Legacy: Parenting by Design Devotional

Parenting is super hard. It’s also incredibly rewarding when we do it in partnership with God, our Heavenly Father, the Creator and Designer of the family. Jason and I have been running into some new parenting hurdles with our girls getting older and the addition of our foster daughter. The good news of this is it draws us near to God in search of his will and the right thing to do. I really like this daily devotional Parenting by Design through Youversion. Its something I can access quickly when I need some truth to hold me accountable. I need to have scripture on hand all the time and the prayer line open. Otherwise I make excuses and justify my poor behaviors, attitudes and choices. This was the devotional I read today and it resonated deeply with me. I think we all want to leave a Legacy and I want ours more than anything to be marked with Gods Love. It’s a lot of work with lots of intentional actions to fight against the battle of sin. But we can do this! Be encouraged, his grace is enough.

LEGACY: Parenting by design

God knows the consequences of sin and pleads for us to obey his commands. He lets us know in advance that our choices will have lasting consequences for us and for our children. Sinful choices can be the beginning of destructive family patterns that often carry on generation after generation.

But God’s mercy far outweighs his judgment. Many more generations will be blessed if we choose to love and obey Him. In the face of temptation, remember that the way we live our lives establishes a lasting legacy, either in the form of blessings or punishments. What will we choose to give our children and the generations that follow?

When faced with temptation, consider the legacy that sin passes on to your children.

Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me and worship idols, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. (Deuteronomy 5:9, 10 CEV)

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Pressing on…..

Well friends, I am not even sure where to begin this post. I don’t want it to be long winded, which for me is almost an impossibility. How does one make the last 2 months concise?

The big picture view would show that we sold our home, went under contract with another, and moved into a rental, all while moving deeper in the foster parenting journey. Typing it out sure does make it seem like a piece of cake but that it most definitely has not been. All subjects are totally worthy of their own individual posting. God has been at work. Speaking for myself here, God has specifically been showing me my rough edges that he is determined to smooth out, even if I am kicking and screaming along the way. It was probably no coincidence that all these changes, the uprooting, the utter and complete chaos that moving often brings, was all on the fore front and back end of Thanksgiving. When things don’t play out quite as we expected what is it God wants us to learn? “In everything give thanks….”

I will be completely honest with you, this has been a hard season for me personally. Admitting that here is difficult though because I also know that my life by most accounts is pretty charmed. Our basic needs have always been met including the vast majority of our wants. We are a healthy bunch, nothing tragic or traumatic has happened and by most standards we are in deed coasting. Sometimes I’d like to slap myself for being such a baby over how God is choosing to refine me. Y’all, most of you can’t see my struggles because most of them are going on inside my head. y.i.k.e.s. In one of my devotional books I ran across this quote that cut deep down to my core.

“Our Spiritual conflicts are amongst our choicest blessings and our great Adversary is used to train us for his ultimate defeat.”

Yeah, you may have to read that a handful of times. I don’t have the name of who spoke that but Wowzers! That just wrecked me.

Throughout these last few months I have not always had an attitude of gratitude. In fact what really stands out in my mind are all the times I have failed (with epic proportions) to exhibit one who trusts, is thankful, and gracious in all circumstances. I have been overwhelmed, I have questioned, and I have cried,…. A LOT. God has met me every single time I came to him with my burdens and even the times I didn’t.

What amazes me about God is his ability to show us how loved we are even in our worst moments. He has been using this quality of his to model how I am supposed to love as a Christian. To love others in their worst moments, “we love because he first loved us”. His love is not conditional, it’s not based off my performance. This is so hard for me to live out sometimes. And God has given me AMPLE opportunities lately to model his kind of love.

It’s just hard.

I’ve had moments of success, that success being in direct line with how surrendered I am to the Spirit. And moments I would love nothing more than to erase from the minds of everyone involved. ie zero surrender period. God has shown me that even my failures can be redeemed and that’s been a humbling experience as well. Definitely some moments where I’ve wrestled with clenched teeth and finally laid down the pride. He uses both the successes and failures in life to point me to Him. Praise the Lord.

Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

He is always faithful.

Just one of the ways he has been really faithful to me during this time is his Spirit in other people. I have been exposed to very amazing women lately, some new friends, some I’ve known for years. The very obvious Spirit of God within them affects me greatly. Their prayers, words, attitudes, actions, time, and service showed me how much we as Christians really do effect the people we encounter. Sometimes a simple hug from an individual would fill me with such peace that could only be credited to the Holy Spirit. This encourages me in ways that enable me to press on every moment. I want to be that for others. And it can only be accomplished by the power of God.

So this is where I am, where we are. Trying to remain focused on each day as they come. Trying to respond, with love, to each moment that God gives us. We are waiting with God. Waiting to see where he’s taking our family, our foster girl, our future. There are a lot of questions and wondering. But God is with us.

Clinging to his Word,…..

Philippians 3:10-14 (AMP) [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]That if possible I may attain to the [[b]spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Blessed Be Your Name

Matthew 6:32 & 33 NLT “Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

Y’all I am short on time and words these days but certainly not on feelings and thoughts. I have been loooonging to write because I know there might be a handful of you out there wondering what’s going on and some of you may even have bits and pieces of the story. Right now I can’t sit to write much but I just have to share the song God brought me Sunday. I desperately needed to be reminded of this and I thank my gentle, kind, faithful God for speaking so directly to my heart and all my thoughts and feelings. This song was too familiar for too long but it broke through afresh Sunday morning with its powerful lyrics. So maybe one of y’all will have the same experience and declare with me “Blessed be the Name of The Lord!”

Blessed Be Your Name: Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name