We had no sooner stepped out of church Sunday when an incident turned my rejoicing heart into one that was cold and hard. My attitude showcased it. Not so much my words, for I spoke few on the short car ride home. But the air all around me was cold and condemning.
Once we entered our home, my man asked me if I was all right. You know the routine, I responded with, “I’m fine.” when everything about me said just the opposite.
Then it happened.
I opened my mouth, and the ugliness in my heart spewed forth. An exchange of words passed between my man and me, accelerating as my words became swords daring him to spar with me.
From the corner of my eye, I saw the shock in my youngest face.
Here was her momma, just moments ago rejoicing and praising Jesus, now a prickly mess of ugly emotions. I watched her take her Bible over to a chair in the next room and begin to read it. “How sweet,” I thought, “she’s found a passage to pray over us.”
My man had had enough of my ridiculousness and walked away, and I finally cooled my jets and took my erratic thoughts captive.
Later that afternoon, this same child and I were chatting when she mentioned the argument she had witnessed.
She - “Momma, you know when you and Daddy were fighting?”
Me - “Yes, dear one, I’m sorry you witnessed that.”
She - “I had turned to Proverbs 31, and nowhere did I see how you were acting.”
Me - stunned and scrambling over my thoughts I finally answered, “Yes, you are correct. My actions would not be found in Proverbs 31.”
She - “Most of the time you are a Proverbs 31 woman, though.”
Me - sadly smiling, “Yes, but thank you for loving me enough to point out when I am not.”
That was yesterday, and here I am 24 hours later still chewing on this incident, this conversation in light of whom I present myself to be not only to the world, but to my children.
I mutter and sputter about how emotions seem to be dragging many around by the nose today in the public square. Yet, in my own home, in my own heart, am I any better? While a nation might not be tearing apart because of my erratic emotions, something much more significant is at stake, my testimony in front of my children.
As I flipped open my Bible, I prayed that the Lord would reveal something new to me in Proverbs 31. In all honesty, I wanted to make this a parenting post, to wax eloquently about the beautiful reward found in verse 28.
But verse 12 stopped me in my tracks.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
My words and actions were evil?
My heart wanted to sweep this notion under the rug, but following my heart obviously led me into trouble in the first place. So I put on the brakes and looked up what the word “evil” meant in the original text. I was stunned by what I uncovered. Are you ready for this? It means “disagreeable, unpleasant, sad, unhappy, unkind…vicious in disposition.”
Bing! Bing! Bing!
That’s why my daughter didn’t see a Proverbs 31 woman in me! I was acting in a way which was just the opposite of a Proverbs 31 woman by being disagreeable, unpleasant, unkind toward my man, and - gulp - vicious in disposition.
God considered my actions/words as evil.
God, forgive me.
As I was praying about this the Spirit pointed me to a passage in James 3 which perfectly sums up this good versus evil which wages war in my heart.
Good - vs. 13 - Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
me - I want to do good.
Evil - vs. 14 - But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
me - But my selfishness often bullies my "want to do good" and reigns supreme. I need to stop kidding myself and call my selfishness what God calls it - evil, sin.
Evil - vs. 15 - This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. (Ouch!)
me - God considered my actions on Sunday evil, because my selfish motives played out the way a child of the world would act instead of how a Jesus Girl should act.
Good - vs. 16 - But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable,
full of mercy and good fruits,
unwavering, without hypocrisy.
me - If I want to do good - and for my child to recognize me doing good as a Proverbs 31 woman would - I need to be Holy Spirit led, rather than Tammy led.
Tammy-led actions bring disorder and division.
Spirit-led actions bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Walking thru these verses in James spotlights my desperately wicked heart and how more times than I am willing to admit, I don't choose to "do good and not evil" to my man. Rather, I allow selfishness wrapped strongly in my emotions to lead me instead of staying in step with the Spirit.
God, forgive me.
This incident has given me pause and thankfully has been a wake-up call. I've asked for forgiveness and have implemented a new strategy: all interactions with my man are now schooled by Proverbs 31:12, “Bring him good and not evil, Tammy.”
