Have you ever done the "flip it" challenge? I'm sure you have. It's where you just open up the Bible and sort of let God's Spirit direct you to whatever passage you need? It takes faith, and I have to admit, I've been disappointed with "flipping it". I've opened up to an OT passage about something vague, violent or irrelevant and instantly apologized. Sort of a "God, I can't expect you to do all the work. Let me study Your Word for a second and not leave it up to chance" type of confession.
Well, today I did the flip it move and opened to Matthew-- the sermon on the mount. You know, that part of the Bible that is lit up in red letters for chapters and chapters? Kind of the quintessential passages for anything that may vex you?
I read chapter 7 because I had underlined the first verses about NOT judging others because you WILL be judged by God...apparently I needed that a LOT at some point. Then I went on, though.
Again, I read a familiar passage-- "ask, seek, knock" which is 7:7-8. I'm sure you know this passage, too. Then the lightning bolt of God's spirit struck my heart as I read the very next few verses: "Which of you, if his own son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish would give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?" (verses 9-11).
Wow! Here's why this passage seems to have been written just for me (and I'm guessing it translates to many more of you), I LOVE giving gifts. Honestly, it is my FAVORITE thing.
If I wasn't careful, I would spend all of my incidental money each month buying my sisters new dresses and my son new toys, clothes, Bibles, Veggie Tales ANYTHING, etc. Yep, I'm a gift giver. I get so excited when I know that I have a reason to write a long, sappy note from scratch and some cookies-- or when my best friends allow me to buy them a coffee.
As far as the 5 Love Languages go, mine is touch. But when it comes to giving love? I give it with gifts.
I love how God can be honored through this gesture, though, and how much Nolan could learn of God's love through those little acts!
I hope to be the kind of mom who encourages him with notes, builds with him, explores with him, reads with him and blesses him with the things he does ask for. Duh, that's basic mom stuff, right?
Not necessarily! I think the spirit of gift-giving is the most significant and powerful testament to God's love within us. We love because God first loved us and we give because He gave FIRST! Nothing would make me happier than giving Nolan what he asks for, guiding him when he seeks and answering when he knocks. To be to him what Jesus is to me, day by day without fail? To explain to him the parallel one day? That's so exciting!
Wow, I'm just eating this up right now. I hope this isn't a boring read, guys. I know it is basic, but God's Word is living. I love when He breathes new life into passages I learned as a child so that I can implement them better as an adult.
Here's my pitch: How about any time our children have a specific request (which as toddlers is every single moment), we give them the desires of their hearts more often than we might have before? How about we sacrifice the idea that "kids shouldn't get everything they ask for" and "I'm training my kid to be realistic and NOT spoiled" with "his eyes are kind and hopeful, I WILL do this for him" or "she is the best and worst of me, but I'm going to bless her with little sprinklings of love more than I have before".
The longer I dwell in God's Word, the more I realize the endless possibilities-- even for a stay at home mom-- to BLESS others and change lives. Gifts, small sacrifices of our time are excellent, practical and oh so attainable places to begin.
If you, like me, love this idea, I challenge you to give others mini Mountain-top experiences. Let us always have a note in our car for someone. Let us always have a yes ready for our children instead of stressful, tired and flippant no's. Let us realize the significance of the parallel between God's love and the love we display AT ALL TIMES to our children.
Anyways, thanks so much for reading!
My prayer this week is that we all could seek God, ask for more wisdom...more patience and more love. That we may knock and doors will be opened through our prayers and that our children will also experience this through us!