Category Archives: What I Know Now
The last couple of weeks have been insane for me.
Pulling together the final touches for Allume and working on the Desperate website (to have finished by Allume) has been completely overwhelming. As the cliche goes, too much to do, too little time. So it feels.
But God knows and He is good and kind. Today I had friend surprise me with a Chai tea latte with vanilla (yum!) then clean my kitchen, and another friend tell me she’s dropping off dinner to me tonight.
Oh, He hears! Yesterday I was just about in tears and having mini-anxiety attacks when I prayed, “Lord, this is too much. Will you help me?” And so swiftly He responds.
What I Know Now
I know that God hears and He gives the strength needed to persevere in the kingdom assignments He allows us to take part in. He will not leave you to do it alone. In fact, in our weakness, His grace is not only sufficient, but there is power.
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
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“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.”
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.
“When our children don’t want to obey, we ought to step back and prayerfully ask ourselves if they feel wanted.”
“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.”
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Perusing through the kids section in Barnes & Noble where I worked, I began to make mental lists of the books I wanted my kids to read. Not only did I make a few lists, I picked up a book and took it to my locker to purchase later, in preparation for the day I would have my own little ones to read to. Walking back to the kids section, my assigned domain for the day, I continued to daydream about how wonderful it would be to have children.
I pictured a pig-tailed little girl running around with me in a pumpkin patch. I imaged many adventures I would take with my future girl, and I dreamed of sitting around a table with many children laughing and singing and eating together in harmony. I studied up on discipline techniques, and I read a slew of parenting books. My major in college was human development and family studies with an option in children, youth, and family, which surely put me on track to being an expert as a mother.
There were going to be no surprises because I had parenting all figured out.
Not only did I have parenting figured out, I relied on my grand ideals to usher in reality. I reasoned that because I wanted children and wanted to spend my days with them teaching and nurturing them, of course my ideals would come true.
And then I had children, three of them, in five years.
Here is where I tell you what I know now.
What I Know Now
I know that it’s wise to have ideals. Ideals help us to persevere and have vision for our hopes and dreams. They are a standard that helps us focus on our goals. However, ideals can quickly turn into idols if we rely on them/put our hope in them instead of relying on Jesus and how He made us.
How Do You Know If You’ve Made an Ideal An Idol?
The biggest indication that you’ve made an ideal into an idol is that you become angry, depressed and/or anxious when your ideals aren’t working out how you envisioned them.
Looking back, I know that my ideals of motherhood were an idol. In all my dreaming, I had never considered my personality, my bents, trials I would encounter, the reality of sin in daily life, my own selfishness, my own limitations, exhaustion, marriage difficulties, and a million other intricacies that are of life and of me.
When our faith is strong in Jesus, we can weather the falling apart of some of our ideals. When we have put too much stock in our ideals, and they fall apart, so will we.
How Do You Avoid Making an Ideal an Idol
Give your ideals, which is fancy way of saying “standards”, to the One who knows every piece of you. Offer to Him your dreams, and ask Him to give you vision and faith. Remember that you are not a robot; you have a unique personality and woven skill sets and gifts imprinted in the weaving. You cannot be someone else. You are made gloriously! Accept who you are, your weaknesses and your strengths, and trust God will the details (Tweetable). If you have His Holy Spirit intertwined with your spirit, you are being matured and perfected. Let that work be good enough. Let the failures come, look to Jesus, and keep walking. The standards you’ve put on yourself are probably not the ones God puts on you. His standards? Believe in Him; have faith! He sits on a throne of grace, and His burden for you is light.
Ideals are good and helpful. The key is to take our ideals and put them in the hands of God, having faith in His plans and ways, and then walking daily with Him and communing with Him, always asking, “Lord, what do you say?”