Sunday, May 8, 2016

A challenge for YOU!

Friend, today I want to challenge you and if you're a Mom, I pray this post really speaks to your heart. Last week I did something I've only done once before on this blog...I shared a video. Twenty years ago, I would have never put my words out here for the world to read, but God's been working in me. That's no longer very difficult, well some of those real, transparent posts still make me a bit nervous, but in a way it's kind of easy to hide behind my computer screen. A video takes things to a whole new level for me...let's say it doesn't come naturally.

God seemed to be leading me to do just that though for the study I shared and I chose to be obedient. The whole thing...taping a video, uploading it to YouTube and sharing it on my blog is something new. I had everything ready to go and walked away from the computer. Then the worries, doubts and lies began playing in my head. If I hadn't already asked a friend to pray about this, I'm pretty sure I would have delated it.

So lesson one - accountability is important! Those hard things God is leading you to do or the crazy ideas He's putting on your heart - share it with somebody or Satan will steal it away!

 Lesson #2 - others are watching. Moms, the ones with the biggest eyes and clearest view - our children. Two stories to prove this - Joy, our 11 year old, was in the house trying to watch over our little boys while I recorded the video. Anyway, she watched my first try at the video as I previewed it. I'd messed up the volume, so I had to do it again. Afterwards she came and said, "Mom, I want to watch that." I asked, "Why? You heard it and watched the last one." Joy responds, "I know but I like listening to you." Then and there, God showed me it didn't matter if anyone else saw my video...He was using it to speak to my daughter. She may have been listening to me, but she was hearing about sin.

As you try something new, think about how you can incorporate Deuteronomy 6:7, "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Friend we need to instruct our children on God's commands...sometimes that will look a bit like Bible study and others, well it happens as we live life!

The other Joy was watching J.D., our 13 year old, came in and watched it too. He said to me, "Mom did you see this? Why did you let Jesse do that? (He crawled onto my lap as I was talking.) It looks like you have no control." Oh he sounds quite sophisticated and his words actually surprised me because typically it seems he is not at all concerned with what others think. This gave me a little insight though and gave us an opportunity to discuss pleasing people a bit more.

I've talked about Proverbs 29:25, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe" with my kids and even prayed it over them, but this gave my son an opportunity to see me living it out.

Lesson #3 - it's a great reminder. Friend, as adults and especially as Moms I think it can be easy to fall into routine and do what we've always done. The older we get the harder it becomes to try something new...or am I the only one who feels that way? This has made me remember that learning, or doing, something new isn't always easy. It can hard and even scary. As I thought about this I thought about how my kids are almost constantly trying or learning something new. (OK, we have 5 kids so individually they may not be, but collectively someone almost always is.)

Learning to ride a bike, learning to read and write, learning to play softball, learning to drive the mower, raising pigs, balancing a checkbook, doing a sewing project and on and on. Graduation is nearing and even then kids are learning new routine, living on their own, making new friends, starting a new job. Life goes on and kids learn about marriage and parenting. There's always something new.

Stepping out of my comfort zone reminded me to give more grace and be patient with my kids as they too try something new. It also encouraged me to let go of any thoughts of perfection and instead focus on improving. As friends encouraged me in the days after sharing that video, I did a better job supporting my kids as we journey through this thing called life and they constantly try to learn something new.

Friend, we are setting an example - first for our families and then for those who God brings across our path. Let's try something new - we're sure to learn from it and grow through it, but it will also provide helpful reminders as we try to encourage and assist others who are doing the same!

Finally, and most importantly lesson #4, try something new may allow our lives to bring 2 Corinthians 12:9 to life. Here the Lord says to Paul, “'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." When others see us learning something new or struggling to something that does come natural, we have the opportunity to show them Jesus in us. We've all been given gifts and strengths...things we're comfortable with and can do in our own strength, which is good and are things God can work thru. But we step out in faith to do something new or that is hard, we're trusting God to work through us and for the Holy Spirit to equip us. Oh to trust Him more to be used by Him better!!

So let me ask, "What new thing are you going to do today?" It doesn't have to be BIG or newsworthy, just something new. I'd love to know...I promise to pray for you and trust I'll be encouraged by you!! Blessings to you friends...may we continue to press on towards the goal!

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