Dear Younger Kim, (#3) Respect Your Husband

july-4-2000-bill-with-emily-and-nickThis series is in response to the question:

So if you met yourself when your kids were as young as mine (4 and 1), what would you tell her?

If you haven’t read Part One in this series, click here.

Here’s my third nugget for myself:

Dear Kim,

Do you see that young man in that picture? He’s just as confused and lost as you are.  Be patient with him, Kim.  Pray for him, sister.  Encourage him and love on him.

I wish I could stop there, but I’ve got to keep going.  The word of God is for our training in righteousness that we could be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

You might want to get a cup of coffee and sit down.  You might want to pray and hold my hand before we dive in here.  This is going to be a hard one to hear.  This is an area where I’m still doing battle almost every single day.  But, I have a feeling that if we’d started on this a long time ago, this battle now wouldn’t be quite so hard.

… let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)

Kim, your relationship with your husband needs to be rooted deep in respect and reverence.  As hard as this is for you to hear and as much as you want to fight against it, this is the truth.  Indeed, you will well learn over the years, that there is indeed a way that seems right to a man (or a woman), but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12 & Proverbs 16:25).  This is one of those ways.

There are going to be many, many times when you think you know better, when you think you’re right, (and in fact, you may at times be right), but in the midst of that battle, you have got to reverence your husband.  Admire him.  Honor him.  Respect him.  Listen to him.  Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19-20).  Know this: it is the fool who delights in expressing his opinion, rather than in understanding (Proverbs 18:2).  Yes, there may be the rare occasion when you might have to go against his wishes, but this will be the extreme exception and not the rule.

I’m not telling you to put him on some kind of pedestal or to make him some kind of an idol, taking the place of your allegiance to the one true God.  No.  Remember, you’re going to be trusting in the Lord with all your heart and not leaning on your own understanding.  Remember, you’re going to be praying with thanksgiving and making your requests known to God.

And as you do that, God will turn his heart as only He is able (Proverbs 21:1).

God will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 48:11).

Think of the story of Gideon leading the Israelites in battle against the Midianites.  In Judges 7:2, The Lord said to Gideon.

“The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’

The Lord cut down the army of the Israelites from 22,000 strong down to 300!  In the Israelites’ victory, there could be no doubt that God Himself had saved them.

Kim, don’t steal God’s glory but manipulating and nagging and cold-shouldering (is that a word?) your husband into submitting to your wishes.  God is most glorified as you are still and let Him fight your battles for you (Exodus 14:14).

Trust me.  No, Trust GOD.  Remember, trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will direct your paths.

TWIG

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Dear Younger Kim (#2), Don’t be anxious

me-with-nick-and-emily-2000This series is in response to the question:

So if you met yourself when your kids were as young as mine (4 and 1), what would you tell her?

If you haven’t read Part One in this series, click here.

So, here comes my second nugget for myself:

Dear Kim,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

As you trust the Lord with all your heart, the next step is going to be doing battle against fear and anxiety.  This must begin by taking captive those fearful, anxious thoughts that run through your mind.  Those angry thoughts about what the future holds if you don’t “get this child under control,” were not given to you by your good, loving Father.  Those thoughts come from the pit of hell.

When those ideas first come into your mind, you are going to need to choose to pray.  Remember, Worry NONE, Pray ALWAYS.  You are going to have to choose to cast all of your anxieties onto God, trusting that He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7).  Throw those fears onto Him.  Cast them off your back and out of your mind, and give them over to God, who knows  is sovereign over all things.  Make your requests known to Him with a thankful heart filled with trust.

Remember, Kim, all His works are right and all His ways are just and those who walk in pride, He is able to humble (Daniel 4:37).  When you start to worry, you are taking on burdens that you were never meant to carry.  Your fears are rooted in pride, thinking too highly of yourself, and not highly enough of our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God.  Don’t forget that He loves you and will supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).  Believe that “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

I look at this picture of you in the pumpkin patch with the big smile on your face and I think of all the worries that are hidden behind there.  The search for the perfect pumpkins and the perfect pictures, and what people think of your screaming toddler, and I just want to encourage you.  One day you will look back at all those wasted moments that could have been filled with joy and laughter and think, “What was I worrying about?”

