“I Know”

“Make sure you wash your hair in the shower.” ~Mom-Me

“I know.” ~My 8-year-old

“Today’s the day you need to turn in your globe project at school.” ~Mom-Me

“I know.” ~My 8-year-old.

If I said, “Neil Armstrong did Michael Jackson’s moon-walk while defending Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and discussing Thomas Edison’s impact on the death penalty in 2019, my son would say ‘I know.’”

It’s enough to drive a mother crazy!

How many of us ask God for guidance and then tell Him “I know”?  I’d venture to guess that most of us have told our Heavenly Father “I know” on several occasions. In fact, I’d argue there are two different types of “I know” that we tell God.

The first is similar to what our children say.  “I know” implies, I already have that information and you aren’t sharing anything new with me.  Often in human form, it is accompanied by an eye roll or heavy sigh.  An example of this is when God gives us a nudge, usually in regards to something we are doing that is displeasing to Him, and we reply with the “I know.”  For example, you are harboring unforgiveness towards someone for a perceived slight.  You feel convicted, as though you should reach out to that person.  You respond with the “I know, I know.  I should speak to this person and offer forgiveness. But….

This type of “I Know” does not always include action.  In fact, sometimes, this “I know” isn’t really acknowledging knowledge at all.  Rather, it’s a phrase to make the other person feel like you agree with them.  News flash: God knows you don’t really know…just like a mother knows that about her child.

The second “I know” comes with an exclamation point and often a bit of emphasis that indicates that we’ve just figured out the solution to a perplexing issue.  Essentially it’s the EUREKA of the “I know” world. An example of this is when we ask God’s guidance on a situation but then we implement our own solution with an “I know…I’ll do this or that.”

This type of “I Know!” often includes making a bigger mess.  We haven’t waited on God, but rather try to solve issues on our own. News flash: We tend to mess things up more with our tracts of solutions.

Whether we are answering “I know” to something He’s asked of us, or we say “I know!” like we’ve come up with our own answer to prayer requests, we are not honoring God or our parents with our know-it-all attitude.

A look at Scripture reveals that one of the best ways to determine if God is telling us to do something is to see if it is consistent with God’s teachings.  John 16:13 teaches, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” In other words, God’s Spirit will only guide you to do things that are consistent with what God has already taught as truth.

Another way to know when God is telling you to do something is through prayer.   James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” If we are uncertain, we are to pray and ask for wisdom from God.

Rather than thinking you know, seek the Lord through scripture or through prayer.  If God’s Word is consistent with where you are being led and your prayers appear to confirm that leading, then maybe God is revealing a course of action for you…one that you don’t know about.

~Emily

I know copy

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Gifts

My husband and I were recently sitting around a campfire while camping on the beach when our 8-year-old son side-swiped us both with a deep faith-related question.

“Can your spiritual gifts change throughout your life?”

Imagine our surprise that this was a question from our 3rdgrader! Neither of us could recall ever talking about spiritual gifts around him.

After much discussion, we assured him that his spiritual gifts could change throughout his life depending on how he grew in his relationship with God.  He asked some follow-up questions about if some spiritual gifts were better than others, which launched another discussion about God using everyone’s gifts to win hearts for Christ.

This conversation got me thinking about adult perceptions of spiritual gifts.   Does the average adult Christian know what their spiritual gift is? Do you know? How many times have you taken the spiritual gifts test?  Have your own gifts morphed throughout the years?  Are you utilizing your gifts to bring glory to God?

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) tells us “each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

I’d venture to guess that your gift is one that is already apparent in your life, even if you haven’t acknowledged it as your gift. Those who are naturally content to host and feed guests are likely gifted with hospitality.  If you have this gift, you may love having people over to your home. Perhaps it’s time to host a small group for your church, which would meet in your home.  Those who are in the education field are likely gifted with teaching.   If you have this gift, you may be a teacher as a profession.  Perhaps it’s time to consider teaching a Sunday school class.

This week I’d like to encourage you to reflect on your spiritual gifts.  Do you know what gifts you’ve been given? Are you using them for God’s glory?  Are you willing to stretch yourself a little to try something new with your gifts?

Come to the porch and let us know how your gifts are evolving.

~Emily

Spiritual Gifts

Kid Questions

“Do you have cancer?”

This was the question I heard a 5-year-old boy ask a balding gentleman, as I went into the aftercare building to pick up my son.

The adult responded with a chuckle and said, “No, I’ve just lost all my hair.”

My initial internal response was “what has this child seen or heard to make them instantly think bald equals cancer?”

My next response was “Thank you, Jesus, for the innocent questions of our little ones.”

