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Does God speak through your children?

Fruit Loops

My two kids and I were all enjoying a bowl of fruit loops this morning. There was nothing particularly spiritual about breakfast. We had not prayed together yet as a family, nor had I had time to pray on my armor.

But as we were eating breakfast, there was something on my mind. I was thinking about how our Amazon Prime membership would be expiring at the end of the month. They raised their rates this year and it was going to be tough for us to renew. However, this is our only option for TV. We cancelled our satellite TV a couple of years ago to save money and were unsuccessful in getting an antenna to work to receive local channels.

I don’t remember if I was actually praying about this issue or if I was just thinking about it. It was very early in the morning and my brain was still not fully awake. However, as I thought about it, I had an idea. I started thinking that we could subscribe to Netflix and just pay by the month until we can renew our Prime membership.

Just after I had that thought, my daughter who had been silent for a while all of a sudden said, “But mommy, I want the red square.” The “red square” is what we click on in the menu of our Blu-ray player to access Netflix. We cancelled Netflix when we signed up for Prime but she still remembers we used to use the red square. It has been a year since we cancelled Netflix and probably months since my daughter made any reference to clicking on the “red square”.

I stared in silence and wonder for a while.

In my prayer times, I have been asking God for wisdom. And I believe He spoke clearly to me this morning about a particular issue through my daughter.

I have a friend who once told me the story about how she was driving down the road with her daughter in the car one day and was thinking to herself if she should go ahead and stop for gas or if she could make it home. At that moment, her daughter piped up and said, “Mommy, we need gas.” This girl was too young to understand this concept but God spoke through her this day as well.

God spoke to Balaam through a donkey. Why not through our children?

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Little kids…Big God

Child

Things were not going well this morning…

I was determined to pray on the armor of God. My four year-old had other plans.

I kept asking God to protect that time so I could be ready for the day.

But the drama continued. The whining. The clinginess. And crying at the drop of a hat.

My little girl was not acting like her usual chipper self.

I was getting angrier and angrier.

I finally almost blew a gasket and started stomping towards her and in the direction of her room. She burst into tears (again) and started running towards her room.

I realized in that moment that I had both scared her and hurt her feelings at the same time.

This was a teachable moment for me. I was scared of going any further with my day without praying. However, God was sending a clear message that I needed to stop and attend to my daughter.

I sat on the rocking chair in her room and held her. Her face was very unhappy.

I finally asked her, “Are you feeling grouchy today?” Her response was a sullen “yes”.

I said, “Let’s pray to Jesus about this.” Despite some reluctance, she repeated my words.

“Dear Jesus, please help me not to be grouchy. Amen.”

I saw an immediate change in her. She began to play with her little brother right away in a loving, sharing manner. Her behavior the rest of the morning was completely different.  And it was such a simple, short prayer.

I heard a preacher say years ago that God doesn’t send kids a “junior Holy Spirit”. Their God is as great big as ours is and so is their Holy Spirit.

Luke 18: 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (NKJV)

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Children, Prayer

 

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Stewardess, how do I use this thing?

oxygen-mask

How many times in 14 years as a flight attendant have I listened to an actor’s voice telling my passengers traveling with small children to “put their own oxygen mask on first”?

I believe that putting on the armor of God every morning means that I am not only preparing myself spiritually to handle whatever comes at me but also preparing to be the spiritual authority with my children during the day. Jesus is my oxygen, and if I don’t allow Him as my armor bearer to place His armor on me first, I won’t be much good to my family.

However, any stay at home mom or dad of little children knows how difficult it is to find time to spend with God each day.

As I accepted the challenge to begin praying on the armor of God every day, my first thought was How?

Young children have the potential to keep you busy every minute of the day until bedtime.

I have been living with a certain amount of fear for a while. Fear of being a leader when it comes to my kids. I believe part of this is because I was raised an only child. We never had to deal with sibling rivalry or conflict in our house.

Not only are there conflicts, there is also a lot of noise and loud, rambunctious playing. My kids are good friends with each other and play together all day long.

I realized this past week that I would need to stop parenting from a place of fear and instead begin parenting from a place of leadership. Maybe kids can’t smell fear, but I believe they can sense it. I believe they know deep down when mom or dad are intimidated by them.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am learning to care for both my children on a daily basis again. After I got better from my illness, I was mostly taking care of my son on the days I was not flying while my daughter was in school. Now that it’s summertime, I have them both all day when I’m not working.

I knew that one key to our success as a family each day would be structure. Kids seem to thrive on routine. It is comforting to them because it lets them know what to expect. As my daughter likes to say “What comes next, mommy?” She likes to know what’s next on the agenda.

We don’t have a concrete schedule with precise times on the clock to do different things, however my kids know what to expect in general out of each day.

“Mission impossible” for me was to figure out a way of beginning each day praying on the armor of God. I began to add two new routines into our day and did them consistently each day. My kids and I began praying together as a family every day after breakfast. We pray over our day and pray for each person in our family.

Afterwards, I instruct them to go to the older child’s room for playtime while “mommy prays”. They know that they will not be able to come back to the living room until mommy is done. They leave the door open so I can monitor them. I take this time to pray on the armor of God. It is not as long a time as I would like it to be, however it is what I have grace for at the ages the kids are now.

My kids have come to expect this routine every day. Anything new you start may be rough the first few days, but the family will adjust with time.

I know that many moms and dads have little ones that are too young to entertain themselves yet. However, I believe there is a grace for every stage of parenthood. If you are not sure how you can fit this into your day, ask God to give you wisdom. According to James 1:5-6, He will generously give this wisdom to you if you believe He will.