Worry NONE.  Pray ALWAYS.

TWIG

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Dear Younger Kim, (Intro & Part 1)

picsart_1477060816375I have recently begun a friendship with a younger mom on Facebook.  She is just beginning the homeschooling journey and is eager to learn all she can from any of us more experienced moms.  Bless her for that.  Two days ago, she messaged me this question:

So if you met yourself when your kids were as young as mine (4 and 1), what would you tell her?

Wow!  What a question!  What do I wish that I’d heard (heard = heard & listened to, believed, obeyed) from a more experienced mom 15 years ago?  What would I like to go back in time and tell myself?  Wow!  I can’t get the question off my mind, and thus begins this series that I pray will be a blessing to my dear, humble friend.

First off, I must confess that some of these statements will be things that I believe I have done well.  But others, probably most of them, I fear I have not.  I include both for the benefit of my younger self, that I may learn both from my successes and my failures.  And I share this counsel, both to my younger self, and the younger moms out there, as well as to my now older self.

In Titus 2:4-5, older women are instructed to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, with the ultimate goal that God’s word would not be reviled (or in other translations: blasphemed, slandered, or dishonored).  Whether I’m an older woman yet or not, my goal in training the younger women to live an honorable life before God and man, is that God would be honored rather than dishonored.  That, indeed, is my desire as I write these for Ashley, myself and anyone else who might stumble upon them.  May God, my Father, Jesus Christ, my Savior, and the Holy Spirit, my Counselor, be glorified in all I say and do.

So, here we go.  My first nugget of wisdom is this:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In the original Hebrew of Proverbs 3:6, that word translated “acknowledge” is yada, to know.  According to dictionary.com, “acknowledge” means (1) to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of: (2) to show or express recognition or realization of: (3) to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of.

As I meditate on this most important verse, I say, Kim (that’s me), trust in the Lord.  Trust Him.  Believe in Him.  Don’t trust your emotions, your human understandings of this.  Know the Lord.  Seek Him.  Moment by moment and step by step and day by day, seek Him first, and He will make your way straight and right.  He will direct your steps as you know and trust Him as Lord with your whole heart.

It is good to seek counsel from other people.  Keep listening to those talks and reading those books, but your trust has to be in God alone.  He alone is God.  He is the creator of all things and He is the author of all wisdom.  Beware of thinking that if you follow somebody’s “Ten Steps to a Perfect Child who Loves God,” that you’re guaranteed something.  This is a lie.  It is as you TRUST the Lord, Kim, as you follow Him fully, that your path will be made straight.

This word “straight,” in the Hebrew is yashar which according to Blue Letter Bible means to be right, straight, level, upright, just, lawful, smooth.  This is not the same as painless, carefree or easy.  Beware.  God is interested in refining you and your children into His vessels, directing you as you live out the purposes for which He has created you, whatever it takes.  Trust Him, when your path is hard, and trust Him when your path is easy.  Trust Him with all your heart.

Meditate on that today.

TWIG

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So many inconveniences

These inconveniences in life really are your lifeDear friends,

This is another scribbled note I found the other day.  In the midst of trying to manage my time well, I find that my children and my husband and my household responsibilities can seem real inconveniences in my pursuit of my “To Do” list.  And, for those of you who know me, I REALLY depend on my “To Do” list.  In fact, I keep it on my Google Calendar so I can daily be updating it.

But, friends, what if these inconveniences in my life, really are my life?

What if my “To Do” list was to love my husband and my children and to be a worker at home? (Titus 2:3-5)

What about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, who was healed by Jesus as she touched His garment while He was on His way to heal Jesus’ daughter?  (Mark 5 & Luke 8)

Or Zacchaeus who met Jesus while He was passing through Jericho? (Luke 19)

Were these people inconveniences to Jesus, or were they an important part of Jesus’ work here on earth?

I pray that I would make the most of every moment that I have here on earth, to love my children and my husband, to love my neighbor, to seek the Lord first, to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

In His Strength,

TWIG

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