Sweet friends, today is the very first day of our new Living in the Word link-up and we’re so excited! Our desire is to share with you our hearts about what God is teaching us as we seek to draw closer to Him through time spent with Him in the Word. Please join us here each Saturday for faith-filled encouragement and if you’re a blogger, be sure to link-up your blog posts with us as well. We’d love to hear all about your personal time in the Word, what God is showing you, and how it is transforming your life and those around you! (See link-up below)
Currently, we are reading and studying The Love Dare for Parents. We’re in the first week, just finishing up day 5 of our 40 day challenge. And today, Rebekah Hallberg, one of our lovely team writers, is sharing how God is faithfully working in her own heart through this study. If you’re interested in joining us for our online study, it’s never too late.
Sweet blessings to you,
Carlie & Megan
Welcome! I am so encouraged to be able to share with you on this 40-day challenge of The Love Dare for Parents. This book has been extremely challenging for me. When I began reading through it, I started with the assessment to find where my strengths and weaknesses were, and I’ll tell you – there was nothing new there. The biggest, most glaring and obvious word that jumped out at me was ‘patience’. I am not naturally patient, and I was not surprised to see, “Patience…Likely Weakness.” But it was through that small phrase where my thinking, and also my heart, really began to change and I began to practice patiently abiding.
The word ‘abiding’ is defined as “continuing without change, enduring; steadfast” and I am finding that is how I need to approach my time with this book. My natural inclination at any point, may be to put it away and walk away from this challenge, or to skip a day because the challenge for that day is too difficult. And sometimes God gives us the go-ahead to move on in life, but sometimes God also calls us to stay – to abide. Mothers, sisters, let’s commit together, to abide in this book; to really stick with it.
As I reread these first few chapters, the theme of patience seemed to jump out at me all over the place, beginning with the warning at the beginning of the book, regarding the 40-day challenge:
It is not meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greatest blessings.
Wow! What a powerful statement – I certainly don’t want to miss out on the blessing of 40 days of loving my child. To put this in perspective, one of my sons has 4 10-day therapy sessions each school year, totaling 40 days of Occupational Therapy over the school year. If we were to stop after 20 or 30 days, sure, we would see improvements, but we would miss out on the amazing changes that we can see in his life from fully following through for the full 40 days. I can tell you, from the perspective of 40 days of therapy, it is important to go the distance, to finish the program, to be patient and abide with what God will teach you!
I had a major revelation about my own life and heart in chapter 2, and I shared this with the team at Managing Your Blessings, and I made a different choice as a result of that revelation. A few years ago I decided to stop praying for patience. I know, that sounds like a poor choice. But my thinking was that since I had a son with special needs, and two other children, the last thing I needed was more patience, more opportunities for anyone to try my patience. I began to pray for persistence instead, because I believed I really needed to be able to make it through a day, no matter what.
God got a hold of my heart here in chapter 2, though, and showed me that when I’m being persistent, I’m relying on my own strength, and my own ability. I’m trying to do things on my own – not with God, but by myself.
When I’m being patient, though, I’m waiting on (abiding in) God to work as He will, in my circumstances, or maybe around my circumstances, but certainly according to His perfect will. And the better choice that I made was to keep that particular thought in mind – that patience means waiting on God – and letting Him work in my parenting as well as in other areas of my life.
But today requires your enduring patience. It is something we all need but rarely delight in demonstrating. Yet love invites us to exercise it frequently as parents.
“Love invites us to exercise it [patience] frequently as parents.” We won’t exercise patience for just anyone, and if you’re at all like me, you may choose to run from a situation requiring patience, rather than abiding, choosing patience, and watching God work out the situation.
I think that patience is mentioned early in this book, on purpose. I think that all of the other attributes that the book will go on to describe are – need to be – rooted and established in patience. As we journey through this book, let’s remember that it’s just that – a journey. This is a marathon, not a sprint. This is 40 days, a small piece of the overall average of 6,575 days from birth to age eighteen.
If you are coming from a home where parenting, child-rearing, patience, and maybe even love, have been difficult, please remember that this will take some time to sink in to your child’s heart as well. And that’s why the abiding – staying with this book and these challenges – is so important. Your children are going to realize that this isn’t just a passing whim, but a true effort to nurture love and relationship with each of them.
As I’ve been reading through this book again, looking at my children with new, more patient eyes, I’m reminded of these verses:
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock,
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3
I can tell you, God has given me a new song – a song of praise as He changes my heart. He has taken me from the mud and mire of self-reliance and I am firmly standing in a place of confidence in what God will do as I am patient and abide in Him.
Thank you for joining us on this journey; I am so encouraged to hear from you as we spend time patiently abiding to glean the truths of this book!
Living in the Word, link-up
Are you doing a particular bible study right now, reading a book that is growing your faith or spending time in God’s Word and you just can’t wait to share what God is doing in your heart? We’d love for you to join us and share the amazing Truths God is showing you. When we share our faith with one another, we allow God to shine through us blessing and encouraging one another to keep pressing on and leaning in to Jesus. We hope you’ll join us here each Saturday! When linking up, please be sure to keep the following in mind:
1. Please submit posts that will be encouraging and life-giving for women who are seeking to grow in their faith and follow Jesus. We can’t wait to read your posts and plan to pin our favorite posts to our growing Pinterest Boards.
2. Please include a link back to this post from yours so we can all encourage one another.
3. Please also use one of the graphics below in your post so others can easily see where you’ve linked up.