I like peace. I like things to go smoothly, people to be happy and everyone to get along. Naive? Maybe. Unrealistic? Definitely! So now I am in a position where I have to willingly disturb the peace.
When I pray, I always ask for God’s will to be done. I want what He wants and I realize that doesn’t always look like what I think it should. It does not require, my input or opinion but it does require my faith and action. It does not require my peace.
Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Doing what God requires always causes division somewhere. It is human nature to measure the good against the bad and to use our wisdom to justify our actions or inaction. However, when we use God’s Word as the standard there is no justification. We WILL fall short but upon noticing where we fall short it is our duty as believers to measure ourselves against The Word and then allow God to pull us up.
This is our cross to bear, to choose to step out of what comfortable and to do instead what is right. To stand alone if necessary to follow Christ. Not hiding behind the authority of parents or the responsibility of raising children but deciding instead to choose Christ above all else.
So how can I produce peace if I have none? Isn’t peace a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Peace, real peace, not the superficial fleeting peace based on feelings that change with the situation. Real peace is rooted in faith that you are doing what God wants you to do and that if you aren’t, God knowing your heart will correct you.
Real peace is a reward for obedience, not a prerequisite for action.
As I am visiting with a friend I hear the water running outside
I yell out the screen door. “KJ turn off that water!” “Okay mom!” He replies and I hear the faucet is being shut off. A few minutes later I hear the water running again.
“Is that water back on?”
“Yes.” He sighs knowing he is in big trouble.
“Come inside and go get in the bed until I come talk to you.”
“I was just trying to water the grass,” he mumbles as he comes in and goes to his room.
I turn to my friend an explain to her KJ’s position.
“I was just trying to water the grass, after all in the heat of summer the grass is now in patches in the backyard. The grass needed water. What was the big deal? I was being helpful. I was doing what needed to be done. I took initiative and now I am being punished for it. I don’t understand.”
As I went on and on she stopped me and said, “Okay, okay I get it.”
See this is how we are when it comes to things that God tells us not to do. We hear it all the time, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In fact that is one of my favorite quotes. The problem wasn’t that he was watering the grass. He was being disobedient. He thought he could see and understand things I couldn’t. He was mistaken. Isn’t this how we are with God. We see an opportunity and though God tells us to stop, wait, or move we decide on our own. We know He is older than us, wiser than us, stronger than us but we still want to do what we feel is right based on the information we have on hand. Isaiah 55:8-9
My sweet boy had forgotten that just a few days earlier as soon as the sprinklers were turned off a very large snake crossed the yard. He does not realize that our state is in a drought and he has absolutely no idea that the water he is frivolously using is a utility that needs to be paid for. In his mind he was doing the right thing.
It blesses me so much when God allows me to see myself in my children, because once I see myself in them I am better able to respond to them as close as I can to the way God responds to me.
My sweet girl is teaching me to worship through. To understand how powerful this video is let me tell you about her morning. She woke up and wanted yogurt for breakfast, we didn’t have any more. As her dad fixes breakfast I shower and prepare for a client who’s coming to get her hair done. She wants me out of the shower and playing with her instead. We’re scrambling around cleaning so Summer’s morning was filled with, “stop, wait, don’t touch that, no, and put it back.”
Finally, we were done with the busyness or the morning and we put on some music. Immediately her hand shoots up into the air, her eyes close, her head bows and shakes as she walks through the house saying, “Hallelujah.” This is what it looks like to worship through. Sometimes we get into a place where God tells us “stop, wait, don’t touch that, no, and put it back.” We get frustrated, much like my 23 month old. However, when the opportunity comes to worship we need to take it. Worshipping did not get Summer the things she wanted, but that wasn’t the intent of her worship. It did, for a moment in time make everything else insignificant. Worship changes the atmosphere. Her worshipping touched my heart and I’m sure it moved the heart of God.
Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Before getting pregnant I had a plan. I knew exactly how things would go. My husband and I had just gotten married. We would wait three years, two if I could reach my goal sooner. During that time I would work my butt off and get to the point in my career where I could work from home. I would finish my MBA and be done with school all before my first trimester of pregnancy. We would have two incomes and be financially stable so we could raise our children without much worry. Sounds good right?
Well God revealed to me that my plan had nothing to do with Him. It did not require much faith, or any room to grow closer to Him. Sure I could have penciled that into my plan but God did not want to be penciled in to my life He wanted to consume my life. Proverbs 19:21(NIV) says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose which prevails.”
My having a plan wasn’t the problem, the problem was I did not make sure my plan lined up with God’s purpose for my life. As the word of God says His purpose prevailed in my life. Six months into being married, I got pregnant and my whole world changed. I was working as a temp for an HVAC company, working on my MBA and learning the ropes on being a wife.
When I was 5 months along with my daughter, Summer, I was placed on bed rest and my husband became the sole provider for our family. It was unexpected, and it was a stretch of faith. Even then, God was using this precious baby girl to teach me to rest in Him. Being pregnant and on bed rest was one of the hardest things for me to do.
I felt fine, I looked fine but there was something going on inside of me that required me to be still. Have you ever felt God stilling you when all you want to do is run? I wanted to be out and about, I wanted to work, I had a plan, but God told me to rest and wait.
With my next pregnancy it wasn’t as hard to trust God. My husband’s job moved us to a new state, my blood work during pregnancy showed early signs of cancer and I was far away from my friends. This time I knew to trust God and rest. I could see this child, my son, was teaching me early. God blessed me with good friends, after much prayer and months of testing it was found that I did not have cancer, and my son Kristian II was born perfectly healthy.
Since then we have added third child. AJ and she is just the sweetest little baby girl. Life is still crazy, fun, and so full of joy. I see myself in my kids all the time. Not so much in their features as in their actions. I thought I was older spiritually but God is revealing to me that, at times, I don’t act much older than the children I am raising. While trying to raise children for a purpose, God is yet still raising me.