Recently I took my 5 sweeties out to dinner. It was an unexpectedly delightful evening. I even had a lady come up to the table and comment that my children were very well behaved! Wow! Did the earth stop rotating for a second?
Usually when all of us go anywhere there is a fair amount of noise, confusion and general bedlam. I have one child in particular that knows how to bring the “party” – and by that I mean the chaos. Her parties completely stress me out. How can someone so small cause such mayhem?
She is challenging and sometimes a bit rotten. And I love her fiercely. God has put a very special affection for her in my heart. I know that He made me specifically to be her Mommy. I’m comforted and blessed by that because sometimes I feel inadequate to the task.
Tonight I had an epiphany. I was praying for my youngest daughters at bedtime. Just moments earlier she was having a fit - being openly defiant and talking back. I was remaining calm (praise God!) and praying that I was responding appropriately. I finally convinced her to be still and I got on my knees between my little girls’ beds and began to pray. I was praying for God’s peace which passes all understanding to guard her heart and her mind in Christ Jesus and then I remembered that the first part of that passage of scripture applied just as much to the current situation. Philippians 4:6-7 ‘”Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The last couple of days have been very difficult ones especially with this beautiful little person. She has challenged all that I thought I knew about parenting. And I’m pretty sure she enjoys every minute of it! Sometimes I can become very anxious about our future – hers and mine. I worry what the teenage years are going to be like if I don’t figure out how to deal with some of her stuff…and my stuff. Tonight when I was praying for peace those words about not being anxious came back to me. It struck me that I was allowing fear to get a foothold. I was holding tightly to my anxious thoughts instead of praying about them.
He says to not be anxious about ANYTHING and to pray to Him about EVERYTHING. The cool thing about God is that He doesn’t exaggerate ever. He tells it like it is…always. He can use words like anything, everything, always and never with abandon because He means it. I can’t say “always” or “never” because I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 30 seconds much less beyond that! God doesn’t want me to worry about anything in my life. He wants me to let Him handle everything and that includes my littlest girl, my two teenagers, my middle schooler, my kindergartener…and me.
Then God makes it interesting - He doesn’t just say to pray about everything – He says to be thankful about it all too. I’ve shared before that God has shown me the beauty of being grateful. It’s amazing how I can find things to thank Him for when I actually look. So tonight instead of complaining about how difficult it is to parent my children, I thanked Him for each one. I thanked Him for my children individually and for how they had changed my life for the better. It was such a refreshing time of rediscovery. Sometimes I get so mired down in the day to day living and dealing with things, that I forget to really look at my children for the blessings that they are to me.
The final part is the best — “and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” — it isn’t just going to cover you or fill you, it’s going to guard your heart and your mind. Wow! I never thought about that before. Those two parts of me – my heart and my mind – need some serious peace. One is broken and one is questionable in is functionability. I think I’m going to take some time to check out exactly what all that implies for my life, but this post is already way too long. So tomorrow (or someday soon when I have a minute or two) I’ll share what God shows me about His peace and what guarding my heart and mind really means for me – and you!
I pray that tonight God’s peace will pour over you completely, fill you to overflowing and guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!