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Archive for the ‘Faith Imagined’ Category

Lipp2_edited-1Ummmm, I need some help here. Do you see me? Hand raised, face red, embarrassed because my by-the-book parenting skills just don’t always produce the results discussed.

Asking for help? Don’t want to do it (ask for help that is) . . . because asking for help equals failure, inadequacy – just plain not measuring up. Doesn’t it?

I used to think so. How terribly wrong I was.

You and I, we were designed to need help. If we didn’t – need help – would we turn to God? Not just turn to God, lift one eye-brow and acknowledge Him – but drop on our knees, drop the very soul of ourselves at His feet and say, “i need YOU.”

God designed us in His image – just like He reaches out to us, we each are designed to reach out. . . . to all His children – the good, the bad, the easy, the hard, the lovable, the unlovable, the hurting and even those who seem so whole, so put together.

I must admit, with my first-born, I didn’t need as much help. I did all the things the parenting books suggested – from love to discipline, to chores to Christ, to loving your neighbor, to teaching about tithing and healing and praying. We successfully launched him into college – and into independence. “Thanks for the independence with training wheels,” he said one day before he graduated. This parenting gig seemed so easy.

I realize now that it wasn’t so much of what we did, but how God designed him: coachable, logical, born-an-old-man. I think Isaac might have been like that to Abraham. I mean, what son or daughter would just hop on top of a sacrificial alter because their dad said it was the right thing to do?

If you’ve had a nest-full of coachable, easy to shepherd, minimal problem kids – you really don’t need to read further. If your nest has been diverse – different personalities, different levels of coachability, differently designed and wired – so that all those parenting books suddenly don’t apply – then Kathi Lipp’s book i need some help here! might be just the read you need.

Have you ever felt like you’re raising a rebel like Samson, a thief and runner like Jacob, someone who run’s from God’s plan like Jonah, the prodigal even – then you probably need some encouragement – someone who won’t condemn your child’s brokenness, blame it on your supposed secret sin, someone who will pray God’s plan with you over your child (regardless of the age) – someone who recognizes that Godly parents have children who struggle – with life – whether it is due to choices, health issues – or outside issues that affect their inner soul.

Kathi points out: “This is the road no one wants to travel the road of having a child that is struggling. But there are priceless treasures along the way if you allow God to work in your life and your child’s (Kathi Lipp).

She also says, “I was not a perfect mom, but I was the mom God chose for them, and therefore I was the perfect mom them” (Lipp).

In the process of raising these children, God refines us. “Once your heart has been broken for your kids, God can use that brokenness to woo you to be the kind of parent he needs you to be,” Kathi explains.

My goal as a parent was to raise whole, healthy children – physically and spiritually. I didn’t want to break them, scathe them, wound them. Yet because of sin, we are all born broken. Because of my brokenness, I cannot be a perfect parent: I cannot fix everything that breaks.

I cannot make everything o.k.

God can, though.

Kathi encourages us in i need some help here! to set healthy boundaries and expectations – not just on our children, but ourselves: when our children are overwhelmed, troubled, different, sick makes poor choices, run away from God, lacks character, struggles and feels left out.

You are not alone. God doesn’t want you or me to be isolated as our children struggle. He doesn’t want us hiding behind shame.  He wants us to encourage each other by our faith in Him. Kathi’s book does just that. You can find more about Kathi over at her place: Kathi Lipp- Your Life. On Purpose.

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Grandmother's House

Grandmother’s House

“I do” whispered between 2
And a home was born
Where one day 3 were gathered
In the great green room and a red balloon
Where cows jumped over the moon
And 3 became 4
And the little cowboy lassoed his imagination
Into a hero in boots
And 4 became 5
And giggles rippled over the story
Of Uncle Remus and the crabs boring a hole
Into the earth’s center creating the great flood
5 became 6
When the Benjamin bunnies ate lettuces leading to
Sophoric sleeps amidst danger stewing and risking flopsy slippers
6 became 7 where we didn’t just love to the moon
But to God’s beard
And back
Night time sings of 10 in the Bed
Each little one said
Roll over
Roll over
Wrapped in blue cotton blankets
And unconditional love
Home read like a story book
Between little bears and their mama and daddy
Tis a gift
To be simple
To be free
Where we ought to be
home

zinniatable2 Home just isn’t just sweet memories, bedtime stories and sings.

I asked my bed-time chronicler and my saucy little one if they wanted me to sing the other night – quirky smiles crossed their faces as each laughed a sighing ‘No.” Home for them is still blue cotton blankets, excitement over favorite muffins and mom reminding them to brush their teeth, say their prayers and share their hearts, finish their homework, math with dad.

Home for my senior is a cage from which to break free. Muffins, blankets, mom saying anything are reduced value, comfortless, spurned. Sometimes home is a battlefield – one battling for independence – the other battling to life save.  Sometimes one has to feel caged by the nest before they can soar.

Another son, he felt the same way, couldn’t wait to break free from this cage. Anything was better than home. Basic training built an appreciation for blue cotton blankets, mom’s sandwiches and hearty soups, a refreshing place, comforting, coffee in the pot, grace to grow, a place to find peace.

He gives his little brothers a hard time. The saucy one gives it back, “What – you’re 20 and living at home.”

The older brother, he smiles sheepishly, but knows he’s working, he’s saving, planning for college – and a career God put on his heart – recognizing that God put it on his heart.

The prodigal returned home, to receive grace and grow in it willingly.

Home is the launch pad for God’s plan.

A home built with love, faith and hope opens it doors in welcome, for growing, for things like forgiveness and refreshing, for launching to soar.

Home is painted, tiled, shuttered and aired with all kinds of sentences – some regretted, some held close, some God-inspired, some evidence of our human fraility, some railing, some beautiful loving, comforting – like a blue cotton blanket. Some best foregotten; some never to be forgotten.

Home leaves the door open for restoration like unconditional love leaves the heart open.

The son, who railed at the cage and returned home to grow in the refreshing of it, he leaves for tank training in a few weeks and deployment in October. The journey of what home has meant to him has been like the journey of a prayer answered.

This scripture has always been close to my heart – I guess God knew why:

“But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD” (1 Samuel 7:17)

 

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Since I have christened this week, “Pass it Forward” – I thought it would be a good time to announce my November’s Bread Basket Award.

The Bread Basket Award is not one that you have to work hard to pass to a lot of people – though they are fun and encouraging – but one that just said, “Thank you! You blessed me! You fed me when I was weak.” So I created The Bread Basket Award, to be given out monthly to a blogger who feeds us when we are hungry for support, encouragement, inspiration, laughter.

As my heart moved toward this Thursday’s post, there was no doubt in my mind who represented this month’s bread basket award – a blogger who works hard to “Pass it Forward.”

This blogger writes real-life application inspirational posts. Yet, she goes one step further. She, along with her sister, not only created a forum for other women to minister to each other, but an environment of encouragement for the gifts within these women to shine.

My husband’s first boss encouraged his team of engineers to shine.  The brighter they shined in the workplace, the better. He was not fearful of their talent making him seem smaller, less bright. That is the sign of an amazing leader. I have seen ministers do that, developing highly successful ministry teams by encouraging growth with no fear of that growth overshadowing or diminishing their job.

Alisa at Faith Imagined is like that –  encouraging other women to shine as brightly as possible.

 The November Bread Basket Award

goes

to

Alisa

at

Faith Imagined

Here are some posts that might encourage you as they have me:

Pass it Forward! Sit down and share your heart! Pass it Forward! Give others the opportunity to shine! Pass it Forward! Encourage! Pass it Forward! Kind of like passing the bread basket around the table! Thanks Alisa!

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