Guest post by Karli Reed, licensed minister with the Assemblies of God.
Parenting is one of the most honorable responsibilities given to us to discourage with grace and love. From the moment that they are born and take their first breath, we are scared out our wits – oh my word! What have we here!?! What am I doing and have I lost my mind? What do I do next? Next, we take a deep breath and say “Lord God, teach us each day every step we need to take to raise this one up for your Kingdom.
When each of my children were born, I would wait until everyone has left to go home for the night and then stand before the hospital window facing Spokane twinkling in the night. I would raise up each one and pray and give thanks for this promised child. “You gave me the vision of three children and you have kept your promise. Here is this one. Guide me to raise them for you and for the calling that You have destined to.” You would ask me if it was all piece of cake and I would say no it wasn’t. Each child you have is uniquely different and need to be raised according to who they are. As Parents, we will have moments we regret and wish we could do it over again but, we can’t. I just have to remind myself that parenting doesn’t end even after they’ve starting their family.
There is always an opportunity to change your parenting if necessary as long as we surrender it all into His hands. As we face the days ahead of us, it becomes necessary to teach your children how to walk and live the Godlike life. Teach them how to pray along side you so they learn how to communicate with the Lord.Teach them how to worship before God to learn intimacy with God.Teach them the word of God and how to read it, study it like a student with a Teacher beside you. Never underestimate your children. They can do it. Teach them ministry with you but be wise on how they can handle ministry and guard them from the harm done in ministry. Tell them about the hard stuff when they are ready. Let them see you walk it out and the teach them that it is ok to ask us about why things happen the way they do. Always keep Jesus in the center of everything you say and do.
The most important lesson to learn is this : “Can you trust Me with your children? Trust me enough to leave them in my hands so that I may do a work in their lives before I release them?”
Parenting goes through its different seasons and each season affects the next one. Each season has its sunrises and sunsets along with it changes. Parenting also goes through its storms such as bullying, suicides, death, rejection…..this list goes on. By trusting in God to carry us through the storms, we become seasoned parents ready to come along side with younger, new parents. Parenting is a life cycle with God walking beside you every step of the way.
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Beautiful words written by my daughter, Hanna.
I believe that this world is full of beauty and opportunities. Beauty that is made for everyone who dares to reach out and grab a hold of it and opportunities that give people second chances at a new life and new hope. There will be times of pure joy and times of pure sadness that seem to never end but somehow time continues to pass and you learn that it doesn’t stop for anyone. And even though this world can be an unforgiving place it still amazes me each and every morning when the sun rises across the horizon and brings a new day. I believe that when night falls looking up at the stars shows us how small we are and how big our God is.
I believe that Gods creation of intense beauty outweighs the hurt in this world and if we cling to his promises he will make us beautiful and we will forever be changed.
I believe that times will be tough and giving up may be the easiest thing to do, but I promise that there are so many things to live for. There is hurt, heartache, poverty, brokenness, abuse and darkness but it is when we are at ourlowest points that we find our true strength and cling to the hope that we are never alone and this chaotic place has no grasp. There are so many opportunities to choose joy over sadness and to choose to push forward even when your feet are stuck in the mud. I believe that the mud comes with rain, and rain can wash away all your fears if you let it. Because no matter how much it rains you can always choose to dance in the puddles with polka dotted rain boots.
I believe that when flowers bloom it is not by accident, but rather to prove that God works in mysterious and intricate ways. Every day holds meaning and celebration that was made to enjoy and every time you take a breath of air know that you are blessed to be alive.
I believe that every child holds within them innocence in the most purest form that should never be taken away and when that child grows up it turns into a flame that is given to another person who completes what they have always dreamed of. I believe that when God created our inmost being and breathed life into our lungs he had a plan and a destiny so amazing that none can fathom. And when he counted the hairs on your head and gave color to your cheeks he knew that nothing else could ever compare to your beauty.
I believe that every person of every skin color and every language should know what it’s like to belong and to understand what it is to be loved. I believe that the truest love a person can experience is the love of Christ who fought for you without a second of hesitation.
So whenever you feel alone, abandoned, hopeless and lost you can know that the scars on his hands are not there for looks. The scars are there because no matter our circumstance we can remember that someone took the pain and the punishment for mankind because we are valued more precious than the finest gold and purest jewels. That is what I believe.
By Hanna Mae (My Daughter)