I’ve been learning a lot the last few days, thought I’d share from my mental “notes”:
Fasting from facebook has been good for me, but is sometimes difficult. It’s just so fun to catch up on everybody and, I have to admit, play a few games in free time. My 10-year-old niece added me as a friend (I got an email telling me) so I went on facebook JUST to add her. I didn’t want her to think I was ignoring her – she doesn’t know I’m not using facebook right now. My middle girl came downstairs while I was on the facebook page and asked me with hands on her hips, “Mom, what are you doing?” She’s been reading a book “A Call to Die” by David Nasser about denying self to grow closer to God. I told her my reason (excuse) and she replied, “I just read a chapter that talked about how we make excuses to do things we promised God we wouldn’t do. Hold to your promise, mom.” Well, well – discipled by my own daughter. I accepted that little admonition given in love and logged off immediately.
Last night after supper, this same daughter – who is growing a lot in her relationship with God right now – told us some things she had been learning about focusing too much on what she was supposed to DO for God and not just being with Him and getting to know Him. A friend of her gave her wise words, “God wants the servant more than the service.” I love that! It’s been stuck in my mind all day.
Seeing the growth that’s happening in her heart has blessed me so much and reminded me that though a year or so ago I wondered how personal her relationship with Christ was and how much she cared, God was working all along to draw her close and shape her heart. Now I see beauty and tenderness in her growing love for Jesus and desire to please Him. I simply have to trust Him more.
Discipline is different from punishment. It takes longer and has a more long-lasting purpose. It takes more involvement from the one doing the discipline, too, and commitment to see it through. It is meant to help alter behavior, not just punish it. Just like a runner doesn’t become ready to run a marathon after training one day, my girls won’t be fully mature and responsible overnight. The things God’s teaching me usually don’t “stick” the first time – I need repeat lessons and practice. It’s worth it, though. My mom’s favorite verse for me when I was a teenager is so true: “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11)
My most prevalent style of dealing with conflict is avoidance, which is the least effective way. I’m realizing that this time of disciplining my youngest is giving me practice dealing with conflict effectively and not avoiding it. I have no choice! It’s good practice, even though it can be a bit stressful.
Whew. That’s enough for now! Now, if I can just keep it all in mind and remember.