Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Parenting From the Overflow: Day 3

Overflowing Peace

So, here it is 3:30 in the afternoon and I am just getting to sitting down to write about today's devotions.  I read it this morning, but school, babies, and keeping the home came in precedence, so I hope you will have grace with me.

My Thoughts: 

Some of these subjects seem like real challenges.  Not that we don't want Love and Joy and Patience, but the getting there can often be painful to the flesh.  But who doesn't want to gladly embrace Peace?  What do you think of when you think of the word "Peace?"  When I lived in Oregon, we rented a charming little house that backed up against the forest with a little stream and some blackberries growing nearby.  Forest animals often made their trek through, and birds were in abundance, singing their happy songs.  We just happened to have two oak trees that were spaced perfectly apart to hang a hammock between them, so for Father's Day my husbands parents bought him a really nice cloth hammock.  It was big and soft and made out of a sturdy fabric.  I loved to lay in that hammock in the summertime, with the warm sunshine beaming down and the puffy clouds floating by.  The tall pine trees would sway and creak in the breeze that would blow the smell of earth and forest into my nostrils.  That is what comes to mind when I think of Peace.

Terri Lynne Underwood says that one of the meanings of the word peace is harmony.  Have you ever had the privelege of listening to a symphony orchestra?  Majestic music coming from musicians playing their own instruments in harmony.  I like this analogy because it's not a picture of cookie-cutter, everyone has to be the same, situation.  No in fact the differences are what brings beauty, as long as they work in accordance with one another.

This brought to mind a piece I read called Secrets of Happy Home Life, by J.R. Miller, that has stuck with me for years.  Please take the time to read it, it is rather short but very impactful.

J.R. Miller writes, "We are all concerned in the making of some one home – our own home. One instrument out of tune in an orchestra mars the music which breaks upon the ears of the listeners. One discordant life in a household mars the perfectness of the music of love in the family. We should make sure that our life is not the one that is out of tune. We do not need to worry about the other lives; if each looks to his own, that will do."

Just as Terri Lynne, says, the key is at our individual relationships with Christ.

Did you take some time to dwell on the six descriptions of the tranquility we find rooted in Christ?  
Peace is... Powerful, Protecting, Promised, Preferable, Practiced, Pursued.  Go back and re-read those verses!
Do you believe this?  Take God's promises and claim them for yourself!!

Seek Peace and Pursue it!  As with everything else, we set the example for our children.  We need to evaluate if we are faithfully pursuing peace with our children, or are there moments of antagonizing them or setting them up for failure in which discord ensues?  How about our outside relationships.  How are we controlling our tongues about the other people in our lives.  Are we protecting our children against the struggles we are having with in-laws, friends, people we serve with in ministry.  Their little ears are listening and learning, and I know for myself, I've got to remember that.  And Ive got to set an example to my kids of humility and forgiveness!  Of a non-judgemental love.  Of a Christ-like love that forgives and then stands with open arms, ready to receive people back into relationship.

Let us commit to be peace-seekers! Striving for every opportunity to live at harmony, first and foremost, with those in our home, our families, and our church families.

Memorize this verse.  Maybe print it out and put it somewhere that will remind you to pray for someone you have conflict with.  Put their name up on a sticky-note with it, and honestly pray for peace between you.  I will be doing this also.

Just for Moms:   

Check in with the friend you asked to pray for you. Share with her what you are learning and any struggles you are facing. Ask her to pray with you and for you as you seek peace in your relationships.   Realize the truth of Hebrews 12: 14. There may be work done in you no one else ever sees, but allow the Lord to do that work.   
I'll be checking in with my friend tonight, and I'm already praying that the Lord can make my heart ready to make steps toward resolution with someone who hurt me deeply, and has asked to meet with me.

Choose one of the descriptions of peace and focus on living it out. What specific steps do you need to take in order to live in peace?
The description I am choosing is "Protecting" ... I sometimes flee resolution because I fear further conflict.  I need to entrust my heart to the Lord in this. 

Take that step of obedience and work toward peace in your relationships. It’s not easy. Ask someone you trust to pray for you as you face this difficult challenge. (Be sure to give her permission to ask you if you have done anything yet. You do not have to give details about who or what, but give permission to ask if you have done what you need to do.)
I'll be doing this with my friend tonight.

Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 18).  . Kindle Edition.

A few moms over at the Polishing Rubies Facebook Page are going through the book "Parenting From the Overflow."  Feel free to grab the book and jump in with us, or share your comments below.

<3 Johnna

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