14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.
Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.
Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.
Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:
Definition of FORGIVE
transitive verb1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.
Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!
But what about those of us that do?
Do you gather your children around the kitchen table, break out the glue gun, and let the kids go crazy with the tempera? I do… sometimes… wish I did more. (Here is where I do my shameless plug for my Pinterest account. Check it out via the link on our home page. Lots of awesome ideas on that site for inspiration!)
Try it: Incorporate a verse, prayer, or song into your craft! Your children will learn more about The Lord and you’ll be able whisper a prayer under your breath. (Hopefully for something other than not getting red paint on your white walls…)
Isn’t it funny? There are a million books and websites you turn to when you find out you’ll be a mother. You’re worried about everything from what to eat, how to decorate the nursery, making sure you set a Godly example, sleep routines, safety, and fashion. Sadly, in the midst of most mainstream books, blogs, and websites the whole subject of passing on your family legacy or even creating one is left out. (Notice I said “mainstream”, there are a ton of resources, just not “popular” ones.)
For a lot of you, this may come easily. Others, not so much. Maybe you came from a family where legacy wasn’t important or a broken home and you were left confused. Or, perhaps, unfortunately you didn’t know your parents. Some of you may have had a wonderful legacy as far as family, but you’re parents did not instill Christian values. Just where does one start or even begin?
What does “legacy” mean? Webster defines it as:
Definition of LEGACY1: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
A legacy can include teachings, morals, traditions, thoughts, property, name, etc. It literally covers just about everything, as long as it is passed down. The goal is to make it a worthy legacy. Something that your children’s children will say, “I am who I am, because of my legacy, and for that I am grateful.”
How do you do this, exactly? Well, it’s certainly not simple. In a nutshell, think of what is in your life that you want to pass down and amplify that. Think of what you do not want to pass down and bring that to a halt. Children are sponges, soaking in every thing we put out whether good or bad. (Ouch, huh? It hurt me to type that last part, probably more than it did for you to read it. 😉 )
I, personally, grew up in a Pastor’s home. My Grandparents were very Godly and amazing to our family as are my parents. However, even so, there are things that I want to pass down that are “my own” but still of Christ.
I wish I could fit this all into one post. I’m sorry. I know I have 4 other series going right now, but when God says to write, I write. So here it is: On Fridays I will be writing “Creating A Legacy”. Please remember that I am no expert, just somewhat experienced and still learning. Feel free to chime in at any time with comments, questions, suggestions, etc.
God bless and have a great weekend!
Here we are again, it’s Thursday already!!! Yikes!
Have you had a hard time finding time for prayer, praise, and worship this week? I know I have. So I pulled an old trick out of my sleeve. “Dance Party”.
This is really difficult, so place close attention:
Wait, that’s not at all difficult, is it?
The best part is the list of benefits. Exercise for all, prayer time, you set an example, everyone has fun, and the kids get all their wigglies out. In fact, your littles may nap right after if you keep it up long enough!
Keep doin’ the good work, Moms. Keep praying as you go, raising those sticky hands as often as you can. Store up your treasures in Heaven, and in still the importance of God in your children’s hearts.
Disclaimer: Don’t have a dance party right after lunch. If you do, next thing you know you might be having a puke party. Just sayin’…
Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.
Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.
Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.
So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…
Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.
Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4 time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV
For some reason, many people (not just men) are afraid to admit that they are not experiencing any emotion other than joy. Especially Christians. Some feel that it is sinful, or makes them not as good as the next person. However, as the scripture above points out, (Turn, Turn, Turn… Ha, you know it’s stuck in your head now too…) there is a time for everything.
To mourn and grieve is very important to the healing process. Without embracing the truth, acknowledging it, dealing with it, and accepting that something happened you may not ever truly move on. Sure, you can be all happy/smiley and say “Praise the Lord!” after everything everyone says, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy. The body, heart, mind, and soul need to grieve in a healthy matter for a healthy amount of time. It should not be rushed or dragged out.
Unfortunately, really horrible bad things happen in this world: Death, natural and unnatural. Rape. Miscarriage. Child abuse. Illness. Job loss. Divorce. Infidelity. Break ups. Infertility. Muggings. Robberies. Car accidents. Etc, etc, etc… After any of these situations, it is normal to grieve and expected. It is even normal to “mildly grieve” over much smaller less upsetting situations. Anyone who’s had a bad hair cut knows what I’m talking about. (I forgive Karen & Emily for butchering my hair when I was 16, really… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t mourn it for a few days.)
Yes, as Christians we should have joy. Yes, we should see the positive and not the negative. But we are also commanded that there IS a time to mourn. That means it’s accepted. Should you not allow this process, you may miss out on a complete healing.
Just remember, it’s called GOOD GRIEF for a reason. And that prayer is NEVER a bad thing. The more the better!