While this turned more into a marriage post rather than a parenting post, the bottom line is that the greatest thing I can do as a momma is to be a Proverbs 31 woman to my child's father.
May Sunday be one of the last times my child sees me drop the "Proverbs 31 woman" ball. I’m not expecting to live a perfect life, but after Sunday’s gentle reproof, I will work harder at keeping in step with the Spirit to showcase the beauty and life-giving peace found in thriving as a Proverbs 31 woman, for the glory of the Lord and for my (and my children's) good.
How about you, my friend? Are your actions toward your man good and not evil in word and deed? If not, would you consider schooling yourself with the, "Bring him good and not evil, __________." mantra? Others, including our children, are watching. Let's joyfully and victoriously point them to the power of dying to self so we can showcase the beauty of being a Proverbs 31 woman.
For further reading on this topic
Modern Day Mary's
love him like Jo loves Chip
How to End Your Marriage
Blessings in Obedience
Tammy Valdivia - Jesus Girl, wife, momma, student, teacher, lover of dark chocolate, milky coffee, deep talks, and lively laughter. Oh, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.
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There are some days when parenting finds me knee deep in the trenches. This past Monday was one of them.
It started off as a good day. Beautiful day. Quiet house. Productive use of my time. Could I ask for more?
My kids hopped off the bus at 3pm and noise, strewn shoes, and dumped backpacks filled our entry way. My quiet bubble burst and phase #2 of my day began.
It started with the mail. I opened the insurance statement from my son’s recent hospital stay from an angry ruptured appendix and sighed when I looked at the column, “Amount Owed.” I mentally calculated how many shirts I would need to make to pay this bill. Too many.
Next to the insurance statement sat a college brochure addressed to my almost 16-year old. It is his first college solicitation. “No!!!! How can this be? He’s not ready for college!! I can’t even get him to bring down his laundry!!” The brevity of time that we have left with him hit me like a tsunami.
Then... ding. The unique chime on my phone told me that it was from one of my kids’ teachers. My stomach always knots up at this sound. Does it do the same to you?
This text was to inform me that it wasn’t the best day for one of my kiddos. Impulsivity got the best of him...again. Sigh. I called him to the couch and we began our millionth talk.
To top it off, this child also scored a ZERO on his math test. A zero. Long division word problems and area models just don’t jive with his brain. Missing so much school due to said angry ruptured appendix didn’t help either.
It took all of five minutes to undo me. Bills, college recruitment, behavior, failing grades...bam!! All at once. I sent the kids out to play so I could regroup.
I met my neighbor outside and confessed to her, “I feel like a parenting flunky. And, I fear that my kid is never going to learn long division!” She confessed her own struggles and, in that moment, we both felt much better knowing that we weren’t in this parenting thing alone. Honest, heart-to-heart mom talk can lift some of the heaviest weights.
After dinner we pulled out the failed math test. He is allowed to retake it this Friday. Praise God. We spent nearly 20 minutes working through problem #1. His spirit remained teachable and the correct answer finally came. When we got to the problem with the area model, I stared at it as if it were written in Greek. I had no clue. Skip that one. We’ll Google it later. We continued on.
We wrapped things up, went through our bedtime routines, and I kissed them goodnight. I walked down the stairs trying to push thoughts of mommy failure out of my head. Then, I walked into the kitchen...
Sitting on the countertop was a Post-It note that my girl had written to me while her brother and I were trudging through long division. It said, “Mom can you write a note for me and put it in my lunchbox!”
Kick in the gut.
My daughter was asking me to write her a note. More specifically, she is asking her mom, WHO WROTE AN ENTIRE BLOG POST on the importance of writing lunchbox notes, to write her a note because she hasn’t received a single one this school year. Guilt and feelings of hypocrisy clanged in my head. Talk about scoring a zero! A zero is definitely the grade that I felt like I deserved in that moment.
Thank God that He doesn’t give us grades.
I curled up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and wondered, “Where am I going wrong? What part of ‘Train up a child in the way he should go’ am I missing?”
