Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend & 13 Things I Learned in February 2014





"The primary reason the majority of kids from Christian homes stray from faith is that they never really heard it or had it to begin with. They were taught that God wants them to be good, that poor Jesus is sad when they disobey, and that asking Jesus into their heart is the breadth and depth of the gospel message. Scratch the surface of the faith of the young people around you and you'll find a disturbing deficiency of understanding of even the most basic tenets of Christianity." 
"Grace, or the free favour that has been lavished on us through Christ ought to make our parenting radically different from what unbelievers do. That's because the good news of God's grace is meant to permeate and transform every relationship we have, including our relationship with our children. All the typical ways we construct to get things done and get others to do our bidding are simply obliterated by a gospel message that tells us that we are all (parents and children) both radically sinful and radially loved. At the deepest level of what we do as parents, we should hear the heartbeat of a loving, giving, Father who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message that your children hear from you, if the message you send them on a daily basis is about being good so you won't be disappointed, then the gospel needs to transform your parenting, too."
In no particular order, I've listed thirteen things I have learned in February. It's the shortest month of the year, but it's been a long winter, so I'm grateful we're moving on into March. Clearly, I've had a lot to learn. One of these months I'm going to pay attention to all the silly, non-sensical and completely impractical things that I learn to make this post a little more light hearted. Maybe. We'll see as I tell my children. No promises.

If you make it to the bottom, well done!

1. I learned that I needed a social media break and to get away from the pull and noise of it all for a time. I completely shut off my cell phone for a week, closed my laptop to all social media and limited emails to only checking them once in the morning, once in the evening and only replying to the ones that were absolutely necessary. I will probably start doing this on a more regular basis. It challenged me in ways I did not expect. {Breaking news: The world kept orbiting without me checking in on it all!}

2. I was surprised how difficult it actually was to get back into blogging after being quiet. I did miss it and knew I would get back to it, but I really had to wrestle out the words when I did return. I felt like I lost my voice. I have also learned that there are others that are struggling with the same things, so this is not a battle we face alone, even if we feel lonely at times.

3. You need good friends in your life when going through soul-wrestling days. But, you also need to be vulnerable and lay your soul and heart bare. It's hard, and humbling, but worth it.

4. I've humbly learned that no matter how much I love my children, I can only love them with my imperfect mother heart. I need to ask the Lord to give me His love for them because I am not capable in loving them the way that He does and I should.

5. My husband demonstrated that he will do whatever he can to help me wrestle through difficult things. How he loves with a Christ-like love. I am an incredibly blessed woman.

6. A new friend and I had a moment of brilliance one night back in November to begin a monthly book club. So far we have met twice with a handful of ladies. The first month we read A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live and the second month we read The Prodigal God. It is a laid back approach in which we read the selected book for the month and meet together one evening in the month and discuss the parts that had a profound impact on us. I have learned that it just the kind of outing that is great for an introvert who loves to read and loves people, but hates small talk. 

7. I was reminded how fragile life is when my dad called me and told me the roof of his steel shed could have crushed him.

8. My baby turned four this month. Watching our babies grow up is so heart-wrenching. She keeps up to her older siblings like a trooper. She melts my heart when she sings "You are my sunshine" and "Matchmaker" and when she sits in my rocking chair 'reading' her books. And when she flies off the GT and does a face plant, scrapes her face and busts her lip a little, my hearts just about stops and the adrenaline kicks in and I clean her up as best as I can, but then she promptly marches back up the hill, chanting, "I'm tough". Oh, my heart, be still.

9. I've really learned that I need to look deep into my children's eyes, hold them, love them, laugh with them, treasure these days, choose to serve them even when living a self-centred life would seem more self-gratifying. Growing as a Mama is not an easy thing, but I'm not doing it alone: "He gently leads those who are with young." Grow in the grace of the Gospel and keep the Gospel at the centre of our mothering. Our perspective will completely change.

10. The Olympics took place this month, in case you missed it. I am not a T.V. person, nor is my husband. However, our children watched their fair share, I believe. I learned why I can only watch so much. I shared this on my Facebook status after the gold medal women's hockey game between the US and Canada: 
"I just figured out why I only watch hockey during the Olympics and in the third quarter of the gold game. I'd have absolutely no voice left."
So, yeah, that shows my ignorance on so many levels, I know. Quarter? In a hockey game? Don't worry, I figured it out four hours later. Seriously! But, I cheered so loudly my voice hurt the rest of the day. (I'm deeply empathetic to my friends and readers in the US and I realize this may be a difficult topic to touch, so I won't go on.) Other than to say, my kids were pretty excited to watch the hockey game with friends, see the team they were cheering for win,  and their mom jumping around and cheering like craaaazzzzy.

11. I love when God chooses to use individuals in His work and they obediently follow and love Christ and keep the relationship the main thing He can accomplish such amazing things—things bigger than the individual so you seek Christ at work. How one family would love Christ and His body so much they will give away the earnings of a best seller (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are) to build a school for children in need. I have learned so much from Ann

12. I've learned that it is good to be broken. It forces us to fall down and rely on the strength of the Lord and then He will use us in our brokenness to help others in their brokenness. We are all a mess in need of a Messiah. 

13. "I take my text, and make a bee-line to the cross" wrote Spurgeon of how he would deliver his sermons. I've learned that I need to do this in all areas of my life.


A Soft Gentle Voice

***
{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 

For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}

15 comments:

  1. I especially love your number 12. And your point about needing in-person real-life friends. Online/social media friends are great but nothing beats a face to face. Also your online friends can't come babysit for you!! :)

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    1. Yes, so true about the babysitting - and how they love our children too!

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  2. I love the idea of a monthly book club with just one night to meet and discuss. As a fellow introvert who loves to read, this seems like a great way to connect in person with friends and new people as well. I might have to try this soon!

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    1. You should! It has been great so far! We are looking forward to our next book already.

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  3. Rebekah, Thank you so much for these. I'm glad I put off my social media fast long enough to read this. Number 1, 12, and the reminder of 13 - I'd forgotten that quote and it is a simple way to remember our true center.

    Deborah

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    1. Deborah, Thank you! I pray you will have a restorative break. Yes! That quote, I keep on thinking about it.

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  4. I have been thinking about what I've been learning in February. I've been on the same journey of learning to be still and turn off the noise of the world. Thankful to partner with you to see us become people who know how to abide in His presence.

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    1. I am so looking forward to hearing what you learn as you abide in the Lord. The pull to be busy is so strong, but to be still in His presence is so necessary.

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  5. This one especially speaks to me too:

    "4. I've humbly learned that no matter how much I love my children, I can only love them with my imperfect mother heart. I need to ask the Lord to give me His love for them because I am not capable in loving them the way that He does and I should."

    It's a hard lesson to learn but the sooner we learn it, the better off everyone is. Thanks for sharing these 13. Good stuff!

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    1. Thank you Lisa, for your encouraging comment. I pray I will keep learning to love my children with the Love of God.

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  6. Each of these hold so much truth and hope. Thank you for linking up with Recommendation Saturday! We've missed you in social media world. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  7. Wonderful list :) found you from Emily's blog!

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  8. I found you through Emily's blog… wonderful list. You might want to check out an edevotional I wrote for families. It's a 40-day journey with Jesus from the wilderness to the cross for the Easter season. It starts this Weds. Here's my link…. http://leighannmarquiss.com/2014/02/easter-lent-devotional-for-families/

    No obligation of course. It's just that I relate so much to your list and I'm really looking forward to focusing on the gospel with my kids for the Easter season. God Bless!

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