I am a very specific mom, and I have always handled certain issues in a very specific way-- a zero tolerance manner and with my boys it always seemed to have at least some level of effect. With my daughter as we have been struggling through this season, my "mode of operation" was completely ineffective. And my pride and personality wasn't responding very well.
I found myself in a very painful place of frustration, and even hopelessness. As I sat lamenting the struggle I was facing the verse from James came to my mind. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask for God who gives to all liberally and without finding fault." With that vere as my direction, I snuck quietly into her room as she was sleeping and prayed over her.
More verses came, as well as memories, I picked up a stuffed animal of hers that is very dear to both of us. It reminded me that the story of my daughter is a remarkable one. The first time I ever "heard" the voice of God (and without question the only time it was so clear it seemed audible,) was long before any of my children were born, even her oldest brother, and it was when God promised her to me. It was a beginning of a remarkable testimony of the ten year journey until she then came to be. He reminded me of many things as I sat beside her bed and prayed.
The next morning was a new beginning. He had also given me much direction about how to parent her through this season. It was by no means the manner in which I was accustomed to, and it was completely contrary to my naure, but it's been several days and already I see such a significant change. It makes me think of another Bible verse, "Train up a child in the way HE should go." Kids aren't cookie cutters and how we parent them can't be either. God's wisdom is Truth, my own "earthly wisdom" is severely limited. What God spoke to my heart as I prayed over her (keeping His word to give me wisdom if I asked) came out of a knowledge He has of my daughter that I never could.
Sunday we went to the beach, just the two of us to talk and hang out. We had some girl time together which is actually pretty rare. I got her to lay beside me on the beach and place her hand in the sand. I took just a large pinch of it and asked her to tell me how much sand was there. She looked at me and laughed, even a pinch of sand has too many tiny granules to count.
I read to her from Psalm 139.
God, your thoughts are precious to me.
They are so many!
If I could count them,
they would be more than all the grains of sand.
When I wake up,
I am still with you.
Psalm 139: 17-18
I watched as her eyes grew big, and I talked about how what the Bible was speaking about was all the sand, not just the pinch in her hand; not just the strip of beach we were laying on, not even just the sand lying beneaththe ocean waters we could see, but ALL the sand. That's how much God thinks about her, and about me, and you for that matter. When you actually find yourself lying on a beachand you think on that scripture, it's powerful.
Tomorrow I am taking my kids to the beach for the day. I am happy that that Truth has been planted in my daughter's heart, and I know as she puts her hands in the sand again, the Truth will resonate in her heart. She will have a place now that reminds her of how important she is to God. It will hopefully be an altar for her. A place that immediately draws her focus to heaven.
It's important that we have those altars in our lives. That little stuffed animal was an altar of sorts to me, reminding me of God's care and provision. There is a cross in my yard that is also an altar of sorts to me, I didn't know what it would mean when I placed it there, but the message has become one that I must hold to. It's so important that we have those altars built in our lives that in the mids of the chaos of life, we can look upon them, stop and remember Who God is-- not just in the greater sense, but Who God is to each one of us. Who God is to me.
That little stuffed dog has become an altar again, and a reminder that He is faithful, and always on my side. He is faithful to keep His word, and I can trust in Him.