Tending Our Heart to Love Theirs

DSC02537You love your child a bunch, more than you can put into words. You know there’s a big age and maturity difference between you. You even “get” why he does or says some things. So why is it that we react critically, or even meanly, sometimes, yet other times we don’t?

The short answer is – the condition of our heart. The medium answer is – A lot happens in the day; our heart records all of it, and some recordings need to be edited out. Here’s my longer answer to explain.

One day can hold sweet moments like a hug, a thoughtful text, an unexpected ‘Thanks, Mom’, an adorably mischievous grin, laughter, or obedience. That same day might include a rude remark, a disrespectful tone, an ungrateful attitude, a mean face, or a disappointing decision.

Hours, then days pass in a blur. We live forward, our mind focused to what’s next. More positive and negative experiences occur. Some we deal with and others we don’t. We teach, correct, and forgive our child. We’re prayerful, trying to depend on God for help and guidance. And then we lose it.

The ugly comes out. Why?

DSC02538Our heart hurts. First, we are women. We have feelings and our feelings get hurt. Being a mom is a major role in our life. However, if we see our self solely as a mom with responsibilities, we might unintentionally neglect our self as a person with a heart.

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 30.17a)

Our kids don’t plan to hurt or disappoint us. They try to practice what we’ve taught; sometimes they hit the mark and other times they don’t – just like us.

DSC02536You may have forgiven your child, but have you unloaded your feelings and experience to God and then invited him to heal your heart? When God heals, he restores and builds our heart stronger.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23.1-3)

Holy God, You alone know all that my heart has recorded. Please show me what I need to unload to you. Thank you for your healing love. Amen.

Here’s Video 07 and the Audio 07! I pray that you’re encouraged and strengthened. Please tap one of the icons below and share with your friends!

The Power of Our Words

DSC00326Have you ever had someone speak to you critically, harshly, with rejection or call you a name?
I have.

The message of the mouth leaves a mark.

“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Death. That’s a strong word. The power to destroy or end.
Words can destroy our view of self. End a vision. Kill a hope.

We wince at the hurt. Trying to shake off the message, we suppress it or live trying to disprove it.

DSC00654I’ve also spoken such wounding words….to those I love most, my family. I cringe when I think about it. The pain I’ve caused.

Have you ever spoken words that deflate, defeat or discourage?
Have you ever wondered, “Have I ruined my child?”

Remember… GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER OUR CHILD’S HEART – and over ours.
He gave Jesus for the speaker and hearer of hurtful words.

Be humble. Be changed.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1.9)

Sometimes the Lord leads me to ask my child to forgive me. It’s awkward at times, but practicing humility is like cement between the building blocks of the relationship.

DSC00338The message of the mouth leaves a mark.

Wounds may infect who we were created to be.
God can heal the marks on our heart… on our child’s heart.

“He (God) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147.3)

Discouragement

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27.14)

My kids don’t listen to me.  Our child is being bullied.  We can’t agree on anything…  Our son has stopped communicating with us.  Our daughter is depressed.  They fight all the time.  I think she has an eating disorder.  He’s failing 3 subjects.  She has no friends.  He’s making so many bad decisions…

Discouragement.   It’s the enemy of courage and confidence.

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Ps. 31.24)

First, there’s a minor incident but we ignore it or try to convince ourselves that we’re making something out of nothing.  Or there’s a major issue, but we think, “I’m not going to let this get me down…”  Perhaps we pray about the circumstance, that it will change.  Then the issue begins to increase, or there’s no change for the better.  We grow more discouraged and, as a result, heavy of heart.

Hard circumstances can really pack a punch.  The good news is God is sovereign over ALL of them.  If it happens, He knows.  He knows before hand. This is hard to get our minds around, especially as trials drag on.

God faithfully counsels us.  He tells us to take courage, to let our heart take courage.  His courage. He gives it to us for our journey.

God is with us and wants to tend our heart – if we’ll let Him in.  Too often when I’m discouraged, I don’t remember this right away.  As a result, I dump onto my husband by taking it out on him, whine to a friend, or take on a complaining attitude about … well, everything.

The wise way to deal with discouragement … take it to the Lord.  I’ve taught this to our kids, too.  First, I ask the Lord to show me ALL that I’m discouraged about, every detail, because I want to EMPTY this closet!  Next, I pray, “Lord, I give you ….”, naming every single detail.  I imagine Him taking these into His hands or onto an altar.  Then I invite the Lord to fill me, “Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit.  I need Your encouragment.”  As we invite the Lord to walk with us – unloading our feelings, the circumstances, the people – He meets us with HIs comfort and peace.

Jesus prepares His disciples that difficult times are ahead, while at the same time comforting and exhorting them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33)

We’re not to bear up and be strong on our own.

Trusting God to be faithful, depending on Him to meet us where we are, as we share our heart with Him … He enables us to be strong, to take courage and place our confidence in Him.