Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Behavior...Standing Firm

 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil…”        
2 Timothy 2:24-26

My husband and son went to the hockey game last night.  At first, I was a little unsure of how our daughter would handle going to bed without her brother being in the room with her.  The hockey game fell on a night that my friend and I would usually get together to pray and hold each other accountable for living this Christian life.  I had planned to let our daughter watch a Veggie Tales movie while my friend was over but her behavior throughout the day was such that I couldn’t bless her with watching the special movie. 

While we were doing a puzzle before her shower and bedtime she expressed to me that she didn’t understand what the relationship was between her behavior and the ban from the movie.  (It kind of floored me that she was able to articulate all this without whining!!!)  I explained the relationship between the behavior and the blessing and that I couldn’t bless her for her poor behavior during the day.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,” Ephesians 5:15

In those kinds of tender moments, we have to communicate in love and truth.  Correction not condemnation.  If we don’t “stick to our guns”, “put our foot down” or in a better phrase, “stand firm” our word will become weak and not trustworthy to our children.

If I would have given in to her sweet little face, she wouldn’t have learned anything.  Even if she didn’t this time, I did!  And I will have other opportunities to “stand firm” again and again I’m sure.  But next time being more confident that I’m leading her to behave wisely rather than as a fool.

BTW she was a complete angel upon my friend's arrival, and went right to bed.  I know God is doing a good work in all of us.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

As mommas we might tend to feel the need to "control" all the happenings of our family.  Here's a little devotion from Our Daily Bread to help us remember the majesty of our God.  We can sing that little Sunday School song, "He's got the whole world in His hand..." but we tend to forget it when life's issues pool upon us...

https://odb.org/ (Spilling Through My Fingers, by Kirsten Holmberg. March 16, 2017)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trees Planted

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

These verses have been very special to me through the years.  When I was in my twenties I spent a year in Costa Rica to attend a language institute for missionaries to learn the Spanish language and Latin culture.  The Costa Rican family I lived with were awesome Christians and they daily spoke into my life…or just listened to me speak in my budding Spanish accent.  One day my “Tica” mom gave me these verses to help me through the crazy journey I was on – the journey of Life. 

A decade later I would hear my mother-in-law teach these verses to her foster kids – no matter what their ages – so they would have this truth embedded in their brains for life.  And now, I get to teach it to my children. 

Just a few mornings ago, Jeremiah 17:7-8 popped up in my devotional book and so I shared it with my kids – especially to the one we’ve been having some hard moments with.  The Holy Spirit gave me a great analogy using a tree we have growing near our canal out back.  It was a tangible way to teach about how we need to be firmly planted and rely on our water source, the Bible.


(However, after I thought we were really connecting in our conversation, one of my kids said something so far off, like about the pretty colors that are on the other bushes… Well, maybe some good nuggets sunk into their sweet brains so we can revisit the conversation again another day.  As Zerby Derby says, we can just “try, try again”!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life Lessons Taught

Matthew and Jordan enjoy playing Legos and Barbies.  While they play I have found great opportunities to teach some life lessons on what the Bible says about certain topics.  These topics usually include marriage, living together and what clothes are appropriate to wear.

In our present day, it seems as though some or all of these topics, if left untaught at home are left vague or skewed in the minds and hearts of our children.  Teaching them what is right in the eyes of the Lord is what our kids need as they are hit with opposing views all around them.  We can help them be confident when they are face to face with decisions about how to conduct themselves in the world we live in.

Lord, thank You for giving us Your Word as the lamp to our feet (and our kids' feet) and the light to the path You want us to go in.  Please help us to prepare our children to live in the world but not be sucked into the popular views held all around them.  Prepare their hearts to receive Your Word so they can live to give You glory.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, January 20, 2017

When Tutus, Lacrosse sticks and Eternity Collide

If our Kennedy had been,
She probably would have worn
Tennis shoes
Basketball shoes
And
I’ll guess…cleats too.


