Tuesday, May 14, 2013

True Things

Tonight a dear local friend, a believer who has very little fellowship, sat at our table and asked for help in parenting and I said surely to her that we have no wisdom beyond the Word.... But she gently offered that there is wisdom to gain from Christians who have grown up under generations of godliness and in a culture more influenced by the Gospel over previous centuries.  Ahh yes....  she’s right.  Absolutely true.

I had forgotten already what I shared with Matt this morning, before we’d even gotten out of bed.... about what I’m reading in the chapter on attitude in Good and Angry:  Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Children (by Turansky and Miller).   There is incredible, practical wisdom in this book!   The authors wrote about three parts to attitude:  thinking, feeling and acting/ behaving. 

My own poor pattern recently has been to lay down discipline on disobedience before there’s been recognition of wrong, repentance.  Then I end up with kids that have disobeyed and are now even more upset because of their discipline (more accurately, their punishment) for their disobedience.  Oh to relearn the wise way of first gently bending towards them with compassion and then discussing the disobedience.  What did you do wrong?  Why was that wrong?  What can you do next time?   (Turansky and Miller’s 3 questions).  Then to hunt for the wrong thinking going on under that wrong behavior.  And then, to lovingly, prayerfully lead them toward repentance.  At last, there may still need to be a discipline/ consequences talk and there will definitely need to be affirmation of acceptance and love and forgiveness again too.  

So the wrong thinking thing.... this is big.  Turansky and Miller offer a few suggestions in their attitude chapter, but, in the spirit of Clay Clarkson’s “Our 24 Family Ways”, I’ve gathered a longer list of “true things to remember” that I really want our family to know well.  

This list, however, has gotten a bit sloshy...  I had intended it originally as truth things to remember to correct wrong thinking but it has turned into a bit of a life vision statement for our kids )because how unfun would it be to read a whole list of things from "the dark side", only countering what is not true.  So if you're willing to sludge with me through two purposes at once, read on!   I pray that our kids would deeply understand that our family is on this path, headed this way... towards truth, together, all for God's glory.  

  • You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.  Your heavenly Father loved you before time and your family loves you from now to forever too.  And being loved doesn't mean you'll always get your way.  With God's love and his sovereignty, you have all that you need to be assured that what's been chosen for you will be worked for your good.    Please adjust your heart and your plans when things don't go your way.  Mommy and Daddy will try our best to work for your good and your Heavenly Father promises it perfectly... in His time. Trust Him.  

  • Dad and Mom love you and want to do good for you as we see is best. 
  • So if you’re not getting what you want right now, please remember it’s not because we don’t care about you.  Please speak with a voice that tells me you’re remembering this truth, and not in a complaining voice that shows you might be believing a lie like “mom doesn’t love me since she’s not giving me this right now.”

  • This world is a hard and hurting place and you will be hurt.  There’s no guarantee that no one will bump into you today.  You may loose a toy or someone may even take one from you.  It’s up to you not to let it steal your joy.  And... we will be here to bandaid your owies and give you lots of kisses and assure you of our love. 

  • Your hands are for helping.  Our King died to give us life and help and hope and we are called to follow in his steps... You do not have the right to hurt others.  Not. at. all.   If you use your hands, voice, feet to hurt someone, there will be sad consequences and you will hurt yourself too.  

  • You don’t really know why he did that or what she was thinking until you hear from them.  Come humbly to the discussion.  Ask questions and listen.

  • This is the way to live:  forgive as you have been forgiven.  Trying to assert “your right” to hold a grudge will only imprison your own heart, dear.  Walk in the freedom that Christ bought for you and forgive!  And you’ll need to trust in and receive His forgiveness for your sins, darlings, so that you can extend his grace to others.

  • Learning anything is Hard and can be scary work, but it’s worth it.  Do all your learning, creating, exploring, sharing excellently to the Lord’s glory and your joy will be endless.  Difficult doesn’t make it not worth doing.  It makes it worth working even harder for... Persevere sweethearts.  Run the race of life- every step- with all your strength and zeal for the prize of his eternal glory and your eternal joy in Him.

  • Half-effort and half-completed bring no joy.... to you or to anyone else.  Excelling expands your capacity for joy.   Aim for the highest praise you can bring to your King and you will bullseye eternal gladness.  

  • JOY really does spell where it comes from... Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself.  It doesn’t depend on your circumstances.  Joy is a choice you make, you initiate.  Please be thankful for what you have instead of looking cranky at what you don’t have.  “Thanksters not Cranksters”.... as Rachel Jankovic says. 

  • You have been uniquely gifted.  Your contribution is needed and desired.  How greatly blessed we are to have YOU!  Would you please share with us your ideas and desires and fears and concerns and let us be with you, knowing and loving you?   Thank you for serving others in our home with the strengths and the skills you’ve been given, and a happy heart you’ve chosen!    We really do need you and we delight in you!

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Where the world calls you to strive for your own fame, to show off all the best that you've got for your own praise, Jesus said we’d be truly blessed when we pour ourselves out, when we're done with accumulating all this stuff that fades away, when we’re done with seeking approval and applause.   His love endures forever and is lavished on YOU, his child.   That is more than enough to live by, to live for.  

  • Rest, Stillness, Creation...are all gifts for you.  Give each other space sometimes.  (And maybe mama too sometimes?)   Look for gifts, enjoy life and creation!  Don’t buy the world’s lie that you always need more, that you don’t need rest or that faster is always better.  You’ll miss life with the God who is Present every moment.   As Ann Voskamp says “only amateurs hurry.”

  • You were made for relationship.  {Don’t go alone.}   God made you in his image and he is three in one perfect, eternal relationship.  We need others to sharpen and encourage us, to serve them and serve others with them.  We need people for help and wisdom and perspective.  Be a friend.  Bless your friends.  

  • Your possessions are not only yours.  You have been given much... Go and give wildly too! Intentional, lavish, strategic, sacrificial generosity, in the light of eternity... this is the happiest joy in the world.  You are the steward to determine how best to share the gifts you’ve been given.  And as you give stuff, money, time... plan on laying your whole life down (just as Jesus did for you) to serve others, to rescue the weak, to love the lost.  Yes, this is Love.  To know that you are forever loved and then to share it, to be love to and for others...this truly is the highest joy on earth.  

  • Truth matters... everything.  The promises of God are true and our lives will be whole when we live according to his kingdom ways.  Our world is really into the lie that meaning is what you make of it but we can’t afford to loose the actual meaning of words, or we’d loose truth and answers, we'd loose real reason for peace and joy.   We simply can't afford to loose truth or we loose purpose and meaning entirely.   Let us live by God’s word which he upholds and by ours as seekers, speakers, lovers of truth.

  • Eternity matters... everything.  Knowing the truth of God in His word, we can live assured that our King will come, that He will fix all the brokenness of our lives and of our world, and will glorify himself for eternal gladness for all who trust in Him.  Live for eternity!  Don't cast your pearls before swine and pour out your precious life for the dust-in-the-wind things of this world.

Perhaps this is all too basic to even mention, but I think these are truths we need to call to mind here at our house.  If you can see more true things that should be on this list too, please do let me know!   The list would be better with your input!!


  1. Love, Love, Love this Mama Jill...such wisdom and encouragement even for this old mama! Sending much love to you all, Lisa S.

  2. What a great list, Jill! I will definitely be borrowing this. Thank you for sharing. :)