I started combing through Proverbs 22:6 hoping to extract a gem that I had somehow missed. And, I found one.
I discovered that the verb “train up” is the Hebrew word chanak. I read the definition of chanak and curiously paused. It means to dedicate or to rub the palate of a newborn child with oil. Hmm. That’s peculiar. How does that apply to this verse?
I dug deeper.
I found commentary that explained this expression. It says:
Chanak is the Hebrew word for our word “train”; it means “palate of your mouth”. In Hebrew cultures (a long time ago) a woman would give birth to a baby and then give the baby to the midwife. The midwife would take paste and put it on the palate of the baby’s mouth (the chanak). The paste would initiate an appetite for the baby and it would help the baby desire to nurse. So when we think of “training” our children we need to get a sense of what that means. We are initiating appetites in them…some good, some not so good. As a parent what appetites are you initiating in your children?
I fell asleep with this verse and its peculiar meaning on my mind. Fresh parenting mercies awaited me the next day and I couldn’t wait.
New mercies did indeed come the next day and my quiet time with the Lord turned my mommy woes into mommy praises:
The prayers and praises went on. I felt like a whole new mom. My focus shifted from being the one who is responsible for teaching long division and college readiness to being the one who stimulates their hunger for God. What an honor to have as a mother!
We met back at the counter last night for more long division. I focused more intently on showing him patience and perseverance while dishing out praise. It was a sweet time of learning for both of us (even though we still didn’t tackle the area model).
He will eventually get this long division thing. This I am sure of. But, what I fear he and my other children may not get if I’m not careful is the thing that I truly want them to have most...a hunger for the things of God. This hunger for Christ is what my training should focus on. Everything else will come in due time.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.
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Having worked with youth for the past few (gulp) decades, I rejoice when I observe those who are thriving in their faith, walking with Jesus, and being a light in their realm of influence. However, my heart aches to see those who have preferred to walk away from the church, living opposite of the truths they were raised in.
Parenting three kiddos of my own --who are close to leaving the nest-- piques my interest in the why's and how's of those who STAY in the church. I devour books such as Ken Ham's Already Gone and LifeWay's research hungry for guidance and wisdom in raising my own tween and two teens for they are at the age where they naturally question and inspect everything, like hound dogs, sniffing out a falsehood or fake-ness.
And I'm glad they are for while they have each made a profession of faith, I don't want them to be robots who numbly walk through the motions, only to wake up one day and throw off their faith like an out of style garment.
This summer, a friend informed me of a study LifeWay conducted for a book centered on kids who stay engaged in their faith as adults titled Nothing Less. The top 5 predictors of spiritual health for young adults include:
1. Child regularly read the Bible while growing up.
2. Child regularly spent time in prayer while growing up.
3. Child regularly served in church while growing up.
4. Child listened primarily to Christian music.
5. Child participated in church mission trips/projects.
As I was chewing on this list, I thought through ways my man and I are intentionally incorporating the survey's top predictors into this oh so short season of raising future thriving, church attending adults. Here are a few ways we are being intentional:
1. Family Devotions
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.
In the Valdivia household, I've determined to step back and permit my man to lead family devotion time as he sees fit, not as I envision it. Ha! My job is to schedule it and be sure all are present and accounted for. My man does the rest. We might tackle a few verses in Proverbs or work through a book such as Tony Evans' Kingdom Quest an age-appropriate parent/ mentor led Bible study for kids.
Some nights there is an engaging conversation, while other nights they're chomping at the bit to be done and go about their activities. That's ok. All we're responsible for is to fulfill our side of the command, "Impress them and talk about them." in Deuteronomy 6:5. The Spirit is faithful to do the rest.
Family devotions lead kids to make our faith their own.
2. Family Missions.
Declare his glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:24
For the past six years, we have traveled south to the Texas/Mexico border to lock arms with a ministry we love called United in Christ Ministries (UICM). I believe our yearly pilgrimage has been life-changing for our family. We all are stretched and challenged and encouraged in ways that propel our faith and confidence.