Children have very few inhibitions when it comes to questioning the world around them.  They ask simply because they need understanding. They aren’t intimidated by politically correct wording or the emotions that questions may bring up.

Jesus asked a lot of questions too.  His weren’t always simple or designed for His own understanding. Most of His questions were crafted to get His followers thinking about God’s promises, about salvation, and about deliverance.  One of my favorite questions Jesus asked the disciples is “Who do you say I am?”

In several books of the Gospel, we read that Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus could have easily said, “I am the Christ.”  Instead, He challenged the disciples to answer the questions of their own heart.

Jesus taught using a questioning method of presentation. It creates a learning atmosphere where the disciples (and subsequently us) are able to interpret and deliver our own answers to questions.  This often lends itself to a longer retention of information…and a stronger belief in the answers that we declare ourselves.

Like small children asking strangers about lost hair and cancer treatments, we as Christians must ask about and interpret the world around us.  Lucky for us, if we’re in the Word, we’ll find answers!

What questions are on your mind this week?  Come to the Porch and share!

~Emily

Kid Questions

 

Persona Non Grata

Monday, I felt like a failure.  Tuesday, pretty much the same.  And today?  Let’s not even get into today.  Anyone else raising children?  My girls are six years apart; my oldest is grown, out of the house, married and has my grandbaby while my youngest is a sophomore in high school.  I think I’d forgotten in the last few years what it was like to have a teenager in the house that thinks you’re a dumb lady who gives too many rules and asks too many questions.

Every day lately, it seems, I’ve let the enemy sneak in and ransack my thoughts.  “Your daughter thinks you’re stupid, and she’s right.  You DO ask too many questions.  Why can’t she sleep in and skip church EVERY SUNDAY OF HER TEENAGE LIFE…what’s the big deal?  It’s what everyone’s doing these days—leave her alone.  What’s your problem, Overbearing Crappy Mother?”  And because I fall prey to human nature, I listen to those words in my head and fear that I’m screwing up my daughter.

This verse pops into my head on occasion.  This week, however, I’ve found that by drowning myself in it, the verse helps remind me I’m not doing this ‘raising kids’ thing alone.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6

When I say I drown myself in it, I’m serious too!  I’ve been writing and rewriting it.  I’ve been reading and rereading.  I say it out loud.  I pray it.  I made it a graphic to put on my phone.  I don’t want to forget that what I’m doing is trying to raise a child with the help of my loving Father (and when I say help, I really mean that I know God’s doing the heavy lifting).  I’m trying to instill in her a deep and meaningful love for Jesus that can’t be satisfied by the outside world.

She may feel as if I’m the adversary, but I have confidence in Jesus that I’m doing just as He instructs.   I can know that this is a short season in the grand scheme of things.  God sees the bigger picture, and I’m grateful that He’s in control.

Anyone out there had the same struggle with teenagers or children, in general?!  I’m very suspicious that I’m not alone in the “my mother is a persona non grata” feeling!  Share in the comments below.

~Erin

Train up a child in the way he should go,

Praying With Peyton

Every morning for the last two years, I’ve made it a point to pray with Peyton before she heads off to school.  It never takes very long, and we don’t make a production out of it.  Sometimes, she bows her head and closes her eyes while I pray.  More often than not, you’ll find her applying her mascara in the mirror as I talk to Jesus about her and her day to come.

My prayer is simple.  I pray that she has a good day, free of drama and anxiety.  I pray that if she has any tests or questions the teachers may ask, that she be confident in her answers and that she remember what she’s learned.  And every single time, I ask that God protects her spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally from anyone or anything that would seek to do her harm.

This week I was challenged by a dear friend of mine to continue praying over her even though school’s out, particularly during this season of life where we’re struggling with some life issues.  It really got me to thinking about this idea of prayer over my child.

Why didn’t I keep going?  Just because she’s out of school doesn’t mean she’s not influenced by people around her.  She still sees her friends.  She still has social media.  She still talks on the phone, and she still deals with day to day matters.  Part of the reason I pray over her is to seek protection over her.  The other part, however, is for her to have an example of how we should take our petitions to God in prayer.  And our requests and the need for that protection in Christ doesn’t end when the school day ends or the vacation is over.

The prayers that we pray over our children are important to our relationship with Jesus.  It doesn’t only show Peyton who He is.  It reminds ME of who He is and how He loves us.   I’ve made the commitment, effective today, to pray over her every morning out loud.  She’ll see that we go to our Father in Heaven.  And she’ll see how He provides for us in big AND small ways.  It still won’t be a big production, and there will be days where she may even ask me ‘what’s the point.’  The point, sweet Peyton, is Jesus.

