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Archive for May, 2011

Photo Credit: Meshele Makin

 

I know a certain ogre who likes to say that there are many layers to people, just like onions! That always seemed a bit smelly of a description to me and didn’t completely match up with the image God has given me about who I am in him. All of Earth’s possessions are here to show us the many different aspects of God Himself as well as His precious Son; however, there is one thing found in the deepest parts of the Earth’s crust that show us a glimmering example of ourselves and how God sees US – the diamond.  

First of all, you have this nasty, smelly, black lump of coal that’s only good for one thing – setting it on fire! Take that same lump of potential fuel, break it open and you may discover a new treasure. At first glance this new material may seem like any other piece of glass or clear rock. I wonder how many primitive humans tossed these ‘worthless diamonds’ into oceans, volcanoes or other fire pits? Can you imagine what fortunes that might have been squandered by today’s standards? 

Now take that same clear, worthless rock and hold it up to the light, what do ya see?  A myriad of colors, right! A diamond is a prism and reflects ever possible color there is! There are many, many colors and each of them are beautiful in their own unique way; each providing its own hue and definition to the overall diamond, not dominating or overwhelming the diamond as a whole. 

So we are, before God. We are all diamonds hidden beneath the dirty exterior of sin. Some of us choose to shake off the exterior definition of coal and be called diamonds before God. Make no mistake, it is IN you to be a diamond but you have to choose to see yourself that way.  Still though, many diamonds remain defined by their once-black exterior, even after it has been shaken loose. Diamonds though they are, they remain clouded, their colors muted and their full potential never fulfilled.  When you hold yourself up to the Light of Jesus Christ, let His light define you, He will illuminate the colors of your soul and bring them to their full potential.  

Every day we choose what music plays on our radio, what movies or shows play on our TV, what information we choose to look at or read and the company we keep (be they friends ,teachers or even false prophets). Those choices become our thoughts; thoughts become words. It’s through our choices in thought and word that we achieve the only effort required of us in shaking off the coal and lifting ourselves up to the Light of Jesus. The choice is yours and you have the opportunity to make that choice with each thought that crosses your mind each and every day. Remember: You can’t stop the bird from flying by but you can stop it from building a nest! So tell me, will you choose to leave your colors muted? Or let the Light Shine?

 

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Photo Credit: Meshele Tomplait

In the journey of motherhood there are many things that you will encounter that will take you by surprise; some pleasantly and some not so much.  I’m not sure how other mother’s feel but I expected that as time went on and the more children I had I would get stronger in my mommy skills and be confident and secure in the decisions I made regarding their future. You could say this was one of the not so pleasant surprises I’ve uncovered along the way!  As it turns out, since I am still learning and growing in the Word and as a person it reflects in my parenting process as well. I had to be willing to be flexible and bend my mothering tactics around the new growth I had achieved.  You could say I find myself at one of those places now.

As a Christian home schooling mother I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve had the wrong focus and have not given adequate attention to training my children in the Word.  Yes, we have a Bible lesson and read from a little devotional but outside of those few minutes, how did the rest of our day reflect the Jesus that we claimed to live inside us? I have neglected my true priority as a mother: to disciple my children.  When Jesus walked this Earth, He spent three full years training His disciples to emulate Him after He returned to the Father. Not only should this be closely examined as a pattern for our own lives but also a pattern for parenting. As parents our only priority is to train our children as Disciples of Christ, first and foremost, and the details in life like food, clothing, education, luxuries will come as a consequence or direct result of that action.

 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”   — Matthew 6:33

I just finished the most amazing book, Disciple Like Jesus for Parents, that really put my responsibility into perspective for me. It spoke to that part of me that knows I should be training my children better but feels so incredibly inadequate that failure seemed imminent.  After all, I’ve never been to seminary, what do I REALLY know about God? As it turns out, I know plenty! I know the most important thing – to look in my Bible! I learned that it’s ok to not know everything, have every answer or even ANY answers! What’s important is that we never stop learning. It’s the most incredibly rewarding experience to learn alongside your children. As you dig deeper into the Word, God is able to reveal things to you in ways he couldn’t otherwise because nothing speaks to a Mamma’s heart quite like tending the heart of her own children.  

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:2

So what am I doing different now? Instead of treating the Word of God like another subject in school to get through, it’s become the main theme of the day. When we studied the Parable of the Sower, for example, it was the main project of day and we spent the most time discussing it and working crafts. In science we planted seeds in starter cups, weeded the garden and worked math problems w/ the general theme or tackled them together as they came up in our day.  My girls are older so I also tied in the Parable of the Tares and the Wheat with this lesson since they seemed to build upon each other, cultivating the soil of our heart, guiding the seed to fertile soil, digging out rocks or thorns and to be sure it doesn’t grow a crop of weeds instead of wheat. Numerous times throughout the day we found examples of how these parables applied in our daily lives. Now as future situations occur we have a solid memory of an entire day of examples of this parable to draw back on, instead of ‘that story we read one time’.

Do you see the difference? I sure did, and I was shocked! Here I had spent many countless hours stressing over lesson plans or finding interesting content for each subject when I should’ve been building my day around a single Bible concept.  I’m just getting started too; this is our first week attempting a new approach! I have a lot of ideas of how I would like to see this go, but I know the most important thing is to spark as many conversations a day as I can with my children about our Daddy God, His Word, and how it applies to our everyday lives because that’s the biggest challenge we face in our faith at any age.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”Deuteronomy 6:7

 This is just one of many examples of how we are here to learn how to build every detail of our lives around Daddy God, instead of the world’s system.  In doing so we discover that all the wrinkles in our fabric of life just seem to iron themselves right out!

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