Lately, the enemy has just been harassing me. I thought I had cut the head off of fear years ago. Apparently, it has edged its way back into my life again. It frustrates me that I feel like I am back in this hole, mainly because I remember the work it took to get out of it. But at the same time, I am pressing in to the Lord, and when I do that with everything I have in me, good things always follows. What good things? Peace, and blessed JOY!
It seems like everything I am reading is about the Promised Land. But before that promise was fulfilled to the Israelites, there was a time of wandering, waiting, wandering, and waiting.
When you have teenagers, you really do have to learn to wait and it feels like you are wandering a LOT. Everything you taught them since they were knee-high to a grasshopper is not going to just suddenly manifest itself in your teen! They have a journey they are going on too. They have their own wandering to do until they realize that Jesus really is the Promised Land!
I have stayed encouraged lately by reading about other Christian parents who are raising their hard teenagers. I am not alone. I like reading about how they got to their Promised Land. It is helping me be patient and helping me also to work on me, myself and I. Boy, do I have a lot of soul-searchng to do in that department!
I have also learned to accept just because we had a bad day, week or even month, does not mean I failed. There will be good days, that follow. Sometimes there are just several bad days in a row and you gotta grit your teeth and push through even when you see ZERO fruit and nothing but not-so-lovely conflict.
I am going to stop worrying about being scared I am displeasing my kids. I WILL ask them to respect me and if they do not, I WILL apply consequences. For Heaven's sake, why do I think I should put up with that kind of talk for a minute? Either I am too tired to deal with it, lazy, or I just want to keep the peace. Those are no good reasons to tolerate disrespect.
I read this in my devotions from "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman
"You should get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of storm clouds. And once you have found it, continue to focus on it rather than the dark grey of the center. Do not yield to discouragement no matter how severely stressed or surrounded by problems you may be. A discouraged soul is in a helpless state being neither able to "stand against the devil's schemes" (Eph 6:11) himself nor able to prevail in prayer for others. Flee every symptom of the deadly foe of discouragement as you would run from a snake. Never be slow to turn your back on it, unless you desire to eat the dust of bitter defeat.
Search for specific promises of God, saying aloud of each one "This promise is mine." then if you still experience feelings of doubt and discouragement, pour your heart out to God, asking Him to rebuke the Adversary who is so mercilessly harassing you."
Can I get an, Amen? Boy, howdy, that is some good stuff right there!
One promise I can always take to the bank is "Never will I leave you, nor forsake you." He is always there with me. He sees all, and yet He loves me anyway. I don't have to be a perfect mom! I just have to love the fact that I am forgiven and out of a grateful heart to my Savior I will try hard to please Him by teaching my children His ways and His Truth.