Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Few Pearls of Wisdom

Lately I have been pondering on some amazing truths that my cousin DeeDee shared with me years ago.

The setting in which she shared this first one was this: most of my family was in Miami for my grandfather's funeral. Afterwards, we had gathered at my Abuella's house and the kids all let loose a bit. My oldest was about 2 and had had enough of being on her best behavior all day long. She gave way to a full on 2 year old temper tantrum. You know the kind, the ones where the mom is so embarrassed, she makes the situation MUCH worse by having a fit herself at the kid's fit!

This is where I found myself and quickly at my wits end. I could not get my 2 year old under control while ALL my family stood by and watched. (They probably weren't, but I FELT like they were.) After the battle of the wills subsided and my toddler won (ugh the shame!) Deedee pulled me aside and shared such wisdom with me. Here is what she said (paraphrased);
"If you parent a child's actions, you will only have an obedient child, but if you parent a child's heart through the filter of love, and find the root of each choice, then you will raise a successful person."
She further explained the beauty of John 13:34-35 and what it means to parent through the filter of love. Teaching our children how each choice we make is to come from a place of love. What brilliant insight - to apply to my own heart, let alone my children's! The implications of this knowledge are far reaching.

In another discussion at a separate time with DeeDee, she was sharing some discernment she had learned along the way. It was in reference to homeschooling her children, however, this pearl also reaches, long past the realm of homeschooling. She was a trail blazer in her community for homeschooling and came up against opposition. I asked her "How do you deal with that?" and here is the treasure she gave me (paraphrased again):
"You don't have to tell everyone everything. Sometimes you have to purposely agree to disagree, but other times, you can be like Mary, and just ponder these things in your heart. You answer to the Lord and are responsible for being obedient to Him alone. Sometimes you just say 'Thank you for sharing your opinion.' and go on about your way."
What a great teaching. To remember that I am not the Holy Spirit and do not have to convince people to see my point of view is a huge relief. It kinda reminds me of this quote by N. Smith, "When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to."

I've shared my thoughts before about reacting vs. responding. It's tough. To do it successfully we must be in operation of the fruit of the Spirit of self control, which is not to be mistaken with other control.

So there you have some nuggets I've been chewing on. Again. Need to chew with me?

Lord, you know my heart. I want to please you, just as all children want to please their parents. Teach me not to just be an obedient child, but a person who makes choices from a place of love because of Your great love for me. Please also give me the wisdom to know when to speak and when to hold my tongue. Holy Spirit, flow freely in my life producing fruit that my children and others around me may taste and see that You are good. Thank you for Your love, it is extravagant.

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