Choose Peace

When it comes to the safety of my children, there are two dangers that I’m a bit of a freak about: choking and drowning. My two-year old gets so tired of me telling him to chew his food completely and sit down when he eats and take smaller bites that I’m probably going to give him a complex. I didn’t realize water made me nervous, until this summer. Every time my son has his face in the water, blowing bubbles, my heart stops beating until he is breathing air again.

These are the things that I admit without hesitation, I tend towards the freaky, psycho mom inside of me.

However, I am so laid back when it comes to my son’s daredevil antics, I will probably find him on top of our roof one day, and do nothing more than say, “Be careful.”

So, there you have it: drowning and choking are my biggest concerns. Despite the fact that my son moves toward danger like the sun to the horizon. I’ve caught him in midair more times than I care to admit. If we get through the day without a serious head bump, I fear we have offset the universe. He runs toward heavy machinery like it’s his best friend coming home from war, and my husband’s power tools have (in my son’s mind) morphed into his toys, no matter how many times his parents remind him they are indeed not toys. He also prefers hanging out with strangers over his loving and safe parents.20170720_161725

Speaking of having a complex…I’m getting anxious just thinking about it…

From sun up to sun down, I work tirelessly to keep my hoodlum safe, but most of the time I catch him doing something dangerous and mutter, “Well, I didn’t see that coming.”

I’m not overly involved with social media. I probably spend a total of 20 minutes a day cruising my newsfeed. I also have made it a point to avoid the news, and yes, I have no idea what is going on and I’m pretty proud of it. Since the media decided to make President Trump the devil, I’ve decided to live a life of bliss: in other words, a news-free life. I feel like Russia is sorta an important news story right now? I could be wrong.

However, with the limited influence I allow media to have in my life, in the past week, I have seen the following warnings to parents: Wal-Mart jelly shoes contain disturbing amounts of lead, Johnson & Johnson soap contains formaldehyde, dry drowning should be a concern to all parents, fidget spinners are a choking hazard, and baby cheese puffs need more warning labels to combat choking.

20170719_181000Really? This world needs more warnings labels? Is that for real?…

Wow. We have a problem. I never venture into an article on social media that claims to have a warning for parents—in fact, my motto is DO NOT CLICK–so these topics are simply those that I could not avoid. If I was actually searching for warnings, I could probably get you a list of about 100 in two days.

I’ve written about this before and talk about it with numerous parents, but it’s important. The media does not help, but clearly parents are responding to these kinds of stories, which are often not even 100% factual. These stories get shared repeatedly on social media, and the TODAY Show, with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, has an entire segment devoted to revealing the hidden dangers of this world.

It’s disgusting, and we feed on it like a people with no hope.

I strive for peace in my journey of motherhood nearly every day. I fight for it. I pray for it. And for the most part, God has granted me a peace that allows me to understand and accept that I am not able, in my own power, to keep my children safe. We cannot and should not be expected to anticipate every danger. This world is dangerous and our children are fragile, but going through life like the world is literally out to get our children is no way to live.IMG_20170712_160310_516

Those who pass along unnecessary warnings and rules for parents seem to have forgotten that God grants us wisdom and instincts as mothers and fathers. We are born to nurture and raise up children, and it is our decision and only our decision what is and what is not safe. If we succumb to the fear that so easily entraps parents, we will learn that nothing is safe, and we will have no choice but to lead a very sad life indeed, and so will our children.

This is not how God calls us to live. God knows how much we love our children, and we can let them rest in His hands; He is a trustworthy Father to us all.

There is a disease amongst parents today: fear, and the fear of losing a child can quickly gain enough momentum to rip any parent from the Lord. Satan sees this constant circle of fear wearing on parents, and he will not fail to take advantage of it. He will use it to teach us that we must rely upon ourselves, instead of our trusted Father, to protect our children. This is a lie. You could anticipate every danger from New York to California and still be blindsided by something you did not see.

20170712_154828It should not be a secret why anxiety and depression are such powerful forces in our society today. I don’t see optimism and hope take a front seat to negativity and fear very often. But today, and every day, I wake up and choose peace. Some days I fail miserably and catch myself worrying for my sons’ futures, their health, their safety, but then I rely upon my heavenly Father to pull me back toward Him, for he is peace personified.

I belong to Him. My husband belongs to Him. My children belong to Him.

“In peace I lie down to sleep, for in you, O Lord, I dwell in safety.” ~Psalm 4:8


Indifference and the Holy Bible

I think the only reasonable explanation is that I simply have not been paying attention. Since I was a teenager, I have tried to consistently read my Bible, and since I was a teenager, I have failed after a few short weeks of relative success. My husband has opened my eyes to the innumerable advantages of knowing one’s Bible; he knows the Bible so well, it tends to annoy me more than anything else. My husband seems to have a verse in his arsenal for every complaint I have, which results in a much less satisfying venting session.

Don’t get me wrong: there have been plenty of times in my life where I have relied upon the Bible as it is supposed to be used, a weapon against the enemy and a teaching tool for every situation I could possibly encounter. However, probably even more frequently than loving the Bible, I have simply been indifferent to it, either picking it up out of obligation or leaving it to collect dust on my nightstand. As if a Bible’s purpose is to only catch one’s eye as they roll over to switch off the lamp for the evening, like it was nothing more than an inanimate knick-knack.20160405_092719

Inanimate? The Bible? That’s the biggest piece of nonsense any of us are going to face today. The Bible, according to (yep you guessed it) the Bible, is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). Hear that with me one more time: The Bible is GOD-BREATHED. Period. Need I say more? It is more alive than me or you, because it has always been and it will always be. In the 2000 years since we heard God’s word come out of the mouth of the Savior, much has changed. Heck, everything has changed, but the word has not; God’s promises have not; the life within God’s words has not.

I have diligently sought a personal relationship with Jesus Christ all my life. I have been on a mountaintop following a valley and I have been in the valley following a mountaintop. Jesus has been so close I could almost touch Him, and so far that I was fairly certain He never existed in the first place. Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In order to have faith in Jesus Christ, I must hear and apply His word to my life. I must treat it like it is more important than my lunch, because it is. And anyone who knows me will testify without hesitation, my lunch is of pivotal importance to my sanity and my humanness.

cropped-images.jpgIn John 4, Jesus tells His disciples, when they are concerned He has not eaten, that his food comes from doing His Father’s will. He goes on to urge His followers (that’s us!) not to hesitate to harvest more believers, to evangelize the world. Where do we find the strength, as well as the ammunition, to bring more people to Christ? The Bible! We are to devour God’s words because they are life. We cannot walk a Christian life without them.

In recent weeks, I have finally begun to treat the Bible like my very life depends upon it, and something amazing has happened: my very life has started to depend upon it. I read each word carefully, always aware that God is love and God cannot break promises. Therefore, everything He promises me through His word is a guarantee. I just need to accept it without hesitation.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 God tells me that “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will approach each day with a fresh and powerful mind.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will not only accept my weaknesses, but delight in them.

In John 1:5 God says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will never fear the night.

In Philippians 4:8 it is said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” This is an irrefutable truth, and I will reject all thoughts that are not from God, every thought that is not worthy of

You see, Christians, if we approach each day as if all His words are true, we will have no choice but to feast on them—through memorization and meditation—each and every day. This will be required for us to sustain any sort of purpose, any sort of direction.

The Bible will become an essential appendage, and we will begin to wonder how we ever treated it like it was optional. So, let’s open the Bible, and let God’s truths wash over us and fill us up, so we will never again be thirsty.

His words are life. Without them, there is no life at all.