I think
She would have vacillated
Between
Pink and sparkles
With all out athleticism.

She would have carried a
Lacrosse stick
And worn disheveled braids,
Knee pads, sparkly tennis shoes
And a bright pink tutu.

When she played she’d be the star.
Everyone would have feared the legendary
Kennedy Drew.

I imagine KD would often lose interest,
Gather the hands of her family and friends
(Cheering for her in the stands,)
To join her in the center of the field
To twirl
Giggle
And be together.

I don’t understand why my
Tutu wearing,
Lacrosse carrying
Granddaughter didn’t take her first breath
I selfishly want her – here!

But it seems she accomplished her life’s goal.
She was equipped with gifts and talents to play this game of life.
Like a champion.
To win.
And win decisively.

God’s plan was for her to walk into
The stadium of her life
And gather her Mom and Dad,
Her future bother and sisters,
Her grandparents,
Aunts, uncles, friends
And communities

Onto her playing field.
To dance
And Laugh
And twirl about.


Kennedy Drew
our Tutu wearing, lacrosse stick carrier
was equipped
To play hard and to win.

(Kennedy Drew - January 20, 2016)


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Sacrifices You Make, Momma

I read this today and thought of all the sacrifices that surround the birth and life of a child.  Check out this Our Daily Bread Ministries devotion from December 21, 2016, written by Tim Gustafson.  https://odb.org/2016/12/21/a-personal-story/

Thanking God today for all the Mommas in the world, as you make many sacrifices each day for the life of your child.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What Are You Waiting For?

I had the opportunity to guest blog for a dear friend of mine, Shannon DeGarmo Carpino, author of "The Bounce Back Woman".  So I thought I would share my heart here as well...
http://bouncebackwoman.com



Have you ever had to wait for something that you were particularly excited for? You know the kind of thing that is so exciting your mind wonders to it when you should be thinking about something else? Perhaps it was the anticipation of an approaching birth, or butterflies the night before your wedding day, or maybe it was an exceptional Christmas present you knew you would be receiving?

For me, my most anticipated gift was the gift of finding my husband. I remember always wondering when it was going to happen with an eagerness of “would it be sometime soon?”. The years went on and I watched as some of my friends got married and I often wondered why I hadn’t yet found “the one”? Little did I know that although my search was for the right man, the Lord had a gift for me that I wasn’t expecting. You see, I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord growing up. I knew very little about the bible and who Jesus Christ was. So before God introduced me to my beloved, He introduce me to HIS beloved… The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
As I reflect on the most special present of all, I am reminded of two people who waited their whole lives for one special gift, and at Christmas time God gave them just that.
Simeon, meaning obedient, was a righteous and devout man, who had eagerly waited his whole life for the Messiah. Being moved by obedience and the Spirit, he entered the temple to find the child and his parents there.
Luke 2:27-32 That day the Spirit led him to the temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the Law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Another prophet, Anna, whose name means full of grace, lost her husband after being married only 7 years. Anna spent the duration of her life in the temple praying and worshipping God and waiting for the Messiah to come.
Luke 2:37-38 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. [She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
This Christmas, as we participate in all the fun this time of year brings, let us remember the true reason for this season. As Simeon and Anna spent their entire lives waiting for the Savior who was to come, let us remember and reflect on the One who has come. The One who came so that we may have life to the fullest and life everlasting. Will you join me as we focus on the Giver of the greatest gift, Life-in-Him-rather than on the presents that lay under our tree? Let’s be partakers with Simeon and Anna as we anticipate celebrating Jesus’s birth, praising and worshiping our God and sharing Him with everyone.
Lord Jesus, I pray as the busyness of this season tries to consume us, please help us slow our hurried pace. May we be deliberate with our days, carving out quiet time to spend with You so that we may reflect on all that your birth means to us. Lord I also pray, that you help us reflect the good and perfect gifts you have imparted to us, so that others may see and hear the good news of You and Your Beloved.
Much love and blessings to you!
Merry Christmas,
Fran Maynard