I’m tired but I’m not giving up


If you drove through the Panera parking lot at around noon today in Surprise you may have seen a puffy-eyed, blonde woman in a silver Edge, teetering on the edge of a full-fledged meltdown. I don’t mean like violent crazy meltdown.  I mean sobbing and bawling like a two year old who just got placed in a stranger’s arms for daycare meltdown.

That woman’s tears were streaming down her face because she heard that familiar voice of discouragement saying, “What’s the point of even trying.  They aren’t listening.”  And she felt the pressure of the burning desire for her sons to not fight against her on everything. Especially not when she’s trying to teach them God’s ways.  But the mileau of tension that is the our house seems to foster the growth of constant resistance and questioning.  Not really even questioning. If what I got back from the boys when we read the Bible was a discussion that involved doubts, question, confessions of unbelief, etc. I could handle that.  I have all those things.  But when I get mocking, and eye-rolling, and mumbling, and then a barking response of, “This only applies if you actually believe there is a God anyway!!!” it’s enough to make a mom trying to do her best to point her kids the right way break down.  Days like today feel like I’m trying to plant a garden in hardened, cracked soil.  I need God’s rain on hard hearts.

It’s late now. And I’ve recovered.  I’m in a hotel room with my boys tonight because the power is out at our house.  My husband has had the power shut off since this morning to do something with the electrical box outside.  We decided to get a room for the night for hot showers and light. Both my sons are too big to fit on one queen-sized bed.  Since before they were born I’ve been praying for them.  When each of them were growing in my womb I wrote scripture that Spirit impressed on my heart was sort of a theme for their life.  From the time they were born I sang hymns and read aloud to them from the Bible. When they were learning about their A,B,C’s and colors and shapes I was teaching them about the love of God and telling them stories about Jesus.  And they soaked it up.  But in the span of the past 10 years they’ve been twice through the stress of their parents being separated and nearly divorcing.  And they’ve seen and heard the pop cultures theme for them: do whatever makes you feel good.  And have compared it with their mom’s theme for them: follow Jesus.  You need him.  And now they don’t just soak it in.  They doubt.  And question.  And mock.  And I’m tired.

But by the daily grace of God, new mercies every morning.  I won’t quit.

And I’ll trust that whatever pushback I get now is not the end of the matter for my sons.  It’s no mistake that God gave them a mom who loves Jesus.  And it’s not in vain that I speak into their lives the truth and give up my life to love them.

‘Therefore, my beloved {moms}, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ‘ 1 Corinthians 15:58

Timothy Mom Thoughts: Learning about The Lamb through Passover


(image found here)

“1 Now the LORD gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron while they were still in the land of Egypt… 3 Announce to the whole community that on the tenth day of this month each family just choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice… 5 This animal must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no physical defects. 6 “Take special care of these lambs until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then each family in the community must slaughter its lamb. 7 They are to take some of the lamb’s blood and smear it on the top and sides of the doorframe of the house where the lamb will be eaten. 8 That evening everyone must eat roast lamb with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast… 14 You must remember this day forever. Each year you will celebrate it as a special festival to the LORD… 26 Then your children will ask, ‘What does all this mean? What is this ceremony about?’ 27 And you will reply, ‘It is the celebration of the LORD’s Passover… ” -Exodus 12:1, 3, 5-8,14,26-27 NLT

One of the key things the Spirit has impressed upon me in my quest to teach my sons God’s word is the importance of not cleaning up God’s gospel into a nice flannel-graph Easter story. He’s drawn me to the Old Testament as a source for what He REALLY wants to impress upon my kids’ hearts.

The volume of writings which create the Old Testament speak of Jesus. And it’s in the types and pictures God has drawn for us there that we really learn of Him.

I think we do our kids a disservice by sterilizing the gospel for them. When I hear about teens jumping the Christian-family-church-going ship I wonder, “Lord, have they ever trembled at Your word?”

I wonder if many of our kids grow up with our neat little stories and devotionals but they never really see the horror of God’s sacrifice for them. They never really are impressed with the great price. They never really get a visual in pews, worship bands, hymnals, seeker-friendly messages, and groups for every classification under the sun.

In Moses’ day, a child would see the family lamb, the perfect family lamb, laid down, throat cut, blood poured out and then wiped all over their doors. And each year, if their parents were faithful, they’d hear about the story of God’s awful (in the sense of full of awe) deliverance from Egypt and they’d see a spotless lamb slaughtered as a reminder. God says seeing all this would cause their kids to ask, “Why?”

I truly believe as parents we’d quicken the fear of God in our kids (which the scripture says is the beginning of knowing the Holy One- Jesus… see Proverbs 9:10), spark true seeking of answers in them, and cause them to tremble at His word, taking seriously the gospel, if we’d take the time to regularly remember the cross of Christ with them. And I think learning through the Passover is an especially good way for our children to see the price of the cross and learn about the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

So that’s what we’re doing in this house. Last year was our first Passover. It was truly covered by grace as I’m sure in every way it was less than stone-written-law-perfect, but in Spirit it was flawless and penetrating. My kids really did ask, “Why are we doing this mom?” Even my sweet husband asked why I was teaching the kids this, which gave me an awesome oppurtunity to speak the gospel of Christ to Him with joy!

