Before the snow started falling...I snapped this pic. These are my yahoos...all four of them.
Still cannot believe God picked me to be their mama. How outrageous is that? This morning... I was praying with Jeff. Lately I have found it difficult to be their mama. It isn't that I do not want the job.... It's just...
I am finding the job a bit overwhelming for goofy little ole' me.
Then Jeff whispered..."You CANNOT care for them on your own, Kat. It is only in HIS strength that you can mange to get through the day. So start there. Ask HIM to give you what you NEED, to care for them the way HE needs you to." He held me, and prayed over me, that today would be different. That God would sent me encouragement...and help me through the day. These are the words God sent me.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by PRAYER and
SUPPLICATION with THANKSGIVING
Let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)
So today, we have been taking each challenge this way. Whispering a prayer with each frustration that comes. Choosing to focus on what HE would have for us, instead of what I insist gets done.
Have you ever made a list of the things that frustrate you throughout the day? I am going to start...today. Every time I feel irritated about something...I am going to write it down.
And then give it to God. I am going to do this, because the reason I struggle with parenting my kids is I am too consumed with insignificant things. Things that Satan would love for me to be consumed with, and things that God wishes I would just give to HIM.
When you trip over the dirty laundry in the middle of the bathroom floor...pray.
When Mae does not get her math done in a prompt manner...pray.
When Li-Li does not get to the bathroom quick enough...pray.
When Kiki rips your favorite book to shreds...pray.
When Mac gives you that nasty look, that look she learned from YOU....pray.
He did not say, Just pray about the big things. He did not say...ONLY pray about the missionaries, ONLY come to me regarding your paycheck, or whether you should move into a different house.
He said, "In EVERYTHING, pray."
Sounds easy, right? Well, there's a catch. One I did not notice, until I screwed up writing this post, and had to do some rewriting. I kept wanting to make it so simple...In EVERYTHING, pray."
but it is not...
"but in EVERYTHING with prayer and supplication WITH Thanksgiving...
let your requests be made known to God."
We need to be thankful. THANKFUL?
Dear God, I am so thankful for my little Li-Li, who ONCE again was so utterly enthralled with the clubhouse she was building with her sister, that she forgot to head to the potty BEFORE she needed to, and thus not only wet all over herself, but ruined the princess costume she was wearing, as well as the pillows she was standing on! Thank you so much, Lord, that you have given this little munchkin to me!
SIGH. That's the trick, isn't it? How in the world am I to be thankful about THAT?
It's funny, though. When you come to the Lord, trusting the Holy Spirit to intercede when you are not quite able...the Lord takes your frustrations from you and starts your thinking down a different path. The Lord replaces the frustration with thanksgiving. Suddenly, that princess costume and those pillows are not so very important. The funny four year old wearing them is.
So there is a catch...Pray with THANKSGIVING.
But guess what. Usually, when God gives us a command....He also gives us a promise.
Something He assures us we will experience, if we follow through and do what HE commands.
If in everything...we PRAY....with THANKSGIVING...This is what HE promises...
And the peace of GOD,
which surpasses all comprehension...
shall GUARD your hearts,
And your minds in Christ Jesus.
This is the answer. This is what I was asking of God this morning.
Lord, how in the world can I manage to effectively, lovingly parent these four little people?
Be anxious for NOTHING!
In everything...PRAY..with THANKSGIVING!
If we do this...He promises....MY peace shall guard your hearts.
Have you ever met someone whose heart was guarded by God's peace?
I am pretty sure I met someone like that yesterday.
She is a YMCA mom, who brings her two youngest daughters into the nursery. Her daughters are adorable, easy little things to watch over. Mom is one of these youthful, blonde, blue eyed, soft spoken types that always, always has a smile on her face. Her every movement is graceful and sweet. Always calm, always a kind word.
I honestly thought she was about 27 years old.
We were chatting with her yesterday, telling her how wonderful her girls were...and how "pink" they were dressed. She mentioned that after having all boys, she really went wild with the pink outfits for her girls. We were a bit taken back, she looked so young. We did not realized she had any other kids.
"Oh," she said, "I have ten kids."
We were shocked. She does not look at all like a mom with ten kids. She is so happy. She is so patient. She is so...so peaceful.
Then she let loose on her age. She is ....43 years old. 43. No way...no way...is this sweet little fresh faced smiling mama of 10... 43 yrs old. I was in awe. How could that be?
She must pray with thanksgiving. Her heart must be guarded by HIS peace. At any rate...she LOOKS like someone who lives this way. More importantly...she ACTS like someone who lives this way. She is someone you would want to be around. She is someone you would aspire to emulate. The years and energy have NOT taken their toll on her demeanor at all. She is AT peace with herself, with life, with the LORD.
Does your family find you to be someone at PEACE?
(Are you shaking your head, no, right now?)
In our sinfulness...we muck it all up. Make life wayyyy too complicated.
Worry and fret over ridiculous stuff instead of giving it to God, and then get so stressed out we cannot enjoy the life God has given us. Cannot walk in peace. Cannot REST in HIM.
We are empty and worn from wasting all our energy on stuff that He can carry for us...instead of being FULL and alive with His peace He PROMISES to give us.
If we would just pray....with thanksgiving.
By the way, the very next verse in Philippians gives us the perfect way to stop sweating about the little stuff completely.
Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise...
dwell on these things.