Leaving The 99 For My One – What I Know Now

 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Mom Heart Leadership Intensive hosted by Sally Clarkson.

During our time we talked about wisdom and legacy and intention and beauty. We cozied up in Sally’s living room and the living rooms of her friends, and were encouraged by older women who, for three days, poured into us their knowledge, life experiences, and wisdom. I have pages of notes worth more than gold, but there was one thing that was said during the weekend that stopped me in my tracks; one thing that I knew was meant for me:

“Jesus left the 99 to go after the one.”

Caroline.

The Holy Spirit spoke deep into be my bones and I knew, I knew that He was telling me to leave the blog readers and the platform and the worry that comes with wanting to minister to the many and instead to go after the one, to go after my Caroline. I was to pursue hard after her heart. She would be my first priority.

What I Know Now

I know that if you have a little one who is acting out or having troubles or that is driving you up a wall, you need to “leave” what has the bulk of your time and attention and go after that one. Make winning their heart a top priority. Don’t wait.

Resources:

Fuel For Obedience

“When our children don’t want to obey, we ought to step back and prayerfully ask ourselves if they feel wanted.”

 Are Your Children Acting Crazy? Maybe They Need More of You

“Our children, just like us, want to be known. They want to be respected. They want to know they matter more than anyone else, because they are ours.”

Love, SM

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  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Oh wow. That is profoundly beautiful and full of truth. I have a 4 year old daughter who loves to test boundaries. But I notice, when I spend individual time with her, she lights up and becomes a different child.

    It’s as if she had been wondering all along if she mattered–and when I SHOWED her she did, by spending time with just HER, you could see a change in her whole demeanor.

    But for some reason, it never clicked to chase hard after her heart, because it might just take a little more time to get to then the rest {of my children} and it matters more than any words I can put on the screen “helping” others how to mother. It’s being a woman of integrity–like Sally talks about.

    Thanks for this perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=666555285 Elisa Pulliam

    I couldn’t agree more! And I’ve seen the fruit of “leaving” for the sake of one of my children at two different times. I left Extravagant Grace to homeschool my daughter for the year. God pruned me for this reason, when I didn’t even know that is what He was doing.

    I also left a three year post serving in women’s ministry team, after year two, in order to be home at bed time — literally every night for a long, long season — for my middle daughter. Even though her needs didn’t make sense to me and I struggled with bitterness and resentment toward her before and after leaving WMT, I came to see that my priorities needed a radical adjustment.

    My daughter’s needs weren’t going to conform to my ideals — so my ideals needed to conform to my daughter’s needs. Praise God I surrendered. Our relationship is so much better now and she is maturing in a way that is pleasing, even though it is hard at times to raise up a strong leader (I refuse to call her strong willed…she simply is a leader who has yet to learn how to do so humbly and surrendered to the Lord).

    • Becca

      “My daughter’s needs weren’t going to conform to my ideals–so my ideals needed to conform to my daughter’s needs.”
      wow.
      That was convicting, along with Sara’s post, when it comes to my relationship with my husband right now. Thank you.

  • Loretta in Michigan

    I have the same problem with my daughter. Yesterday morning she cried “you go to work everyday, everyday you go to work” I work M-F 7-3.30 and have to work in order for our family to survive. She has been acting out horribly lately and I have been at wits end trying to figure out what to do. Evenings end in a screaming match to get her ready for bed and in bed :( The other morning, it took 45 minutes to get her shirt on and I was late for work…I am a totally lost mom at this point. Been spending much time in prayer, but not sure what to do. Any ideas for a lost mom who can’t just leave her job but still want to have a child that can act decently? HELP PLEASE

    • Sarah Mae

      Maybe just give her so much attention and cuddles after 3:30, and plan special dates once a week just for her. At bedtime snuggle a little longer, read a little more, sing a song, pray, and listen to her. Just some thoughts. Prayers to you friend!

  • Lori

    Yes yes yes. Especially as teens, they need our attention. It’s hard sometimes to put other things aside, but I’m finding that when I do, the rewards are always great! HE always meets us – BOTH of us. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Nellie

    Thanks for the reminder. As mom’s, our schedules fill up so quickly and sometimes so innocently. I know I am guilty of placing my focus on achieving my to do list than to the child standing in front of me. I need to remember that God has blessed me with these little souls to raise up. My ultimate job and task. My first Calling!
    We can not be everything to everyone but we are everything to our babes.
    Thanks Sarah! What an awesome topic to meditate on today.

