This morning I have so many thoughts, lessons, convictions swirling around in my mind I felt a little overwhelmed as I drove into work. I talked with God about it but thought it would also help me to put some of them in writing.
I laid out a beautiful sermonette to John last night about how we need to trust the girls and God during these teen years when we can’t really control what happens and we oftentimes have to just sit, watch and pray. Then today I woke feeling anxious. God rewound the tape from my “message” last night and played it back right in front of me – the nerve! Living by my own words is tough today.
If I really trusted Him completely I wouldn’t worry. So, I’m practicing faith and trust, leaning on Him even though I still feel uncertain. Sometimes letting go hasn’t been that hard but there are days…
What if my daughters choose ways and lifestyles other than what I hope for them? I can so see my mom’s point of view now – what it must have been like for her when I was a teenager. Now I know why she said her best night’s sleep was after my sister’s wedding (I got married the year before) – both her girls were married to good Christian guys and she didn’t have to “worry” anymore.
I was thinking yesterday that time travel would be so helpful right now! I’d love to go back and be more of a grace-oriented mom, more consistent and less driven by emotion in disciplining the girls. I would love to turn back time and try to help them retain innocence longer, be a better example of a family that serves others and is unselfish, not let the technological deluge sweep over my family as soon or as much.
I often feel alone in the values I hold about entertainment – even in my own family, even among my Christian friends. I know, though, that each person has to choose what they think is okay. I pray that God will stir in my girls’ hearts a holy discomfort when they go see and take part in things that aren’t what He would want for them. In our culture, even in the church, it seems views on movies, TV, social drinking, etc. have all become so muddled. Paul did say in the Bible that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. (I Cor. 10:23) I was raised in kind of a legalistic home and I know that influenced some of my values. I don’t want to be legalistic. I believe SO STRONGLY though that we can choose to go without a lot of what the world offers, not because of a dos/don’ts list from God, but out of love for Him – a sacrifice of sorts to show our devotion to Him. Phil. 4:8 tells us to fill our minds with pure, excellent, good, right, noble, truthful, honorable things. Is that just a suggestion from God or is it something to live by – something that will bring us peace and make us more like Jesus?
I heard an amazing message last night at a camp meeting service about faith, living out our faith even when it causes us to suffer or be alone, giving of ourselves, relying on God’s Spirit to support us as we do whatever He’s called us to do, and the powerful impact of a faithful life on other people. If we’re just going through our days working, watching TV, texting, playing on the computer, being with friends and family, etc. are we really living a life of faith? I know that is all part of life for us but shouldn’t there be a passion that drives us to do more? Do my girls really believe in and want to follow Jesus on their own or are they still kind of doing the church thing because of me and their dad? I pray for them every day that God will draw them closer and speak to them, guide them, empower them, cause them to become passionate followers.
I should stop for now. I’m not sure anyone will want to read all of this gushing out of my heart and spilling all over their screen. It’s probably good that I’m the only one at work today. The quiet office is a nice reprieve from the noise in my head.
God, please reach into my heart and mind and make sense of this mess of emotion, thoughts, beliefs, values, questions, doubts, regrets, wishes, desires, and more. Only You can help me with that. I’m counting on You.