Well, after such an inspirational gathering of leaders a few weeks back I have had to think and evaluate what am I doing here and am I really here for God? I've had some time to reflect and truly repent and I'd like to share that with you.
The idea of repenting can be taken very seriously or it can be taken very frivolously. As one who attempts to imitate Christ, I lean toward the level of serious. I had a real self-evaluation recently and many conversations with God to figure out what did I need to repent of exactly. For I believed that because we weren't getting quite the desired result (grown kingdom) out of our work for God that I must have lead others astray somehow. I've been confused and eager to discover my pitfalls and shortcomings in hopes that this process is less maddening ;-)
So after talking with my husband and reading (the bible!) and praying I've come to the conclusion that I need to repent for not treating the children as I believe I should be treating them. I mean to say that I believe they are the most important task God hands to us. I believe children are vital to the growth of the kingdom and I believe they are too often overlooked, put aside or seen as a group of 'not yets'. I have dreams and visions of adults and children living as a unified species. Enjoying, learning and leaning on each other as a way of life. All my dreams and desires, my thoughts and blogs, my conversations and yet I am not living it to the fullest.
Sure our family has the blessing of my being able to stay home with our children, I home school them, we work to teach them about life lessons of work, responsibility, goal setting and achievement, financial direction, good and bad decision making, the reality of consequences and so many other things. But I'm not living this dream and I'm pretty sure because I'm not doing it, that if anyone else (in this house) is trying to live the dream, I'm squashing it.
I must then, acknowledge my repentance isn't just for the children I come in contact with and the adults I come in contact with through my ministries, (though they all benefit as well) no, it is for my own children. God has given me three amazing people to help shape and safely guide to adulthood where they will be released into the "Wilds of America" (and beyond?) and I have taken them for granted. I have failed to allow them to be the joy to myself (and maybe even to others) that God has created them to be. I've allowed my hurts, frustrations and exhaustion to affect how I see them. I've allowed Satan to distract me, and in some ways use me to torment them. And I am SO ready to repent now that I recognize what has been going on.
See someone said in our group of leaders that they are always told they are doing a wonderful job and receive lots of praise (too much maybe) from others in how they parent and stay involved in their children's lives. But this person said they need me to encourage them and to challenge them to do it even better. I see that and I think, "wow! yeah, we can do it better!" ...we may be doing it good, maybe even better than others, but we certainly have leaps and bounds to reach our potential. I mean, what kind of mother does God want me to be??!! I've never asked myself that question before. (!!)
More than a week ago we did this really cool lesson as a group during our worship gathering where I measured out a group of ingredients and put them in separate bowls. I then took each bowl, identified the contents and sent the bowl around the room for everyone to taste. Some things like sugar and chocolate chips tasted great! Other things likes vanilla extract and baking soda tasted awful!!! When we tasted the contents of the bowl we were to draw a parallel of something in our lives that is similar to that (we used a list or a drawing). At the end of tasting everything we had a page full of great and not so great things. Alone, some of these things we can handle (or eat pounds of!) and others we can't even bear to put into our mouths (eggs!!!). But if we rely on God and allow Him to take ALL of the ingredients and work his magic (dump all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a large wooden spoon) we get something that is wonderfully irresistible... COOKIE DOUGH!!!
I see this lesson and how it applies to my ministry, my dream and my reality and I see how if I allow God to be in control and mix up ALL the ingredients, even the ones I think are too gross to include (butter or baking powder anyone?) then He can do something amazing, but only if I give Him EVERYTHING! See cookie dough won't work if any one of the ingredients is missing. It might still be edible and may even taste pretty good, but it won't have all the perfect wonderfulness that is cookie dough. Only if I let Him work with me and through me is there then cookie dough, and not just a tiny bit of dough but enough for everyone. It is then I can live my dream which fulfills my ministry and is my reality.
What an awesome God we have!!
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