Do you pray over your children or is this something you’d like to start doing?  Comment below and let us know!

~Erin

protects her spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally from anyone or anything that would seek to do her harm.

 

 

Praying for Kiddos

My little guy woke me up at 4 am to tell me that his head hurt.

“Mama, can I please have some Tylenol? My head hurts really bad.”

Some of you know the mommy-adrenaline that has you upright, out of bed, and functioning before you even truly process what is going on.

This was the beginning of my Mother’s Day weekend. A vigil over my 8-year-old who had horrible headaches, a raging fever, and a lethargic-achy body. He literally slept most of Saturday away.

But it wasn’t restful sleep. He mumbled in his sleep. He moaned.  He asked for more water. He furrowed his brow in pain as he turned over trying to get comfortable.

All this momma could do is sit near him and pray that the fever would break and the headaches would depart.  I specifically inserted my son’s name into a paraphrased prayer focused on Proverbs 3:5-6.

Heavenly Father–Please help me trust you with all my heart – not just part of it. I acknowledge that everything in the heavens and earth – everything that is precious to me including Kambell – belongs to you. Amen.

I spent a lot of time sitting over Kambell this weekend.  Wondering what he will be like as an adult.  Wondering what type of husband and father he will become. Wondering what type of prayer warrior, he will be.  It made me think about how often I pray with him.  How often I pray for him.

When we’re entrusted with little ones, we spend a ton of time helping with homework, carpooling to sports, kissing boo-boos, coloring in the lines, or tucking them in at night.

In the midst of these busy lives, are we praying enough over them?  I mean, are we really praying specific, promise-laced, prophetic, hope-filled prayers? Are we praying God’s promises through His Word over their little lives?

The enemy is alive and well. He would love nothing more than to destroy our children and our families.  He’s attacking when we’re not on guard and he’ll do anything to lure our children towards him.  The counter-attack, the defensive and offensive plays against this enemy is prayer.

On the Monday morning after a sick-kid vigil, I’d argue that we need to increase our prayers over the children of the world. It’s the essential ingredient over our kids and entire families. Prayer will help us stay alert, as well as hearing the whispers of the Holy Spirit against attacks of Satan.

Do not underestimate the importance of prayer over our children.

Whether they need spiritual covering, intercession with a math test, encouragement in a friendship, or because they have a fever…our prayers are necessary and the Lord is faithful to answer.

~Emily

Sick Kid

The Missing Comb

Do you ever have one of those ‘mom-moments’ where you’re so annoyed with your kid that you think, “I’ll show you, butthead,”?   Come on, moms.  You know what I’m talking about!  Your child is driving you bonkers; maybe they’re writing on the wall or refusing to clean their room.  They’re texting while you’re trying to have a conversation or just being a plain old jerk while you’re asking them how school was.

In honor of those moments, please allow me to share a memory between myself and my mother from way, way, WAY back in history when I was a mere teenager.

I was not a nice teen.  I was a know-it-all, and I was mad at the world.  I wasn’t mean to people.  Just my mom (which I’m not proud of but that’s a whole other story).  One morning, my mom attempted to get me up to get ready for school.  As usual, I procrastinated until I missed my bus.

“But Erin,” you ask.  “How on earth did you miss your bus?”

I couldn’t find the comb.

Legitimately.  I couldn’t find it.  My mom was trying to get herself ready for work.  I was being a jerk, getting irritated with her, and because I couldn’t find the comb, I started ranting and raving, and I missed my bus.  This, in turn, forced my mother to take me to school.

I KNOW in her head she was thinking, “I’ll show you, butthead,” as she drove to school arguing with me about how I needed to get up on time to get ready.  She then proceeded to tell me that she would not call into the school to excuse my tardy and I would have to deal with the consequences from school.

Furious, I headed to the office.  When I walked in, the receptionist sitting there asked me why I was late.  And you know what I told her?

My mom wouldn’t find me the comb.

That sweet little secretary gave me an excused tardy, and off I went to class.

My mom and I still laugh about it to this day.  I tell her she should’ve found me the comb, and she tells me that lady should’ve never accepted that pathetic excuse from a perfectly functioning 16-year-old.

I wish I had some profound words this Thursday that allows this story to relate to a biblical principle.  But I don’t.  Here’s the closest I’ve got:

Love your kid.  Even when they’re a jerk.  Even when you feel like giving up.  One day, they’ll get it.  It may take a while, but they’ll get it.

And if you’re the kid, give your mom/grandma/aunt/guardian a break.  It’s not easy raising a future adult.

Happy Mother’s Day!

~Erin

“And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck,” Proverbs 1:8b-9

Happy Mother's Day!