It’s good for our kids to remember that we are blessed to bless others, whether it’s our next-door neighbor, a local ministry, or our brothers and sisters around the world. It's also good for them to step out of their everyday lives and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Family Missions puts hands and feet to our kiddos faith.
3. One on One Time
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
With rapidly growing kids and expanding schedules, we are intentional to spend one on one with each of the Terrific Three. We've recently implemented a standing day and time with each kid to go to a local eatery and discuss the next chapter in whatever "coming of age" devotional book we're going thru with them. It's a relaxed, intentional way to pour into their love tank while checking their spiritual and emotional pulse.
One on one time keeps the door's of our children's hearts tender to the faith.
4. Let Them Choose
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
This is a tricky one and one which can cause sleepless nights. We are big proponents of our children making decisions for themselves while they are still under our roof. We set a few guidelines for electronics and curfews and schoolwork and church attendance and then hand them the reins to maneuver in those parameters as they see best. This includes wise cell phone use, where to go to church and school, as well as to date or not to date.
We maintain a running dialogue, asking good questions, and praying a whole lot. But in the end, we want them to want to make wise choices when they leave the nest, so where better to learn that skill than when they are under our roof. I could write a whole blog post on this point alone, but I'll stop here.
Letting our children make choices allows them to exercise their faith today seeing its tangibleness in their lives tomorrow.
5. Live a believable faith
Follow my example,
as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
This is honestly the most important one. The apostle Paul stated it best, follow me as I follow Christ.
When I believe in the power of the empty grave, I can confidently portray it as a life worth living.
So I die to self and allow the Spirit of the Living God guide my speech and actions toward my man and my children and those around me. In a nutshell, I need to live a contagious faith. A faith which inspires my children that this gospel is true and will grant them an abundant life filled with joy, peace, and love as an adult regardless of what life throws at them.
Living a believable faith means I must model a credible gospel.
My man and I are still in the throes of this parenting adventure. There are no guarantees our kiddos will nurture their faith as adults. But I sure don't want to sit back thinking someone else will nurture their faith, nor do I wish to hyper-control every area of their lives either.
Intentional and prayerful is my mantra as it is an incredible privilege to spur my kids to thrive in their faith when they enter adulthood.
I have no greater joy
than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 4
Come on, Mommas! Let's not be caught wringing our hands in despair at all the world is throwing at our kids to lure them away from the church! Let this Top 5 guide you in living and directing your children to thrive in their faith. Like water irrigating parched land, may we be found intentionally watering our children's faith so they may grow into oaks of righteousness, firmly rooted in the faith today and tomorrow.
Tammy Valdivia - Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, lively laughter, deep talks, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.
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God instructs us to "pray without ceasing," and in His kindness, He has supplied us with a whole book (the Bible) to use to guide us in our prayers! We have many favorites, but here are five passages to get you started.
Luke 2:52 - Audra's Pick
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and man.”
I pray, that like Jesus, my children would grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.
1 Timothy 4:12 - Laura's Pick
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech,
in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
Our daughter is ten and we have already seen the Lord use her in mighty ways for His kingdom! I pray she always sets an example through her words and her actions that Jesus is Lord of her life.
Ephesians 6:13-17 - Rebecca's Pick
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
All of my children have received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. While I rejoice in this knowledge, I am aware that because of this they face the enemy just like I do. Therefore, I frequently pray each piece of the armor of God onto each child so that they will be able to withstand any attacks that they face.
Joshua 1:7 - Tammy's Pick
Above all, be strong and very courageous.
Be careful to observe all the law My servant Moses commanded you.
Do not turn from it to the right or to the left,
so that you may prosper wherever you go.
With every candle my children add to their birthday cake, the call of the world increases. I can fret and try to shelter them, but the most powerful thing I can do for my kiddos is to pray Scripture over them day and night. God loves them so much more than I. I'm so thankful for the peace that truth brings to my momma heart.
3 John 4 - Guest 's Pick
I have no greater joy than this,
to hear of my children walking in the truth.
