The Right Time

Gandalf 2

“He is NOT cute any more!”

Now wait a minute…..

this is my grandson you are talking about…..

…the one who dresses up as Gandolf, Batman, and Bob the Minion (my personal favorite)

Our daughter called to tell me our three-year-old grandson was no longer cute. He had expended all his allotted “cuteness quotient” and his behavior was no longer entertaining.

It was annoying.

His time had come.

He would now be held accountable for his behavior.

My friend, Alice Marie and I were talking about this and she mentioned that her little sister used to get her in trouble on purpose when they were young. Their father would threaten to spank Alice Marie if her little sister cried. It had to be Alice Marie’s fault since she was the oldest and knew better, right?

Her little sister would say “Me gonna scream, Daddy spank YOU!” when she wanted to have her own way.

Evidently, I did something similar to my older brother. I had polio when I was two years old. After being treated in isolation  and released from the hospital, I was weak and had to have physical therapy to regain strength and function in my muscles. It was a difficult time for our family, and I must have started to take advantage of all the attention.

My mother asked the doctor how long I should be coddled and favored. The doctor told mother that each child was different, but that she would know when to return to treating me normally.

A few days later, mother said she came down the stairs to hear me say to my older brother – “You have to give me that toy because I had polio, you know!”

The time had come.

I was no longer the sick child who needed extra attention.

I was held accountable for my actions. Polio was no longer an excuse for bad behavior.

It is natural for us as parents and grandparents to require more from the older children and spoil the younger ones.

This is not fair, nor is it healthy for any of the children. I need to guard against giving in just because they are “cute”.

I remember Jay Fesperman teaching us as new parents – “What is cute at 5 years old is NOT cute at 15 years old. When do you want to deal with it? When your child is 5 or 15?”

Such words of wisdom.

There is a right time to hold our children accountable for their behavior and allow them to suffer the consequences when they disobey. They don’t finish their supper – they don’t get dessert, or snacks after supper. They throw their toys inside the house – those toys are put away for a week.

If one of our children is suffering, we are especially vulnerable to giving in to them. Sometimes they know this and take advantage of our weakness. But we are sending a very wrong message when we do that which is – “Just act hurt and you won’t have to obey, or follow through, or clean up. etc.”

We want to be sensitive to the right time to offer extra help or give our children grace for messing up. Doesn’t our Heavenly Father do that for us?

We need God’s wisdom to know when the “right time” occurs to hold our children accountable.

James 1:5 (ESV)

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

We must utilize this wonderful promise from God’s Word!

I need to pray for wisdom from God each and every day as I parent and grandparent.

God will show us the right time.

God is faithful.

 

 

 

 

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The One Thing

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Ever hear of the sisters, Mary and Martha?

They were friends of Jesus and also among those who followed Jesus and listened to his teaching. Biblical scholars believe that Martha was probably an affluent widow. She also practiced hospitality.

When she invited Jesus to her home – she had to be ready for a crowd – his entourage came with him.

The Bible says she was encumbered or stressed by serving.

Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.

So she does what most of us women do when stressed – she complains.

She goes right to Jesus!

She attempts to get Jesus to agree with her – “I’m doing all the work – shouldn’t Mary help?

God does not necessarily agree with the cause of our distress – we might think it is –

  • My mother-in-law
  • My child who refuses to potty train
  • My boss who doesn’t seem to understand that I have children
  • My adult child who doesn’t call me
  • My messy house

Jesus does care – just not about the same thing that is bothering Martha.

Mary chose the “good part” – that was The one thing worth being concerned about – which certainly meant what Mary made her choice to do—sitting at Christ’s feet, to hear his word.

So, does Jesus not want to eat, you may ask? Don’t we have to attend to the needs of our families, especially when there are little ones that depend on our care for their very survival?

Of course. The Bible is clear in teaching that we have responsibilities to fulfill and it is godly to do so.

Yet, are we so busy that we neglect the “One Thing” that feeds our souls?

“Martha’s care and work were good in their proper season and place; but now she had something else to do, which was unspeakably more needful, and therefore should be done first, and most minded.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

I had the privilege of participating this weekend in a women’s retreat sponsored by a local church, yet including ladies from various congregations. It was a precious time of fellowship, worship and teaching.

It was a time to focus on the One Thing – sitting at Jesus feet.

God was faithful to meet us and His presence was evident as we shared together.

I am so thankful that I was able to be like Mary this weekend  – sitting at Jesus feet.

 

 

New Life

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I LOVE spring. It is my favorite season of the year.

There is evidence of new life all around us!

The daffodils are blooming, the tulips are coming up and I have seen several flowering trees whose blossoms are starting to explode into color.

Jesus refers to the beauty of wild flowers in Matthew 6: 28-30

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

These verses remind me of God’s great love and care for me.

I may be facing some very difficult situations right now, yet these verses say that God cares about ME. 

Do I trust Him?

Do I believe God cares?

My worrying shows that I lack faith in trusting God to meet my needs.

This also means the needs of my children. God wants to met their needs as well.

It is so difficult as a parent NOT to worry about our children. We KNOW there are bad things out there that can happen to our children. We have even seen bad things happen to friends and family members who love and follow God.

Trusting God does NOT mean that nothing bad will happen to those I love.

It does mean that God will be with me whatever I face and whatever happens. It also means that God will use those situations for my good and to further His purposes.

Jesus said these wildflowers should remind me of God’s faithfulness.

Each time we see a new flower bloom this spring, may we be reminded of our faithful, loving Heavenly Father and the new life He brings.