Our family is walking in God’s favor. There is no other way to say it. Despite the bad which some days feels like it is closing in on us, and the challenges we have faced this past year, He Is not only answering our prayers, He is answering them way bigger than we even hoped for. We have always been a humble, responsible family. We take our commitments seriously and we try to always remember WHO we are really working for. But there are times when life gets even the strongest in their faith down, and I am coming out of that.
While I was in my “pit of disappointment” I didn’t respond in anger or frustration which is a huge step for me. Most people wouldn’t know I ever responded that way because I do it silently, only visible to a very close few. Some how I always knew that God was leading us to something bigger and better, I just had no idea He would answer so many of my prayers so completely, in such a short time, when all I did was hold tight to His Word and PRAY! I am so thankful, so humbled and so energized to hold up my end of the deal. You see, when I was first praying it was all about what I wanted. God do this list for me and I’ll do this for you. I know God doesn’t negotiate, but I didn’t really even realize I was doing this until I received a letter a praise from a friend and I thought, “Man! I really want to feel that way!” It’s funny how something so simple can change your perspective. She was praising people for even their littlest blessings that touched her family, I was failing to recognize those blessings because I was so consumed with what wasn’t going my way.
It wasn’t until that time that I started to pray, “God I trust that you have not just left me here to figure this out on my own. I know that you never guarantee I’ll be happy, but you also don’t want me sad. Open the doors you want me to walk through and I will do what you require.” That obviously wasn’t the only prayer I prayed. I prayed for specific needs as well. It has amazing to receive His blessings in our family. From kind words of encouragement on days I feel like no one remembers I’m here, to financial blessings at just the right time. We have received gifts of clothing and homeschool materials and we have received the gift of new opportunities at both Church and through Beads of Courage. When I say we have been blessed, I really truly mean it.
I have not kept any of this a secret from my children. I have told them when I feel sad and when I feel anxious. When I am frustrated and when I feel alone. But they also know that nothing can ever steal my JOY because that is a gift from God. I want then to understand they are allowed to have feelings and express them in appropriate ways. But more importantly, I want them to fully comprehend that God already knew they would be feeling that way and He has the answers for them.
When I was in my Pinterest happy place before Christmas, I found this great idea. With Advent and then praying over all our Christmas cards, I decided to wait to start it with the boys so it had its full impact. Here is what it looks like:
It hangs on our fridge and each day when we are not rushed, we pick the next number and read and discuss that passage. Here are the first few:
Humble: Matthew 18:3-4 – “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Forgiving: Colossians 3:13 – “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Charitable: 1 Corinthians 16:14 – “Do everything in love.”
Serving: John 12:26 – “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My father will honor the one who serves me.”
Faithful: James 2:18 – “But someone will say, “You have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
I find it quite interesting the first five are all things I was currently working on and already explaining to the boys. The day we discuss the scripture I’m also sure to point out ways we are exhibiting that behavior to be more like Jesus. Some days I ask them, “If humble was a picture what would it look like?” or “If you had the opportunity to show forgiveness what would you do?” or “If someone chose you to serve, what would you want them to do for you?” Samuel’s answer was great for that questions, “Well Mommy, all you do is serve everyone all day long!” There is so much potential in these lessons and I never ever rush them. We could stay on one attribute a week if there are opportunities to teach them through real life experiences.
I got the idea here and printables here: http://limegreenbogiegirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/to-yous-day-from-me-day.html I’ve also seen where they glue them on popsicle sticks and put them in the cute container. I will say I had a really hard time getting the clothespins to stick to the paper. I finally used hot glue, but I should have painted the chipboard because every where the paper wasn’t tacked down well, it ripped from the weight of the clothespins. I would use the littler pins if I made one again.
We are having a lot of fun with this and the boys love picking the next number. Samuel is enjoying learning how to use his Bible, Isaiah is just soaking it all in. We are so blessed.