This year, in preparing a little more than last year, my boys and I are studying lambs, bread and plants to help us understand the typology of Christ in the Passover even more.

One of the decisions I made was to let them see a video of a sheep being butchered (after it was dead). I know, I just lost a bunch of you. I promise it is not as graphic as you may think. After I showed this to my boys I read Isaiah 53:7 to them and talked with them about how Jesus is our Lamb who takes away our sins, and how He willingly, and silently died for us.

This left a huge impression on my boys! Boys like gross stuff anyway. Seeing the video and then talking with them about Christ’s sacrifice really made them think.

Personally, I hate watching anything die! I don’t even watch those videos on Animal Planet of a lion taking down a deer. I just feel it and it makes me shudder. But when it comes to seeing myself in desperated need of Jesus, I need to shudder. If I don’t shudder I may not run to Him or taste of His love. I want my kids to shudder and run to Him too!

The other day my husband and I caught a piece of a documentary about animal sacrifice in religions throughout history. As I watched it I thought about how sterilized we are in America.

Our nation is so secular… our meat is purchased in neat little packages in the store without a thought to the mooing cow or bleating lamb that laid down its life so we could have a nice dinner. I thought about how its hard in the culture we live in to really grasp the cross of Christ. We don’t suffer and we don’t know suffering. We don’t see it and if we do we try to hide it. We certainly don’t want to walk our dinner down to the local butcher and watch its throat get cut and its body get chopped up and ground so we can eat. But if we did I think we’d have a much greater appreciation for the cross and the story God is trying to get across to us and to our kids through the Passover lamb.

We have such a pretty, clean, American image of Christ in our minds. But the slaughtering of a lamb, blood strewn all over a door, and blood sprinkled over priests, people and offerings… these pictures that God chose to illustrate His story and our salvation are not pretty, neat, clean or American!

I challenge you to take a look at the stories of the Old Testament, the animal sacrifices, the Passover, etc., and picture what that would be like in real life. Picture yourself sprinling blood all over everything. Picture it drying there. The stains. Would our kids ask questions if we had blood all over our doors?

Now, take a look at the One about whom all those graphic pictures were written. Read about the Lamb of God in the New Testament. How would God have you remember the fearful and amazing message of the cross? What can you do to cause your kids to ask why?

Here are some links to videos about sheep, shepherds, Our Shepherd, and even the butchering of sheep. Maybe a little study of these things as a family followed by telling them about the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is in order?

Redeeming the time

Timothy Mom Thoughts- God’s Arms Are Long

This is my first Timothy Moms Thoughts post here. For some background on my heart concerning being a Timothy Mom and some background on the “vision” for Timothy Moms you can go here, here and here. Please visit my old Timothy Moms blog to find an archive of my posts on this subject and to find resources that I and some other ladies have found to be helpful in the quest to teach our kids God’s word.

Just to get started here, let me give you the definition I came up with for a Timothy Mom:

A Timothy Mom is a mother who, like Eunice and Lois, makes it her aim to not only teach her children the scriptures, but also models a life of genuine faith in Christ to them whether her husband does or not. A Timothy Mom labors in prayer, in talking, in listening, in rebuking, in correcting, in coaching, in encouraging, in nurturing, in serving and in modeling faith in Christ for the prize of seeing Christ formed in her own children.

The other day my 5 year old woke up sick with a sore throat, and cough. When he made his way to the table for some hot tea and toast he said, “Mom does God’s Bible say anyfing about sick?”

Just to clarify I asked, “You mean does the Bible say anything about when your sick or illnesses?”

Yeah.” He responded.

It sure does son.” I confirmed.

Will you read it to me?” He asked.

Of course I will,” I answered with a smile and a quiet prayer of thanks to God for this moment.

I quickly dug up Psalm 103 and read:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless
the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:1-5

Diseases means when your sick son. See, God’s saying He heals all our sicknesses,” I went on trying to get every second out of this teachable moment. Then my precious little guy piped up with the question, “Mom, so God heals you even though He’s far away?”

Yes He does son. And He’s really not far away we just can’t see Him right now cause we don’t have the right kind of eyes. But one day we will.

Yeah, God’s healing me cause He has long arms!” my wise little man announced with the “out of the mouth of babes” wisdom which extinguishes the enemy.

I immediately pictured Jesus stretched out on His cross. Arms wide. Arms reaching far. 2000 plus years far. All the way to the kitchen of a little boy with a cold far. And I heard the words:

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear…” Isaiah 59:1

I get so discouraged sometimes with the daily discipline and training of life with little ones. The fit throwing, the complaining and bickering at each other… it’s exhausting! But times like this God reminds me through my kids that He’s at work in their hearts. My job is to plant the seed, tend the weeds and water… He makes it grow!

God impressed on me that day that not only are His arms long, but they are holding that which I’m laboring for- my kids’ souls.

Father, help me to trust You daily. And thank you! Thank you so much for speaking through Connor the other day. I was so encouraged! Continue to reveal yourself to our kids Lord. For You have called us to build our homes in training our kids and modeling genuine faith before them, but unless YOU build these that make our homes our labor is in vain.

*Related- Here’s a very encouraging article at the Mom Blog by Gina at Chats With an “Old Lady”*

Redeeming the time