Thursday, May 30, 2013

Parenting From the Overflow: Day 7 - Overflowing Faithfulness

Overflowing Faithfulness

My Thoughts:

I can hardly believe we are already in the final third of studying the Fruit of the Spirit!

Some of the questions Terri Lynne put out there were tough!

How does our faithfulness to God overflow into the lives of our children?¹
There are so many verses (Deut. 4:9, for example, or I love Deut. 29:29) which show us that God's blessings overflow from the parent to the child.  Our faithfulness to God does have a huge impact on the lives of our children.  We need to have an undivided heart!  While our children are a part of our "inner circle" they get to experience the blessings that come from our obedience to the Lord.

How does that faithfulness teach them about the love God has for them?²
Our faithfulness to God should give our children a clear understanding of God's faithfulness to us, as we include them in the relationship we have in Christ and the hope we have in the gospel.  As they come to know Christ and learn the truth from God's word, they should realize God's great love for them.

It is about our "confident expectation" in God -  I want my girls to remember me for my peace during trying times, knowing that it was because I trusted in God's tender mercies, and His grace and love for me.

What are some things you hope for?³
Very often I hope in God's provision, for making a way when I cannot see a way.
I hope in God for the change that He is effecting in me and that He loves me too much to leave me the way that I am.

How have you grown in your conviction of things not seen?⁴
I have grown in this area by doing the right thing, which is not always the easy thing, as well as trusting God instead of toiling to come up with a plan of my own.

"We must never doubt
that this training of our children 
to live in faith— acting on the truth of Scripture— 
is a necessary component of our parenting."⁵

How will you strive to give your child that foundation?⁶
I want to live a life "set apart" - not for preservation... not holding my life dear to myself - but as a life set apart for good works and ready and willing to serve and love, even when it is costly or inconvenient.  I want to model that for my children, and invite them into it as I have opportunity to do so.

Hall of Fame, Part 1
I so appreciated these examples that Terri Lynne drew from.  These women, Sarah and Rahab were far from the perfect idea we sometimes have of the "godly woman."  Sarah doubted.  Rahab wasn't exactly a model citizen, for goodness sake, she was a prostitute!  But GOD used them!!!

How do you see yourself in Sarah’s story? In what ways is God growing your faith during your current season of life?⁷
In the last four years there have been so many examples of me doubting God's faithfulness, and then He  coming through in a big way.  One of my most memorable examples of this was when my husband was without work, we had drained our savings trying to hold onto our house in Arizona, so that it didn't go into foreclosure, and still pay our rent on our duplex in Oregon, along with all of our other bills.  Never mind that it was almost Christmas as well.  But we just didn't have the money for our mortgage anymore.  One day I was just praying and praying.  My husband had gone to try and make a little money chopping wood.  I hopped in my van and went down to the Post Office to get our mail, and as I drove home I remember praying, "God, you already have the answer.  I know you can provide what we need to make our mortgage payment!"  When my husband got home I handed him an envelope from the mail that day - a Christmas card from an old friend of his.  When he opened it, out fell a check for the exact amount of money we needed to pay our mortgage!  God had laid it on his friends heart to send us some money!  His friend had no idea that we needed money to pay for our house. I couldn't believe that the answer I was praying for... the one I knew God had... was literally sitting in the seat next to me as I had prayed that afternoon! We danced and rejoiced at God's goodness!  And guess what?  A week or two later, we were blessed with another $275 to spend on our family for Christmas.  Any and all worry had been completely futile.  And I laughed with joy at God's goodness and faithfulness to us.

During my current season in life, we are not anywhere near the time of "famine" that we were that December.  Still, any little unexpected expense that comes our way is too much for us right now.  We don't have the money for broken teeth, or fixing the dents in other people's cars.  But these things happen.  And God keeps providing.  And I know I just need to keep trusting.  I just need to keep remembering that it all comes from Him anyway, and that I must praise Him through feast or famine.  That though He gives and takes away, I will bless His name.

How do you see yourself in Rahab’s story? How does knowing that your faith is your own encourage you?⁸
I can't honestly say that I relate much with Rahab, except in the excellent point that is made, that our faith is our own!  I had the "perfect" family, raised in the church, parents who served God and loved others... but their lives, their faith, was not automatically passed to me... there came a point that it was my decision, whether or not I would walk in the ways of the world around me, or choose a relationship with Jesus Christ and follow hard after Him.  I had to make a decision to sever myself from my parents, in a sense, and make my relationship with Jesus Christ completely my own.
This is so important to make sure that we emphasize for our children.  They need to know that just because you were raised in a Christian home, doesn't automatically make you a Christian.  As hard as this may seem for us as parents, we need to allow and even encourage our children to ask the tough questions and work out their own salvation.

How often do we allow our faith to be sidetracked by our circumstances or our own desires?⁹
I wish I could say "Never!" or even "Rarely," but it just wouldn't be true.  This is something I definitely need growth in.  I allow waves of life to tumble me all too often.

Memory Verse

I pray that the Lord would help me to set an example of unwavering faith, and that my daughters would be impacted by the confidence I have in Christ and the consistency I have in my faithfulness to the Lord.

Just for Moms:¹⁰

Find as many references to the word “faith” or “faithful” as you can using a concordance or website such as    
I found over 500 references to the word "faith" and over 250 to the word "faithful!"

Make a list of the ways our faith is grown and shown. Pray for the Lord to increase your faithfulness to Him and for your own faith to grow.     
My list:
By my responses...
In my devotions...
By the way I treat my husband...
In the way I handle our home...
In the way I discipline my children...
Through the areas I serve and my commitments to them...
In the way I run our homeschool...
In the way I handle our finances...
...I'm sure I could just list a million or more!!!

If your child does not yet have a faith of his or her own, pray for his or her salvation. Be aware of every opportunity to share your own story of salvation.   
My oldest came into a relationship with Jesus Christ, so i am praying for her growth now, for a hunger for God's Word, and for the fruit of the Spirit in her life.
I continue to pray for the salvation of my two younger daughters, who are not yet at the age of understanding, though my middle little is getting very close to that point.
I need to pray and watch for more opportunities to share my testimony with them.

Make your own “Faith Hall of Fame.” List people who have modeled faithfulness in your life. Take time to pray for each of them and, if possible, write or call to let them know how much their influence has meant to you.
I love this idea and I can't wait to do this.  I think I am actually going to make a wall and put pictures up of these people so I can talk about them with my girls, and let it be a visual thing for them.

Wow!  So much to glean from this chapter!  May the Lord make us Faithful Ones!

1. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 35).  . Kindle Edition.
2. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 35).  . Kindle Edition.
3. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 36).  . Kindle Edition.
4. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 36).  . Kindle Edition.
5. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 36).  . Kindle Edition.
6. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 36).  . Kindle Edition.
7. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 38).  . Kindle Edition.
8. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 39).  . Kindle Edition.
9. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 40).  . Kindle Edition.
10. Underwood, Teri Lynne (2012-10-05). Parenting from the Overflow (p. 42).  . 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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