It's almost been a year without any blogging. We have had an incredible amount of illnesses this year...and I am hoping we will see health for a while! We still have 4 busy children and life has added some changes here recently that arn't very pleasant for me but are exciting for others...and so I am anxious to see what the Lord is going to do.
We have started a new curriculum this year called "Tapestry of Grace" and we are in our second week of school. Ariana is in second grade and Lillian is in Kindergarten. It's crazy. Ethan and Ioan keep me busy with their energy and joy! I sure am enjoying being a mom!
The Lord has really been challenging my heart about really seeking to reach my children's hearts for Him and not just looking for outward obedience. Between recieving emails as well as reading and studying various things, I have been reminded that God doesn't just want my actions..He wants my Heart! I admit, my heart has been overwhelmed and down over various things in the last year. Illnesses have made me exhausted, changes haven't always been good, and my relationships have had struggles. I know my heart has been heavy and weary and often I feel like I am crying out for help with not much of a response. Yet, in the midst of it all, I am reminded... God is good. God is here. He is my refuge and my strength. When I seek to do things my way or rely on my actions to accomplish something...I get weary and I fail. It truly is about the heart. Change in actions and attitude can only come about with Him changing my heart. And that can only happen when I humble myself and submit to His working in my life. I have found myself instead saying, "God renew my heart!" rather than just trying to "do" what I think I should or what others say I should be doing. As God said in Ezekiel - " And I will give you a new hear, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spririt within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." It needs to be a heart change first if I want to change my actions and attitudes.
As I have thought about that, it has made me view other aspects of my life differently. Do I want to see my children happy and obedient? YES! It starts with me supbmitting my heart to God and allowing Him to lead and direct me in my parenting. It requires discipline that is focused on God and His Word more and focusing on my desires less. It is dealing with the heart of each matter as the focal point and not just the actions. It means things are sometimes more time consuming than I want. However, I know the results will be greater. Lord willing, it means my children's hearts will be directed more to Him and less to me.
It also means that as I encourage friends and others God has given me to minister to in my home, that His Word is my focus and not my opinion. It means less rules and more relationship. Rules only focus on outward actions; relationships require workings of the heart.
For me, do I want to be God's kind of woman, wife, and mother? YES, YES, YES!!! Than it is less about what I am doing and more about what I am and what God is doing in me.
Is it easy? NO Can I do it? Not in and of myself. But God can do it! And as He changes my heart, Lord willing, I will be used of Him to encourage change in my children and others as God brings them into my life. Not because there are rules to follow, but because there is a God whose glory will be desplayed as He fills hearts and lives.