I have a standing date on Thursday mornings, with my bestest buddy in the whole world. We go to a ladies Bible Study, and then to lunch after. It is one of the bright spots in my week. It doesn’t require any planning, or preparation (outside doing the study itself) and it gives me two hours of face time with my gorgeous blond friend. I find it entertaining that when you’re in high school you never think that you will have to schedule an hour with your best buddy…. It’s funny how friendships have to evolve after marriage and babies and jobs. Luckily, ours isn’t a high maintenance friendship, one that requires firmly made plans and large checking accounts. It just flows and changes, as our lives change.
So, the curriculum for this years study is “Mothers of the Bible” and another one of my gorgeous blond friends, actually wrote this study (Brooke if you’re reading this, I think the Lord, is really using you as his vessel, and you (and he) are so touching my heart with your insights.) So the lesson for last week was about Rebekah, you know the mama of Jacob and Esau. The message was about sibling rivalry, about our goals as mom’s to bless our kids, and for us as moms to loosen the control we try to have on every aspect of raising our kids. Reality check for Jessica……I am not in control? What? Novel idea!
There were two parts in this study that really stood out for me, the first was posed as a question for reflection:
1. “What are my goals for my kids?”
2. “What are God’s goals for my kids?”
3. ” Do I spend time asking God, if my goals for my kids are the same as his?”
Oi, I have some work to do….I never stopped to think about his plans for their lives….mostly I just pray for guidance to get through the day, not 10 years from today.
The second part of the lesson that gave me some more critical thinking to do was, how to work on blessing my kids, every day. Not just buying them a toy and “blessing” them with things. Blessings that will stand the test of time, and help shape them into men of character. There were 5 parts to this blessing.
1. Meaningful touch: a hug, a smooch, a tickle, a hand squeeze (I threw that in there because my Coop man won’t let me smooch him if we’re within 100 yards of his school.) Some kind of physical touch to let them know that they are important and loved.
2. Spoken Message: I love you, you are special, you are a great kid, I love how you helped your brother pick up his toys, thank you for being kind.
3. Attaching High Value: Do my words speak my children’s value that they have on our family. **This one is hard for me, sometimes I am much to hard on my Coop man. He and I are alot alike, and so I am harder on him than the others because I see so much of myself in him. I am making a promise to myself and to Cooper, that I will let him know consistently that he is of great worth to our family, that he has a special place in our lives and that I love him beyond measure.**
4. Picturing a special future: This goes hand in hand with the goals question? What is the special future I pray for my kids. Their future spouse, career, financial decisions. Sometimes it feels premature to pray about those things, but Jeremiah 29:11 clearly states that the Lord has a plan and purpose for my boys, plans to prosper them and to give them a bright future. What a promise and what reassurance to a control -freak mother.
5. Active Commitment: taking an active roll in my child’s future. Brooke used the example of
soccer, if I want my kids to be great soccer players, but I don’t buy them a soccer ball, or sign them up for a soccer team, or go out in the back yard and play with them. How can I expect them to excel at soccer. The same is true of their relationship with Jesus, if I am not modeling that I love him and am constantly working towards being more Christ-like, how can I expect my kids to follow with out distinct leadership from myself.
I was so blessed (and challenged) by this lesson, and it spoke directly to the places in my heart that I have been struggling with. My constant companion lately has been fear of failure. A nagging guilt that I am not doing right by my boys through my actions and my life. I am so thankful that this is a lie, and that God is using me where I am to shape the lives of these sweet, gooey, boys.
Oh and if you’re interested in reading the study for yourself (and you should) it’s top notch. I’ll leave you the link! Rebekah .
Blessings to my blogger friends, and thanks for the prayers this past week. I am so blessed by you all, and am happy to report that “Festus the Fetus” is thriving! Praise Jesus!!!!!!!!!!