This World Wants to Prey on My Children

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Back in May we traveled to Florida.  Leaving at 1 am with 4 children in a rental minivan we set off on our adventure.  We made great time until  we were close to our destination. All the holiday travelers with the same idea seemed to converge onto the same interstate.  Once we arrived the goal was to unload, go get groceries for the week, get some take out Chic-Fil-A,  take a night walk on the beach, then get some rest.  The grocery store was a mad house as others had the same goals in mind.  Once we reached the check out and started putting items on the counter the older gentleman checker started conversing with me.  Our sixteen year old daughter had come along to help.  What started as pleasantries about where we are from quickly soured for me.  The checker turned my answers about our local floods to political.  Bashing our standing President and then telling me who to vote for in the next election.  The response I chose was simply to remain silent at that point.  My look I am sure said “really dude?”.    At that point he turned to my daughter and said “ahh you are the one I need to talk to”.   He had hoped she was 18 and able to vote. Even after he found out her true age he still continued to push his opinions on her as her mother stood right there.  Paying customers from another state simply trapped having to have this stranger’s opinion forced on our tired ears.  We both remained silent in our own political and faith beliefs.  At one point when he told her what party to vote for when she is 18 I did simply say “Well she does have two very conservative parents.”  That was all and the conversation went back to pleasantries.  The Holy Spirit definitely gives my heart a lot of discernment in what words truly matter and when silence is much more golden!

It was interesting as a mom to have to sit back and watch “the world” prey on my child forcing opinions without truth.   It was politics on the surface, but so much of what is happening is actually a spiritual battle within our country and around the world.  It always has been a spiritual battle more than physical.

Later that week just the 16 year old and I were on the beach one afternoon.  I had gone down to the water for a while to cool off.  As I came back to our chairs I found two young girls sitting with my 16 year old.  As they introduced themselves to me and spoke of their intentions my heart went from worry to hope.  These brave young college girls were sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ right there on the beach.  They didn’t force, they asked questions, shared personal testimony and had scripture to back up all that they said.  They shared  Jesus as a choice that we have in our life to make him Lord.  God gave us free will. It was a blessing to share what Jesus has done in my life and to pray for them before they left us.  As they left I had a renewed hope that for all the false messages God will bring true messages along for my children.

Today in our Life group my one student and I ended up going into the other middle school class with it being just us.  The lesson was on 1 Timothy the first chapter.  Paul was urging young Timothy to stay in Ephesus to combat against all the false teaching happening with the TRUE Gospel.  My friend and co teacher shared that she loves teaching middle school girls because that is the age when all the false teachings start to bombard us.  She wants to help the girls go into this battle armed with the truth.  We explained to the girls middle school through college they will be bombarded with a lot of teachings and opinions that are false.

As a Jesus following mom who made plenty of her own mistakes in those young years, it is so hard to sit back and watch the world try to devour her own kids.  As one child already has turned against the faith it has been painful to see and hear the false messages come from her.  Our relationship with Jesus has to be just that, a relationship.  It can not be forced and must be chosen.  This momma’s prayer for her children is that they will love Jesus with all their heart and want to share that love with others.

This world is tough and grows more brutal by the day.  Our children our constantly preyed upon with so much falseness.  Lies that only brings destruction when we fall victim to them  My advice to other Christian parents is that I have none really.  Not of my own.  Prayer, scripture and completely submitting my children to the Lord are my weapons.    “God they are yours and you love them even more than I do.” “Whatever it takes to keep them in your loving arms or to draw them back to your loving arms is what I ask.”  That is a tough prayer.  Otherwise I watch and listen hoping that the truth will protect them.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

For my young friends on the beach.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12

Foster/Adopt #3

The movie “War Room”, many scriptures, sermons, bible studies, and our first two foster parenting classes have inspired me to start praying in our spare room for the potential children and families whose lives God has planned for us to help through the resource of that room.  Words flow the best for me when I sit and type them out.  My plan of action is to write my prayer for all future children and families as well as write individual prayers as God introduces new people into our lives. Also to frame and hang this prayer in this room and the individual prayers for the current resident of the room. These prayers with permission of caseworkers and families I hope to give to the children and their parents so that they can keep them and know that someone is praying for them.  I won’t be able to share the individualized prayers, but I can share the first prayer publically.