Our oldest, Zoë, has been talking our ears off lately. It’s both beautiful and exhausting. Sometimes all I want to do is nod and say “mmm-hmm” or just smile while I try and think through my Costco grocery list before the littlest one realizes he’s not buckled in the cart and tries some wild escapade.
This morning after our Bible reading,
Noble said, “But if you believe in Jesus you won’t die. Because heaven is our true home.”
Zoë: “Will we keep breathing in heaven?”
I responded, “Your body dies, but your soul never dies and lives forever in heaven with God. We get a new body, and every breath we breathe will be praising Jesus the King.”
Zoë: “I think that already happened to Nana.”
Later while strategically hitting up every snack sample in Costco, Zoë asked: “How do we gaze upon His beauty?”
After gathering my thoughts from such a breathtaking question, I answered, “It means that God is majestic and holy and too wonderful to comprehend and awesome and good and perfect. When we see Him as that we want to spend our lives knowing Him because there is no one else like Him.”
Zoë: “It is hard to understand why life passes through so quickly.”
My thoughts exactly, Sweet Pea. Only I was lamenting how fleeting these days are when all 3 of my babes can fit in the front of the cart, and they lean over for hugs and kisses or head butts. Alternatively, they rest their heads on my shoulder, and I feel their little arms around my neck while I try and push a heavy cart with a big ole pregnant belly.
And we’re having conversations like these.
And all three of them are talking in my ear at the same time. Or they are pestering each other by covering up the letters on the handlebar. Don’t ask. It’s maddening.
However, I was overwhelmed with gratitude this morning for this season. I love having all my babies close and the togetherness all day long (don’t hear perfect harmony) even in the midst of being at the end of my rope as Zoë so honestly and insightfully said about me on Mother’s Day: “You’re good at being slow to anger even though sometimes you’re fast to anger.”
Yup, because Mommy needs Jesus too.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Isn’t this what Scripture means when it says to teach God’s words to your children when:
- you sit (in the car in rush hour traffic) and
- walk (up and down the grocery aisles) and
- lie down (but not in your own bed because your 5-year-old still has too much to say at the end of the day) and
- rise (before the sun because everyone in your house is staging a coup against sleep).
Even when you think they’re not listening and you feel every thought you’re trying to share is interrupted by some catastrophe, they catch little drips at a time that become impressed on their tender hearts and will one day overflow. That’s what I’m striving for anyway in all the ordinary, mundane rhythm of life.
So here’s to keeping those babies close and entrusting their hearts to God.
Noel McKenna is a wife and a mommy who blends a pile high stack of books on CD and outdoor play with a whole lot of Jesus into her journey through motherhood. She and her husband, Nathan, have been married for 8 years and juggle this leg of their lives with grace and humor. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram for more of her beautifully honest glimpses into this life she now lives.
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Tuck Them In - Audra’s Pick
We try to be intentional at night time when putting our kids to bed. We always make a point to tuck them in, talk through the day, pray as a family, and let them ask any questions they may have. This is a sweet time to be able to unpack what has happened in everyone’s day, since the school year is such a busy time!
Scripture Memory In the Car - Laura's Pick
I can’t take credit for this one, but my husband is so good at using the undivided attention during the car ride to school. He drops our daughter off at school every morning and they memorize a scripture each week during that 5-7 minute drive. Usually on Monday or Tuesday she tells me what verse they are memorizing and then by Friday she is reciting it to me.
Pray Out Loud For Them - Rebecca's Pick
When one of my children is facing a big day, I like to pray out loud for them as we are driving to school. I will ask the Lord to give them quick recall and clarity during their test. Or, I'll ask Him to take away their anxious spirit and replace it with a spirit of peace before presenting a project. As I pray, I try to ask for specific things (not just that they would "do well") so that they will be able to see the undeniable answers to that prayer and give thanks to the Lord. On days that I don't pray aloud, I always pray for them after everyone is dropped off.
Verse Flip Book - Tammy's Pick
One of my "Terrific Three" struggled greatly with anxiety. After praying for direction, the Lord gave me the idea to make her a verse flip book to help her learn to allow God's Word to comfort her heart.
