It’s been exactly a week ago that the cork blew. No, it wasn’t mine, but in some ways I wish it had been. We’ve all heard the saying the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well that saying definitely applies to ALL the character traits in our children that we DON’T want them to inherit. Scott has always called me his champagne bottle because I hold all kinds of stuff inside of me and then when I can’t hold anything else and the bottle gets shaken, I blow. Well, my oldest son has inherited this trait and he blew last week.
He had had a really tough time getting through his school and his grumbling, complaining, and bad attitude was the majority of the problem. Finally mid-afternoon I was way past losing my temper and that is when his cork blew. Both of us setting at the school room table, he bubbled over for an hour of all the things that were bothering him inside. It was a bitter-sweet time as he shared with me and as I listened and offered counsel. While I could write for pages of all the lessons I learned from our time together, the one that I have pondered over the last week the most comes from Philippians 3:12-21. After our long conversation last Thursday, I awoke Friday morning to these words from God and shared them at the breakfast table with all the kids that morning. Listen in as I remind myself again of what the Lord had laid on my heart…
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.”
Mom is not perfect and I make mistakes. I am striving to do what God wants me to do, but sometimes I don’t. I can’t dwell on these things. I have to ask God’s forgiveness and yours if necessary and move forward. You too will make mistakes and you must ask for forgiveness and move forward. You can’t harbor things in your heart or it will take over you.
“I purse as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.”
Our reward and our goal is not here on earth, but is in heaven. All of us are not in the same spot in our spiritual walk and that is okay. However, wherever we are, we are responsible to live out the truth that we do understand. What you understand right now about the God and His word, you are responsible for living out, just like I am.
“Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We can’t live our lives for earthly things. We can’t live our lives for ourselves. We have to live our lives in a way that focuses on who we are in Christ. We belong to His kingdom and should focus on what a joyous day it will be when He returns for us.
“He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”
God is going to take our humble bodies, our earthly sinful bodies and turn them into His likeness through His power. We are unable to change ourselves. Even if we wanted to we couldn’t. God is the only one who can help us forget the mistakes of the past and give us the strength to live out His truths in our lives. He is the one that makes all things new. The old is gone and the new has come only because of the work of Jesus Christ in our lives.
…Knowing exactly how much of a burden it is to carry things inside and how much practice it takes to open up and share your deepest thoughts and feelings with others, I told Dawson at the end of our conversation last week that he was going to have to learn to communicate better. His response was simply, “I’m not much for talking.” With a chuckle, I said yes, but he would have to practice. Later that night Scott and I talked about how he could get some practice in. In the past we have had tea time in the evenings with each of our kids. One night a week they would get to stay up later and visit one-on-one with us. It had been an enlightening time for us as parents, but we had gotten away from this for a number of reasons. We decided that this might be what we need to get back too. Another option that some friends of mine shared with me yesterday was a journal. In it the parent and child write back and forth to one another things that are bothering the child or even praises and encouragement from the parent to the child. It allows the child a way to express themselves without having to feel embarrassed or as vulnerable. Please feel free to share anything you may have done or are doing with your children to open up the lines of communication. It is so critical to have good communication between our children while they are still young before entering into the teenage years. I can use all the ideas you have as I am not much for talking myself!!
My Hearts Prayer: Lord thank you that you are the forgiver of all our sins. Thank you that you make all things new. I pray that you will help Dawson to be able to express in an appropriate manner all the emotions and things that are going on inside of him. You have blessed him with a tender and compassionate heart and I pray that you will help him to see that as a great strength and gift from you and not a weakness. Help him as he begins his transition from boyhood to manhood to live up to the truth that he has attained and will continue to pursue throughout his life. In Jesus Name, Amen.