Dear God.  Thank you for the blessing of bringing our small family together.  Thank you for our home and for the resource of this extra bedroom.  The circumstances of how we have this room alone is a lesson in how short and precious life is.  God you have helped me to understand that you created every human being and each child is a gift directly from you.  Help us as a family help every child that comes to live with us to realize that they are first and foremost a very precious gift with a purpose you have a plan for.  Help us to come alongside the parents to realize this gift and to learn how to best care for them.  You created the establishment of family and our prayer is that you use our family to help bring restoration to families that are broken.  Depending on your plan Lord our family is willing to grow when restoration is not possible in families that are in need.

No matter where each child’s permanent home will be, I pray that they will know that they will always have a permanent place in our hearts.  Most of all God I pray that they will know that you provide the greatest permanence and home.  Your desire is to have us all in your family.   Your love is everlasting, unconditional, sacrificial, self less, and pure.  Please help us all to love the way that only you can love.  Help us to have kindness in only the way you can show kindness.  To have goodness in your pure form of goodness.  To have joy that only you can provide.  To be patient at all times which is only possible through you God.  To have a peaceful home and live in the way that only you provide true peace.  To be faithful to you and to each other as you are ALWAYS faithful to us.  To show gentleness just as Jesus gave us the example of gentleness.  To always control ourselves, our emotions, our selfish tendencies, and our words with a strength that you can only provide.  Dear God use this room, our home, and our lives to make a difference.  I love you dear precious Heavenly Father and in your Son’s name Jesus I pray.  Amen

Remember Answered Prayers

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The amount of answered prayers continues to grow in this teensy life of mine. God actually sustains me moment to moment most days by His answers. One thing I am learning is to never forget those answers. By continuously remembering when God has provided protection, strength, and healing in so many ways I am humbled. As I have been studying through the Old Testament there is so much to learn about answered prayers and forgotten answers to prayers. The Israelite people are a huge example of forgetting where God has brought them. Time and time again God heard their cries and brought them out of slavery and turmoil only for them to forget where they started and who had gotten them out of the depths of despair. In my own life I have learned that God is always faithful to hear my cries. He doesn’t always answer in the way I have orchestrated in my mind. He always answers better than I can ever imagine. His answers always come with tremendous growth in my own faith. The true test as a believer is remembering where God has brought us. Will we allow Him to change us and grow us with His answers? Will we remember where we started and how far He has brought us? Will we see the miracle of His perfect timing and see His beauty even in our darkest times? When times are good will we give ourselves the credit or give all the glory to God? As I study I have found that King Solomon is another huge example of forgetfulness. Both 2nd Chronicles and 1st Kings record the account of God coming to Solomon in a dream and Solomon asking for wisdom to rule God’s people.

2 Chronicles 1:7-12 “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

God was faithful to Solomon in His promises. The news and fame of his wisdom carried so far and greatly that even the Queen of Sheba had to check this out for herself. Solomon had a great start, but a not so great finish. He had a weakness for the ladies, hundreds of ladies actually. How the guy kept up with all that girl drama is a mystery to me. Amongst the hundreds of ladies were ladies from all types of backgrounds and countries. God had warned of the dangers with marrying those of different faith. Many of these women came from homes and lands that worshipped idols and not God. His weakness for the ladies led to weakness to be swayed into their idolatry and alas to forget how and why he had the very position of king in the first place. God had given everything to him, life, power, wisdom, material goods, and fame. He forgot where he came from. God is faithful to us and in his promises. It is in our weakness and pride that we fail Him.

As I reflect on the greatest answers to prayer it has been the prayers for protection, for God to help me love others as Jesus does, for God to help me to forgive others as Jesus, for God to lead others to Him, and for whatever I do to bring Him glory, not me. These are the prayers that I have seen His greatest miracles. My continuous prayer is to always remember. To remember that God gave me life and that everything I am and have is and was God’s in the first place.