  • jimmie lee

    Yes yes yes. it can affect even the smallest little ones. My 18 mo is going through some sleep regression and I am starting to believe its because he wants more of mommy. even though I am working the same amount of hours as i did over the summer, my school job takes more out of me. this is just conformation that things have to change a little :) thank you sarah

    • jimmie lee

      OH and even thought i know this to the core that acting out is seeking attention sometimes I forget. My 12 yo was being really annoying when i wanted to rest yesterday and I told him, “I can give you the attention you want without you being annoying so just lay here with me and let me hold you” It worked!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.garrett.378 Bonnie Garrett

    Oh Boy, did I need this today. My 4YO is driving me nuts… and I am sure the feeling is mutual. He is truly my son and all of my quirks are his. We have been struggling so much with his behavior- acting out, talking back- and I feel like a terrible mother because it seems like all I do is correct/redirect him. Getting out the door for school is a feat in itself. Like many others have said, I am surrounded by a never ending to-do list for both the home and for work (I work full time but from home) and it is way too often that I finally sit down around 7pm, after the dinner, dishes, bath routine and wonder where the day has gone and then marvel about how much I still have to do. Loretta in MI., I agree: I can’t quit my job either. I took this position so that I would be home for my children. The catch is that you never really leave work because it is in the very next room! I guess I just need to be more aware of the time in the evening and spend it with the kids. I can wash the dinner dishes and other do other chores after the boys go to bed- that frees up time. I will try whatever it takes to get my sweet boy back instead of this craziness we have now! Thanks, Sarah Mae, for this timely post!

    • Loretta in Michigan

      My girl is also 4. Thankfully, I do get to leave my work at work. I do work outside of the home. Her and I get home about 4.30 each night and really only have about 2.5 hrs for all 3 of us to have family time. I try to incorporate her helping us get ready for the next day so that we get to spend that time together…she loves to help load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and prep the coffee machine for the next day. But its just not enough and I constantly am wishing that we were able for me to be at home and beat myself over it a lot :( I get so frustrated with the screaming and yelling and not listening and then here lately, the hitting and kicking :( I feel so lost at times. I just bought the book…Don’t make me count to 3 and cant wait to start reading it and hopefully get some insight.

  • Cherry

    Oh, such wise advice! My kids are grown (and I now have 10 grandkids!) – and you expressed it so well in this post. So important to take the time to really care for our kids, not just the material caring, but caring for their hearts. And this extends to when they are grown – listen, and care for the hearts of our kids, no matter their age. I am asking God to build this into me more and more, even as they are grown. And also to care for our grandkids, really care for what is going on in their hearts.

  • http://www.joyfilleddays.com/ Sarah Beals

    YES, you are doing the right thing, friend. It is almost counter-intuitive, but when someone is driving you crazy or your kids are acting badly, moving TOWARDS them in love is so helpful and usually touches their heart. And when they are teens, doing things that you don’t have to with them, because you want to sends the message “I like being with you” loud and clear. This morning at 7 am, Emily was folding laundry which is her morning chore. I joined her and chatted with her, and she lit right up. :) Love this.

  • http://twitter.com/SantaBeso LaDonna Stoker

    I just spent about a month away from my blog. This is our first “official” year as a homeschool family, and I intentionally stepped away to start our first days off on the right foot. I knew that I couldn’t handle consistency with my blog and have joy while being an official teacher simultaneously. Something had to give. Thank you so much for sharing this, it all the more makes me want to come back to read sarahmae.com because you’re so authentic.

  • Jennifer McLaimtaig

    I needed to hear this too – thanks for sharing…….. would love some more thoughts and ideas on the practical living out of it and how-to, esp when it seems they go from one thing to another constantly needing correction!

  • Kathy Schwanke

    The wealth of wisdom. Choosing what is best over the good. What a gift! Thanks for sharing!

  • melissa

    couldn’t agree more! I have 6, going on 7. sometimes I feel guilty that I can’t go out every day to spread the gospel to the world. and then Jesus reminds me, with these 7 I am spreading the gospel to the world in so many ways. He trusts me with so much!!! <3