Happy to be posting again on my friend Kristen Welch’s site, WeareTHATFamily.com: To be the Grateful Generation.
I’m super-stoked about her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World, which is chock-full of practical wisdom as we all try to navigate entitlement in our kids–and um. In ourselves. I was struck by her excellent connection between our kids’ entitlement and our own driving force as Western parents: I want my children to be happy!
And I thought, I took this with me to Africa.
Hop on over and check ’em both out.
- Be the Prince of Peace in my home. Be my Wonderful Counselor; be the Mighty God who controls my home. Let me love and parent as you do, Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Let my peace come from you rather than my circumstances.
- “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3)
- Lord, be the One who controls me—not my emotions. Help me keep in step with your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Let me hear you.
- Let my anger be a constructive, precise tool of Your Kingdom—not a destructive tool of my own kingdom.
- Change my kids’ hearts and my own, not just our behavior. You’re the only One who can truly change us from the inside out (see Matthew 23:25; Psalm 51:10, Jeremiah 24:7). Make our hearts soft! Bring us true, life-giving sorrow that brings us to live differently (2 Corinthians 7:10).
- You are mighty to save me not simply out of this situation, but through it. You give us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2). Help us honor you here!
PRINT IT FREE HERE!
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Missed Part I? Get it here.
- Remember the mourning. Looking at Scripture, it seems God sometimes simply asks for us to witness what is not right in this world, and to participate with Him in lament. Maybe you’re flirting with failure in part because of someone’s hard-heartedness; because the forces in this world were stronger. I wonder if sometimes we’re not just given a glimpse into why this place is temporary; why it is passing away; why this place and this body and this fallen version of me is not forever. Sometimes failure, I think, can shape a mental sticky note to me: You are not, Janel. But He is. When you mourn with God, you are blessed. And you will be comforted.
Let me just lay it out for you here: I, uh, may have actually started these memos for me, while I huddled in my bedroom chair on a Sunday morning, hoping it would be a few more minutes before the kids popped in or started fighting.
And then I thought maybe you’d like to read over my shoulder. Because maybe I’m not the only one who grapples with what may be…failure.
Failure seems to flay open my skin, unveiling raw questions inside. Questions like, What does this say about me? Or, Why didn’t God show up? Or maybe, What do I do now?
“[The disciples in the storm in Mark 5:45-52] are in a situation that seems impossible, exhausting, frustrating, and potentially dangerous. They are far beyond their strength and ability. As you read the passage, you have to ask yourself why Jesus would ever want his disciples in this kind of difficulty. It’s clear that they’re not in this mess because they’ve been disobedient, arrogant or unwise, but because they have obeyed Jesus….
“[Jesus] takes the walk [on water] because He is not after the difficulty. He is after the men in the middle of the difficulty. He is working to change everything they think about themselves and about their lives…he says: ‘it is I’…He is actually taking one of the names of God. He is saying the ‘I AM’ is with them, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the One on whom all the covenant promises rest. It is impossible for them to be alone….
“He knows that sometimes you need the storm in order to be able to see the glory. For the believer, peace is not to be found in ease of life. Real peace is only ever found in [His] presence, power, and grace.”
-Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies: A Gospel Devotional
I have been waiting.
The dust, fine and red, coats the plants lining our roads. Sweat beads on my upper lip. Last night as my children lay awake in bed, I stuck my head in and reminded them to keep guzzling plenty of water, after a friend of theirs landed in the clinic for dehydration. Cooking in the warm afternoons in my kitchen, with my hair twisted off my neck, I’ve been praying, coaxing the weather. C’mon, rainy season.
…Because there’s just too much real life not to share.
Son: Mom, what’s a hoagie?
(Mom explains. Missionary kids lack a little exposure, y’know?)
Son: Ooooh! I thought it was something you give someone. Like a wedgie or a wet willy. You know, “You’d better watch out or I’ll give you a hoagie!”
Mild exasperation, disproportionate discouragement, and sheepishness collided in me when my husband called from the other room that power had died again, after twenty-four hours off the day before.
My sheepishness was mostly because I knew that hey, 85% of the country has no electricity to speak of, period. (I am frequently embarrassed by of my luxurious privileges.) My grandparents lived without indoor power for a decent portion of their lives. So I felt lame that my life was so stinkin’ dependent on it, and that not having electricity manages to peck at me like a duck all day—when I go to use the microwave (aww…), forego buying milk because I can’t put it in the fridge (shoot!), or try to remember I gotta send that e-mail when I can charge my laptop again (dang it!).
Sometimes I just want to be in a place where things work.