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Seeking Sonshine

"Not all who wander are lost" – J.R.R. Tolkien

Month

May 2017

Prodigalism From A Reformed Prodigal (who is prone to wander…)

Raising kids is HARD. And mine are not even in middle school yet. 😩#prayformeplease. One of the reasons I ask for prayer is because it is like a highlight reel begins playing in my head of myself as a preteen, teen and 20s-thought-I-was-an-adult-child. Aannnd I shudder. (Then, I hear stories about my husband and we think… what were we thinking??) Thank goodness for Jesus. 

The highlight reel looks so much different when I am in the role of Mom. And I wish I knew then what I know now. I hope that I would have shut up and been more grateful and realized the meaning behind the discipline. I didn’t know the why behind the rules. Not saying I would have changed my mind…if I am being honest and transparent. I was extremely passionate when I thought I was right, lol! And stubborn. (Hence the prayer request. 😉) I never could have known this without becoming a mom. That is honestly what it took for me. Unfortunately. Sorry, Mom! 😂 I know that my parents prayed for me more than I can ever imagine. Thank you, Mom and Dad. ❤

I thought maybe someone else might be on either side of the child or parent who is far from God and us. I write this as a reformed prodigal that tends to wander. Warning: It’s About to Get Real.

To the Parent of a Prodigal and A Prodigal,

I cannot even imagine how heartbreaking this is for you. The Parent/Child relationship is tricky to navigate on both sides. The hurts can run deep and defenses can be strong. Criticism kills relationships. It does. There is a difference in criticism and parenting. Make sure love is your basis for everything. And this means speaking love in the Parent or Child’s individual love language. That shows we care about them. Even when they don’t speak our love language. Even when we cannot agree. Even when we may NEVER see eye to eye. I believe God is a God of forgiveness and reconciliation. I believe it because He did it in me and I NEVER would have believed it would happen if you would have told me this during the most difficult and lowest times in my life. 

We have an enemy and it’s not each other. He wants to isolate us so he can feed lies and hate into our minds about each other so it grows in our souls and manifests in our emotions. 


First, do we believe the Bible is true? Always? Is this our own personal standard of truth? Because if we can’t believe this:


…then we have other things we need to decide. (It ain’t called a Come to Jesus Moment for nothing. Just saying.) 

We can only decide this for ourselves. We cannot force it upon anyone else. We are the only ones we can change. And we have to let Jesus do it in us. If we can come to this conclusion, we can examine how to properly fight the true enemy.


Suit up. Next step:


That is how we deal with being a Prodigal, loving a Prodigal and parenting a Prodigal. Last thing.


Ask for a loving heart if you feel you cannot muster that emotion. I speak out of being there myself and doing this. It is HARD and it HURTS. But it’s WORTH it. Because Jesus called us to do it in a capacity that we are not capable of doing without Him in our hearts. He gave us a commandment to do what He gives us the capacity and capability to live out through Himself. 


This is His standard for love. He died so we could live and love like He did. Any life worth living involves other imperfect human beings in it. Relationships are messy and raw and vulnerable. Identify your real enemy. Suit up and fight Him with Truth in your mind and your heart. Priscilla Shirer leads an excellent study called “Armor of God.” She walks you through each piece and identifies the need for each one. Then pray for strength, for love, for wisdom, for discernment and for peace. You are promised all of these things in your relationship with Christ. It’s like the bonus extended warranty that you never realize you have until you study and realize you are okay and it will all be okay. Why should we do this as quickly as possible?

We are never promised another day. There are plenty of parents and children who wish they had another chance to hear their loved one’s voice or hug him or her one more time. Jesus loves us and He wants us to love each other. He said He would help us do it. Don’t waste earthly time making temporary bargains for selfishness and stubbornness. We never know how much we have left. 

Love,

A Reformed Prodigal Who Is Prone to Wandering. ❤

Photo & Verse Credits:

YouVersion Bible App

https://www.youversion.com/

Why You Must Never Give Up

I am three weeks away from finishing my first year as a junior high art teacher. It has been the craziest year of my life since my college days. 😂 I have had some major peaks and days of clarity and beauty and deep crevices of moments that I questioned why in the world I am doing this. There is one thing that is for certain. I know why God called me to this. He knew how passionate I am about the power of encouragement because He gave me the spiritual gift of encouragement, Himself. He knew how much I absolutely loved the arts and how good it would be for my soul to have a job that allows me to use my creativity and explore. He brought students to me that would need something from me to help encourage them and be a cheerleader for them. He knows how much I love to speak into someone’s life and show him or her love and kindness from another key adult figure. He knew I have a heart for the abused and neglected children, because He directed me toward training through C.A.S.A. all those years ago. He knew that the kids of our next generation need someone to show them why kindness matters and showing grace is a good thing for everyone involved. Our kids today face dangers that we as adults never could have even comprehended in our times. They need support and guidance so they learn what is noise and distractions from their God given gifts or talents.

I share this with you not to brag or boast, but because I spent many years distracted and depressed by many different things of this world. I had a focus but it wasn’t God’s focus. It was what I wanted God’s focus to look like and be like for my life. I couldn’t see or understand that giving control over to God was not going to disappoint me, nor would I have to settle for something lesser than my great idea. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, there was somebody else out there that was suffering from feeling like you were meant to do more in this life than what you are doing right now. For anyone who ever felt a grand calling on your life, but felt stuck or you don’t know how to achieve what you want to do, or are just struggling to figure out what you are supposed to be doing… this is for you guys. ❤

To the Starry Eyed, Big Dreamer, Called and Anointed Ones for Greatness,

Take heart. Don’t lose hope. This too will pass. You can seek God to fight your battles for you. He promised He would help you. Lean into that promise with everything you have left in you. Highlight His words to you and say them out loud. The Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. When you feel low, read Psalms and echo David’s sentiments to God. There is something in Psalms and Proverbs alone that can fit any situation you are facing. These are His words to us. We must turn here with our dreams, our sorrows, our joys and to find guidance for our lives. It is easy to turn to a friend or Facebook or others for validation, but that is not going to sustain us on the days that we want to give up and abandon this dream. Because we are weary of fighting the enemy for what he knows will be a Powerful weapon for our Jesus. He hates those and he hates us. So we fight the true enemy, which we know requires a heavier armor. Our purpose is heavy. We must be prepared to defend it because we will be under siege if we don’t give up. <<
now your true enemy. Maintain a daily time with the Lord. No matter how brief. Just do it. You need it more than you can ever imagine! Mistakes are inevitable if you are trying something new. Just learn from each one. I kept a journal so I would remember what I learned from each tense situation. Don’t waste a mistake. And don’t let the enemy beat you up with them. He will taunt you with them, but be firm. Realign your focus. Realign your purpose. It will be hard. Anything worth accomplishing is and it’s hardly ever fair. Keep going. Keep the faith. It will come to pass. He cannot fail. We will fail. Adjust your expectations by just turning them over to God and letting Him do His thing.

He who is within You cannot fail,

Nicky

Fellow Starry Eyed, Big Dreamer, Called and Anointed One for Greatness. 😉

The Apostle Paul wrote thirteen letter to Christ followers following his dramatic conversion from Saul. (Author note: what is with the name of Saul? They are generally not nice folks in Bible times!) He was an encourager and teacher to many people in those days. I love the words that he wrote to those believers before us still inspire us today.

A Guide to Paul’s Letters Photo Credits:

http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/august/tcw-verse-of-week-romans-1212.html

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pinterest.com/amp/pin/13088655140824368/

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