My old singles pastor used to say that you have to be intentional about everything you do. If we are passive and just sit back waiting for life to happen to us, we will not achieve our goals. I have to be intentional about my prayer time every day. My kids need me to have that oxygen mask on. So does my husband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Christian Living, Prayer

 

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Does God care what color socks I wear?

London directions

I would like to delve a little deeper into my last post about the Armor of God.

I discussed some of the benefits of putting on my armor everyday.

But what happens when you don’t put your armor on?

I tend to be impulsive about things.  I always have been.  It seems I have always craved excitement in my life.  You could say that my “boss” is an enabler because being a flight attendant has afforded me many opportunities to be impulsive, even when it wasn’t a good idea.

After reading through the Armor of God book, it dawned on me that my life has taken many wrong turns, simply because I did not arm myself everyday.

Because of my tendency towards impulsiveness, I need to pray specifically everyday over my schedule and my decisions.

There are some wrong turns we take in life that are easily corrected.  If you have ever taken a wrong turn using your GPS in the car, it will re-route you and get you back on course.

But what about the really big decisions?  Some wrong turns (decisions) we make in life have much more far-reaching consequences than others.  And what I have learned is that even some of the small wrong decisions we make can lead to bigger wrong ones.

I recall something recently from my own life.  A time where I was operating on very little sleep multiple days in a row and thought I didn’t have time to pray over my day.  I ended up making a wrong decision that led to a myriad of consequences for our family including financial.

The toughest part of looking back on our bad decisions is realizing how much they impacted other people in our lives.

About 18 months ago, I made a decision that was BIG and BAD.  The consequences of that decision were far-reaching and extended for many months afterward.

I need the peace of Jesus to fill my soul each and everyday so I don’t go chasing after excitement and thrills that might be bad for me and for my family.  This type of excitement-seeking can also be seen as a drug.  Sugar affects the brain, as does heroin.  Excitement can be another way of trying to fill the emptiness in our souls that only the Lord can fulfill.

As I began the journey of turning my eating habits over to God, I relied heavily on Psalm 81:

Psalm 81 (NKJV)

81 Sing aloud to God our strength;
Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song and strike the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the lute.

Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.
For this is a statute for Israel,
A law of the God of Jacob.
This He established in Joseph as a testimony,
When He went throughout the land of Egypt,
Where I heard a language I did not understand.

“I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.
You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you!
O Israel, if you will listen to Me!
There shall be no foreign god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people would not heed My voice,
And Israel would have none of Me.
12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart,
To walk in their own counsels.

13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
16 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Verse 9 to me represented my god, or sugar.

Verse 10 was the verse I began to pray everyday to fill me instead of sugar.

Verse 16 is so beautiful.  He will satisfy us with honey from the rock if we allow him.  However, he does require us to walk in His ways.

One of the most painful things about learning to put on the armor of God is that it is not just some rote prayer you pray everyday.  It requires humility.

I have watched some people at my church with envy for a while because I realized how much joy they had.  At church this past weekend, I realized that I was beginning to walk in that joy.  The only thing that was missing was for me to be completely emptied out so that He could fill me and satisfy me with honey from the rock.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to lay down all the foreign gods or things we use to numb us or fill us that don’t satisfy.

I don’t think God cares what color socks we wear.  However, He cares about even the littlest details of our day because little things lead to big things.

One of the most amazing engineering feats of the 20th century was what we like to call “the Chunnel”, an underwater rail system connecting England and France.  Two digging machines, one from each country, slowly bored towards each other at very slow speeds, displacing earth.  The machines had to maintain super accurate direction in order to meet each other.  If one of them got off course by even the slightest hair, they would not meet in the middle.

We may think that our lives are just slightly off course and it’s okay, however if not corrected, it can turn into a huge problem in the future which affects not only us, but those we care about as well.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Christian Living, Prayer

 

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Was I the last one to know?

Armor of GodMy pastor asked for volunteers last week to read a draft of his new book about the subject The Armor of God (based on Ephesians 6).

I reluctantly and at the last minute raised my hand to receive a copy to review and give feedback.

I had no idea how my life would be changed!

I think most believers recognize that we are in a daily battle for our mind and souls.  However, I have been sitting on the sideline (or hiding in the foxhole) and choosing to ignore the battle, pretend it doesn’t exist, or hope someone else will fight it for me.

I spent six months of 2013 somewhat incapacitated due to a chronic health issue.  I was in a position of not being able to take care of my young children.  After getting better, I began to slowly resume my previous duties of mom and flight attendant.

But I was scared.  Scared at the thought of taking care of these little ones on my own.  Would I have the energy? Would I have the patience? Would I do right by them? Would I prepare the right meals for them to nourish their growing bodies? Would I raise them up each day in the knowledge of the Lord?

With lots of help from Lysa Turkeurst’s book “Made to Crave”, I began to lay down my lifelong love affair with food (more specifically sugar) which essentially forced me onto the battlefield.  I could no longer rely on this addictive substance to take me away like Calgon.  I needed the armor of God more than ever.

Last week, for the first time in a very long time, I took care of both of my children, all day long, Monday-Friday.  I did what I thought was not possible.  We even had some structure and some purpose to our day each day.  Praying on the armor of God was essential to this success.

The important lesson I am learning is that we have two choices.  We can either hide in the foxhole, using substances or people to avoid the problem, or we can get out and do battle on the front lines.  The thing is, God can’t help us win the battle if we won’t even get out and fight.  I am learning to have the courage to get out and fight, and watch him win the battle for me!

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Christian Living, Prayer

 

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