Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Listening to God's Heartbeat~

I guess it's time for a little transparency. (Ouch!)

I was reading this article this morning and thinking,"I can relate to this." 

Though the particulars were different, the heart from which my "annoyances" surfaced was very much the same.

Well, how DO you order a household of eleven? (Now, there are five of us.) I can remember thinking at times, "I feel more like a drill sargeant than a mother." There was a SCHEDULE to keep!

1) We started each day with a devotion and prayer.

2) Each child had there schooling to work on.

3) Meals had to be put on the table.

4) Clean clothes had to be put in the drawers and hung in the closets.

5) There were animals to feed.

6) Floors had to be clean.

7) The thirty-five pairs of new socks had to be marked with fabric paint so they could be easily sorted after laundering. (The 6 youngest all had their own color.) 

So on and so on..I am sure as mothers, you could make your own unending list of all that needs to be done in day, week, month...

(And this does not include the interesting little things you deal with like having to change out a toilet because someone stuffed an Oil of Olay lotion bottle in the trap!) Go ahead and laugh! :)

In my heart of hearts, I wanted to be the gentle-toned Mother who always spoke words of encouragement. (Maybe my expectations were a little unrealistic!)

The desire was to inspire  my little ones to follow while I taught them about life in the Lord.  There were times I was successful in this. This desire kept me on my knees and trusting in His grace and faithful-

Looking back, I can clearly see that my heart motives for some of these things were not pure at all.

{ Doing things right was very important to me; there were times that I was insensitve to the hearts of my children in order to accomplish my tasks.}

I took great pride in having a clean house. Appearances were very important to me.

I still have to be watchful and guard my motives today. I have a tendency to fall into the "fear of man" trap. 

The Bible says, "The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that." Proverb 29:25

 Pleasing people has made me feel secure; nothing can take the place of putting my trust in God.

It doesn't matter what others think of me or my motives. What God thinks of my actions and motives is what I need to seek to know and understand. Do they line up witih His word and His heart?

I am grateful for a loving Father.

 Continuing to learn and grow is a process that will never end.  On this journey, we learn through His  Word and the lives and testimonies of others.

His graciousness towards us and His faithfulness to redeem all things are part of His perfect way.
Romans 8:28 gives us so much hope.  All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and to them that are the called according to His purpose.

So, be encouraged today knowing we can trust in His faithfulness. If there are areas in your life that need His redeeming touch, He is there to teach, to strengthen and encourage you on this road less travelled.

The Beating of Our Hearts

Sometimes, the smallest part of a machine can have the greatest significance. The Lord’s brother James understood this. He tells us in the third chapter of his letter that though large ships are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it too has the greatest influence in our lives-for good or bad.

For years my son Jonathan was parented by my voice. There were chores to do, actions to be corrected, lights to turn off (it bugged me if they left a room and left the lights on!), devotions to listen to and the list is quite endless. Now that I look back, looking through a different set of eyes, it doesn’t sound very fun to be a child. Trying to cultivate a work ethic, with good intentions, I placed responsibility above relationship-which always leads to frustration.

Then one day I came across Isaiah 40:11-”He tends his flock like a shepherd, he gathers the lambs in his arms, he carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those who have young.”

I read it again and again. My eyes were opening for the very first time to the needs of Jonathan’s heart. It was right there in black and white. Allow me to explain by first asking a question. Have you ever seen a picture of a shepherd carrying a lamb? Where does he carry the lamb? Correct-on his shoulders. But no shepherd that knows anything about lambs will ever carry a lamb on his shoulders. They are simply too afraid up there.

Isaiah teaches us that the shepherd carries the lamb in his arms close to his heart. Why? Because there, the lamb can hear the beating of the shepherd’s heart. That is what my son was longing for, but instead he heard the beating of my voice. It’s time, mom and dad, to silence our words and open our hearts as we draw our children close to let them hear the beating of our heart. A caring hug may be a good first step.

Written by: Mark Hamby, founder of Lamplighter Publications

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