Friday (I will be doing a giveaway for this book very soon!!) or John Rosemond's Parenting By The Book. Both of these men really address the authority we have as parents and how to get that authority back if you feel you have lost it. Very good wisdom-- and well worth spending some time reading.

Most of all, don't forget to ask God to be your portion and to rely on Him minute by minute for insight and wisdom in dealing with your kids-- too often I forget that in the chaos when He is right there waiting for me to just ask!! Get alone with Him first thing every morning so you can be filled with Him and aware of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. I hope this helps!! Yesterday I had a day where I felt completely out of control in my life and with my kids-- so I know all too well the feelings you are describing!! I don't do it perfectly, as you will see in my devotion. I hope you will get to a place where you feel more capable, yet not capable enough that you stop relying on God.

I attached this devotion that I wrote almost two years ago...

Squelching The Spirit
By Marybeth Whalen

John 14:16-17, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (NIV)

Devotion:
“Lord,” I prayed, “Please help me to be mindful of your Holy Spirit. Please help me to live life aware that you are at work within me through the Spirit and not to lose sight of that fact today.” I finished my prayer, ashamed to confess to God yet again that I had forgotten about the Holy Spirit. How could I forget something so important—so essential to my Christian walk? Instead I had lived a life devoid of the power I had within me. This was foolishness at its finest and not one of my prouder moments.

Satan loves to trick us into living our lives mired in defeat and despair. He keeps us just busy and distracted enough to lose our focus. When he is able to accomplish this, he can detach our connection to the truth of the Holy Spirit’s power within us. If we aren’t focused on it then we can’t tap into it. Satan’s goal is to squelch the Spirit within us. He can’t have victory over the Spirit, but he can have victory over our flesh.

Armed with the knowledge of this fact, I have determined to be intentional about living life aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence. I am also trying to learn all I can about what that means. By reading the Bible, I learned that the Holy Spirit serves as my Comforter, my Counselor and my Controller. As my Comforter, he is an abiding presence whenever I feel lonely or rejected. As my Counselor, I can ask him to supply me with wisdom or even to pray on my behalf when words fail me. (Romans 8:26-27) As my Controller, he helps me control my impulses and guides my actions. (Romans 8:13-14)

For these things to happen, I can’t be lulled into passivity nor can I be distracted into over-activity—thereby forgetting all about him in the midst of my busyness.
How many of us know the passage that lists the fruits of the Spirit, yet feel defeated in these very areas: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? So many Christians will tell you they don’t have self-control with their eating or love for their spouse or that they lack patience or peace in their home. Through prayer and intentional living, I am learning to experience the fruits of the Spirit. I have already been given these things, yet I don’t live that way! Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would be given to us permanently and that every believer would receive the Holy Spirit. We can stand on that and receive the blessings of the virtues listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Have you been too busy or too defeated to remember the Holy Spirit? Have you forgotten that he is right there waiting to help you, to hear you, and even to hinder you if necessary? A life that is tapped into the Holy Spirit is a powerful, victorious life. It is a life that is a very real threat to the devil. It is a life that is there for the taking, step by step.

Dear Lord, Please help me to be mindful of your Holy Spirit in my daily life. Help me to live a victorious Christian life by relying on Him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Look up the verses that mention the Holy Spirit in your Bible and do a study on this part of the trinity.

Reflections:
Do you experience the victory of relying on the Spirit in your life each day?
How can you be more intentional about doing so?
Is there a verse in particular that would be of help to you?

Power Verses:
I Thessalonians 5:19-22, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold onto the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

II Corinthians 1:21-22, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

II Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
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1 comment:

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Oh yes..."thee" question. Great response. It's all about consistency, isn't it? UGH (as I am dreading the summer having flown by so fast:)