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Monday, February 8, 2010

Killing Two Birds with One Post

I sure do hope my friends Jodi and Melissa won't mind me combining my participation in Sunday Stirrings and
http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/2010/01/announcing-week-in-words.html 
into one post.

I've been spending this past week catching up on everything from being out of town the week before visiting family up north.  And by the way the last re-cap post of that trip will be up tomorrow, maybe.  You see the last few days of our trip JennaBeth and I were sick with some kind of stomach-flu like thing.  The Saturday we got back home Cecily and Bentley came down with it.  Today I had to take Cecily to the doctor and she has Pneumonia!  So, now I'm a little behind on everything!
So, Jodi and Melissa, I promise to play right next week, maybe.

Now, here goes the two-for-one post:
Have you ever felt just terribly overwhelmed by a particular issue in your life?  Ever felt like you have just messed up something beyond repair?
Well, that's how I've been feeling regarding my parenting skills.  The title of "mother" is the hardest one I have ever or will ever hold!
Particularly heartbreaking as of late has been my relationship with my 12 year old daughter.  I think there are a number of things at play:
  • She's a pre-teen.  You know that wonderful time of life.  I don't know about you but I remember being there myself.  I didn't like it.
  • She's in middle school taking all advanced classes and it is tough.
  • We are both females.  Enough said!
I guess I just feel like I have failed somewhere along the way with her.  When I say we are like two sheets of sandpaper rubbing up against each other sometimes I mean it.  Poor Mike has to send us both to our respective corners some days!

In an effort to get some answers and guidance, I picked up Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp from our church's book corner a few weeks ago.  I'm not quite through chapter one yet, but I'm taking it slow, soaking up every word, and praying my way through this book and the scriptures presented.  Here are some "words" (Melissa) that pierced deep into my soul:

"It is vital for us to confess that the struggle of the teen years is not only about teen biology and teen rebellion.  These years are hard for us because they expose the wrong thoughts and desires of our own hearts.  These years are hard for us because they rip back the curtain and expose us.  This is why trials are so difficult, yet so useful in God's hands. We don't radically change in a moment of trial.  No, trials expose what we have always been.  Trials bare things to which we would have otherwise been blind.  So, too, the teen years expose our self-righteousness, our impatience, our unforgiving spirit, our lack of servant love, the weakness of our faith, and our craving for comfort and ease."

OUCH, OUCH, and OUCH!

Now I've also made a commitment to read through the Bible this year.  Today's reading had me in Mark chapter 10.  We all know the story of the rich young man.  I've read this passage a thousand times and heard many sermons on it as well.  But, today something jumped off the page right at me that I'm not sure I have ever noticed before.  You know the story:  This very wealthy young man approaches Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus responds in verse 19,  "You know the commandments...".  The young man says in verse 20, "Teacher all these I have kept since I was a boy."  

It was verse 21 that came alive to me today (stirred me Jodi!):
"Jesus looked at him and loved him."

Jesus saw the error of this young man's thinking and understanding and He loved him.  The young man's heart was laid bare before the Lord and He loved him.

The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart the truth that even in my failure to understand and measure up always as a mother, the Father loves me!  As misguided as I can be sometimes, He loves me!  Even in the discipline He sends my way, there is a redemptive purpose at play in my life.  He loves me.

He loves you too!

Corem Deo,
Jennifer

4 comments:

Jenilee said...

Isn't is amazing how God can use the things in our lives to show us our hearts? He is working in and through each circumstance. thanks for the post!

jodi said...

Love this post, Jen! I can relate in so many ways. Just last night I had a conversation with my mom about my own parenting skills and how I feel like I'm messing up. It is so hard and I can't imagine having a teenager!

In the book I read Saturday the author has a big defining moment when he realizes that if Jesus met him face to face, he would like him. Can you imagine? Jesus likes me. Just say it to yourself. It's pretty cool.

Amy E. said...

Great post, Jen! I needed the reminder tonight that He loves me - in spite of myself! That verse also reminded me that to be like Christ means that I must also look beyond the erred thinking and understanding of others and love them as He would.

Adventure Mom Janna said...

I've been thinking and praying for you this week.

I've heard great things about that book. The passage you shared from it was so convicting.