We’ve all been there: Awake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, and all that keeps playing through your head is that dumb annoying song that the most annoying toy your child owns plays repeatedly… Over and over and over… No matter what you do, the song is there.
It really makes you wonder… What if our praise to God was like that, except for not annoying? If we were constant and not ceasing. LOUD and not soft. Consistent and joyful. I’m sure he would be really proud, and would love to have our praise “stuck in His head”.
This is my sticky handed challenge to you: Be the noisy toy! And remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Your praise is never unnoticed to God!
In July of 2004, I made friends with a group of people in an IHOP. If you know me, this comes as no surprise. We ended up merging our tables and the other group came and sat with my group. One of these persons is a guy who we will refer to as “Chuck”…
That night was full of fun and laughter. I kept in touch with a few via phone, text, myspace, email, etc. “Chuck” was one of them. A few years later we reacquainted. I was busy with work/life and never thought twice about him. He was dating Julie, who I didn’t know.
Fast forward a few months: “Chuck” is about to leave for deployment (He was a Marine) and wants to meet up, just as friends. Before you know it, “Chuck” and I are dating. Only mentioned an ex-girlfriend a few times. Leaves for Iraq, and while there: rips my heart to shreds. I was left hurt, very confused, and angry. I was determined before that to never fall for anyone again, and I did… only to be let down.
In the time we were dating before he left, I got to know some of his friends. One was his best friend’s girlfriend, Le Anna. When “Chuck” and I broke up, she insisted I come along on a girls night. She brought 2 other girls. Steph and….. Julie, who also brought her now husband. I realized within seconds she was the girl in the pictures with “Chuck” a few months before I started dating him, but we were very cool with each other and quickly became friends. Before the end of the night, she ended up consoling me, and we both insisted we had to remain in contact.
That was almost 5 years ago. Now, I could easily look back on all of that and say “God, why? Why did you allow my heart to be broken?” However, I look at it like this, “God, thank you for the gift of friendship you have given me in these 3 women. Especially Julie. She’s always there right when I need her with a wise word, song lyric, or scripture. It was all worth it to know these girls!”
God knows what he’s doing, people. All the time. Even when we aren’t serving him at the time. And what may seem like something horrible in your midst, never forget that something good can come from it. Even the Bible states this:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
A month after I met Julie, I met and married my husband Bobby who is the love of my life. I could have NEVER imagined that I would ever find someone like him. He is a dream come true and one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I quickly forgot about “Chuck”, and still had 3 awesome new friends! A few months later, Julie and Chad were married and remain to be very happy.
You know what that means…
“Chuck” is apparently “Good Luck”… If you’re single and tired of it, I suggest looking him up… Just kidding. Save yourself the trouble, don’t. Just be friends with us instead.
Bringing you only the best! One smarty and one ditz…
But we would NEVER pass the chance for OUR FAMILIES to see us, even if it risked humiliating ourselves. We would do ANYTHING for OUR FAMILY!
Becky and Madison, NOW you’re seeing your Mom & G’Madre Diania!
But we’re not bitter…
Dear Lord, Please don’t let us end up on Tosh.O, Break.com, or any other one of those hilarious shows… Ugh… Only for those we love would we do this, because we would NEVER not acknowledge them on camera. 😉 In Jesus’ name we pray. And the church & blog world said AMEN!!!
How do you view your children? Are they wonderful to have around? Do you enjoy their presence? Or do you dread the moment they wake up, complain about them all day, yell nonstop, call them names, constantly try to pawn them off on others, and dream of the day they move out?
Unfortunately, many mothers view their children as the latter. We live in a day where children are disposable; Where those that are unwanted can just be dropped off in a “Safe Haven” or aborted before they even have a chance .
The Bible says this:
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
Children are never “No big deal”. They should not be seen and not heard. They should NEVER be forced to grow up too quickly because you’re just tired of kids running around. They are a privilege, not a right. It is time for people to wake up and stop treating them as such! Don’t like it? Get a dog. Not a baby. (Oh boy, don’t get me started on people who treat their animals better than their children…)
I guess this is more sensitive for me, given my circumstance with my older 2 children. What I would give to have my kids nagging me and being loud all day, every day. HA! Okay, maybe not to that extent, but you do know what I mean. Also, being the mother of a 10 1/2 year old, I have finally realized that these years do fly right by. As Momma Ann, Karen and Emily’s Mom, always says, “Don’t blink!”
It is natural for us to become tired from time to time, and that I understand. Call a girlfriend and go out to dinner or find a baby sitter so you can have a night out alone with your husband. We’re all going to have bad days. Just don’t get in the habit and find yourself taking your child for granted.
I pray that each of you realize your potential as a mother, the gift we’ve been given, and that God will never give us more than we can handle.