Friday, April 21, 2017

"The One Thing Your Children Need To Know"

In today's day and age, everybody and their great-aunts have an opinion on how you should raise your children. And, unfortunately, many of those opinions are public and personal. The unsolicited advice is overwhelming and scary. Are you failing your kids?
When it all boils down, there is only one thing your children need to know. Don't get me wrong, math and social skills are super important. But this one thing will effect the way they see themselves, the way they see the world... every aspect of their lives. What is this fundamental thing?
The love of God.
The wonderful, truly unconditional love of the all-powerful and all-compassionate God towards every single person who has ever lived.
God describes Himself as love. God Himself being love is why He made us, why He saved us, and why all our attempts to prove ourselves are nothing to Him. He loves us perfectly already. Yes, one can get into all the different nuances of His love, such as grace and forgiveness and sovereignty, but He Himself brings it all back to love.
And when that love takes a hold on our hearts, it changes us in a way we could never dream possible. God says that the love we have for Him comes from realizing the love He has for us, and that all of Scripture boils down to this: God loves us so unconditionally and so sacrificially that when that love grabs hold of us, it has the power to change us. It has the power to cause to to walk, talk, and see the world as He does.
God is Himself love. He created love, and He loves perfectly without condition and without failing. His love overtakes our being and makes something new and something beautiful. A person who is walking in the love of God is walking in the light and shines in the darkness as a beacon to all who are wandering.
This is love.
This is life.
And this is life to the fullest.

Why I put receipts in the freezer

             As a busy mom of two little boys... the internet ruined my life. Suddenly my only source of luxury (aka coffee) would give me osteoporosis, mt dew would give me diabetes, diet dew would induce Alzheimer's, juice would make me gain weight too quickly, tea would make me lose too quickly, too much water could kill me, and too little could kill my unborn baby. Using the cry it out method was abuse, but so was being a hover mom. Every single cleaner I owned would give me cancer, but the alternatives not only would deprive us of money for food but were potentially fatal to my kids. Posting pictures of my kids made them targets for pedophiles, but refraining from doing so made them hard to identify in an emergency. Every and any thing I could do to be a "good mom", someone else told me was horrible. No matter how hard I tried, there was always a finger pointing at me (or at least, my product choices).
Then, I realized that the #1 most important thing isn't to raise my kids GMO and gluten-free, but to raise them in the love of Jesus. Not that these things are mutually exclusive, but we as moms need grace....lots and lots of grace...and Jesus has it. And how in the world will we ever teach our children they are wonderfully loved just as they are if we don't believe it ourselves?
So, today, despite having to take two little boys to the grocery store by myself at 20 weeks pregnant, having both of them crying as though starving all throughout the store despite the evidence of cheap bad-for-you crackers all over their dirty faces, going over-budget, and opening the back door of the van to a giant heap of vacation luggage; despite overeating, over working, and underhydrating...I never once felt the need to justify myself, cry,or yell,because peace comes from a heart at rest in God and patience from the love overflowing over us more abundantly than the cups of coffee I have downed today. Even when I search the house frantically for the receipt, only to find it next to the tub of ice cream I reached for in a moment of chaos, I can smile and know God loves me just the way I am.