1. I purchased a flimsy $1 photo book.
2. I looked up my favorite "God is with me" verses and printed them.
3. I inserted them into the photo book and gave it to her as a reminder that while I won't always be with her, God is!
My print and cut and stuff version is pictured below. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you want. This verse flip book is from a couple of years ago. She still carries it in her backpack to this day.
Teach them to be independent without nagging -
We have a white board on our fridge that lists what my boys need to do before school, after school, and what types of food can be packed in lunches. This allows them to check the list when they aren’t sure if they have everything ready and I’m not asking each child a million times if they filled their water bottle. On the first day of school this year, my boy that loves routine asked for the list to be re-written as it still had summer lists on it. You better believe I wrote it after drop off!
Back to School Time! As each new school year approaches, I find my wishes and dreams are sky high! Yet I often find myself deflated months later in the middle of crazy schedules, overcommitments, self-inflicted sleepless nights, and longing for the next blissful season. Am I the only mom that feels like I’m failing because my checklist of draining items outweighs the life-giving details? This year I resolve to be different.
This year I will be the peace.
As we roll into this new school year and have a clean slate to start fresh, I am challenging myself to be the “Peace” to my family. Not to be the peacemaker, or the person spouting about peace, but to actually be the peace and calming influence in my home.
This will look like me
- listening to my kids work things out rather than trying to problem solve for them.
- saying “no” to good things, to allow my family to get more rest or more time together.
- setting aside stuff I want to do for myself until a later time.
- having my kids plan a day of family fun that they want to do.
- planning school supply shopping earlier, or online, so I'm not all stressed out and yelling.
- stopping myself from spewing worry and frustration from my mouth because I am nervous about my kids starting school.
Here are the top 5 ways I will be the peace in my home at the start of this school year.
1. I will be excited about the endless possibilities of this new school year.
I will not allow my fears and worries transfer onto my children. Any concerns I have over the new school year, I will take to the Lord rather than speak them out loud for my children to hear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
2. I will speak words of life over my children
I will speak only life-giving words about the new school year. I will encourage my children to speak to God about their own back to school butterflies.
“Don’t worry about anything,
but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God.”
Philippians 4:6 HCSB
3. I will Say “No” to excess.
I will say “No” to the things that add too much to my plate. “No” to the things that don’t give me life. “No” to the invites for good things that will have me forego great family times. I will let these last weeks and days before school starts be intentional and not chaotic.
“God’s curse blights the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder,
but if you’re down on your luck,
he’s right there to help.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor;
stupid living gets the booby prize.”
Proverbs 3:33-35 MSG
4. In the words of Elsa, I will “let it go!”
If I forgot to order the personalized backpack in the perfect color, I will let it go.
If I am almost done with summer and my bucket list hasn’t even been touched, I will let the guilt go.
If I am upset that my child didn’t get in a class with their best friend, I will let it go.
I will let go of the back to school clothes shopping. I will instead turn it into a fun September activity together rather than a knockdown, drag-out stress-ball of time for back to school. (Honestly, the weather is still as hot as anything, and they won’t wear the cute fall clothes for a few months anyway!)
This is an opportunity to choose peace over being frazzled.
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Colossians 3:17 HCSB
5. I will be there.
Once school starts, I will just be there for my child without overloading my schedule. Those first few weeks of school can be difficult for kids. They may not know anyone in their class, get a teacher they don’t like, struggle with remembering their new schedule, or are just plain tired.
I will not be on the phone at school pick up. I will hug them. I will sit down for family dinners. I will share about my day, inviting them to share about theirs. I know they will talk when they are ready, but I will make sure I am there for them to have the opportunity to talk.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
My prayer is to find a way to let some things go and make a choice to be an influence of peace in my home this back to school season.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 NASB
Denise Slater - I’m a mom to 12 year old triplets and a wife to a college professor. We both have relocated to Tennessee by way of Michigan (Go Blue!), Missouri and Arkansas, which means we have lots of family to visit during the summer. We are blessed to travel quite often during the summer as my husband’s job during this time can be done anywhere with a modem.