We had our annual “Anniversary Sunday” last Sunday. This is a tradition that I notice is done in the South a lot, and it’s really awesome. Everyone worked hard for weeks inviting friends, co-workers, neighbors and even strangers to our special service with a big barbecue afterwards. Pastor called a 2 week fast before hand, whether a total food fast or fasting something like sugar, T.V. or social media. We had a few families from Nate’s work show up which was really exciting and special! Anyway, following Sunday was special meetings each night, finishing on Wednesday.
The messages were challenging, thought provoking and convicting. Wednesday night was the main message that got my wheels turning—lessons on raising children.
Last week I felt at my wits end with one of my children, and as usual it was my fault. Letting things slide, giving 3 warnings and then still not following through. Kids pick up on these things, even if they don’t realize it. They don’t obey immediately because they know you won’t do anything about it and I was seriously lacking. Sometimes, it just doesn’t click with me as a Mom. Then the Lord speaks to me and I realize I need to be more consistent and we have a “no-warnings” rule until things straighten up. Thankfully we were heading uphill when this message was preached, and it pushed me to do more.
Here’s my summary from the message: It’s not enough to read your Bible, pray and do your best with child training. Because, let’s face it, our best stinks. We have nothing good in us. However, being filled with the Holy Spirit will go leaps and bounds above what we could ever do of ourselves. And not just being saved-I mean truly seeking God after our whole heart, begging him to fill us and then following up by filling our homes with spiritual things beyond your daily devotions. Play the Bible, sermons, anything spiritual you can get your hands on (and in this day and age, that is so easy with websites and apps at our fingertips.)
Our kids will NOT make it by us being good, moral people and raising them the best that WE can. We NEED the Holy Spirit guiding us, and we need to feed the spirit in our homes every day. Months ago, I cut way down on letting the kids watch shows. Granted, these shows are the most innocent things you can find, and even educational but I mainly did it because I wanted my kids to be creative and not be bound to Netflix or a game on an Ipad to entertain them. I realize now that my reason should have been because that stuff doesn’t feed the spirit. It’s not wrong, but it doesn’t strengthen them spiritually. Now, I understand that playing with trains or dolls isn’t necessarily “spiritual”, either, but it’s not mindless entertainment. Plus, their attitudes and general behavior is so much better when they don’t watch shows. Now, once or twice a month is the most and they don’t even ask for it or miss it! Now, it's a special treat rather than the norm.
So this week, I’ve changed things up. As a busy Mom who is up and down stairs and in and out of rooms I can’t listen to sermons all the time, but I can play them while I cook, fold laundry or clean the entire kitchen. This week I’ve managed 2 sermons already, and it has honestly been wonderful—and I haven’t been watching mindless shows either! When I fill my spirit instead of my flesh, the Spirit is what will flourish while the flesh will be starving and not have as much energy to fight! In understand that this does not guarantee that my children will stay on the straight and narrow their whole lives. I know many people, including my own parents, who are as spirit filled and led as they could be and still have lost children. The flesh and the Devil are strong. I'm just saying that I will do everything in my power to feed mine and my children's spirits, fill our home with Jesus and pray fervently that they choose to do the same when they are old enough to make their own choice. This parenting thing is no joke and I have to be at the top of my spiritual game at all times if my kids are going to do something great for god, which is my prayer!
A few pictures of our week:
Climbs up on the chair and very proudly says "Hi, Mommy" and waves at me
Brothers shooting their disk gun down the stairs
He's been very into trains lately!
She loves reading to her brothers
Playing in an empty tub...and totally making Buddy jealous
Brooke made my coffee and Joe brought it to me. Day made.
Have a great week!