February 26 – Scooter’s Big Day

 

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Do you remember the last time you tried to give your dog a bath? Our son Nathaniel tackled the job recently, and I was excited to be walking by the dining room window so I could catch some of the drama.

I have never seen a dog with such a stalwart opinion about getting wet, much less, being shampooed and combed with a brush! I can’t say that I would normally have equated a dog getting a bath with “discipline,” but the “not pleasant” and “painful” part of a verse in Hebrews I came across some time ago assures me I’m making a safe analogy!

Obviously, our dog hasn’t reached the point in training that she experienced “peace” while taking a bath. In fact, the comical part of the whole thing was her unwillingness to surrender to her present circumstances. She wiggled and squirmed like a greased pig.

Still, Nathaniel was stronger and determined, and the bath DID happen. Oh, how like that I can be. Wrestling with God like my arms are stronger, when all I have to do is take the plunge….fall into His loving embrace and ride the storm until the dawn.

Those stormy times train me to walk in peace and assurance, knowing that the Captain of my ship is fully aware and fully in charge.

You know, I don’t know who was wetter and soapier…Nathaniel, or Scooter. Make no mistake, God will roll up His sleeves and get dirty and wet right there with you, no matter where you are or what you are doing. And you’ll come out better for it by the end, knowing you weren’t alone!

Jennifer

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Biblical Meditation: John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

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February 16 – Not Such a Dirty Word

Wise discipline imparts wisdom; spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents
Proverbs 29:15
Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did—they’ll turn out delightful to live with. Proverbs 29:17

Discipline: Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, comprehending instruction in arts, sciences, correct sentiments, morals and manners, and due subordination to authority. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

This little “D” word is so often misused and totally misunderstood. If the truth be told, even when we aren’t trying, we are “disciple-ing.”

Our actions, or lack thereof, educate, instruct and cultivate the lives round about us.

So why not focus attention on the ways of wise counsel, mixed with self-disciplined examples?

Kids, co-workers, or kinfolk don’t care how much you know…until they know how much you care.

Lorenzo

February 5 – I Don’t Eat That!

For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, there’ll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it’ll be too late to help them. Proverbs 29:1

What a privilege it is to be picky. Living in America, almost every one of us have our likes and dislikes. So, what I say from this point on is relative.

Food is one of those areas in which children demonstrate their preferences, quite early on, I might add. Texture, taste and timing of a meal often becomes a line of demarcation that promotes frustration for the stubborn one.

And if this behavior meets no worthy challenge throughout the tender years, then like “not so fine wine” the pickiness gets “NOT better with age!”

But like I said initially, we all suffer from some sort of lack of discipline and if we don’t allow wisdom to curb our hateful habits, we will look up one day and it could be too late.

So, today, if you don’t like to exercise, but you know it would help your circulation and cellulite storage program, do it anyway. If you don’t like the texture of vegetables or fruit or meat or much of anything else nutritious but you know your health depends on a change, make the change.

At the end of the day, what we think we don’t like may be just the thing that makes life worth living.

Lorenzo

December 1 – A Little Goes a Long Way

Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not [indulge your angry resentments by undue chastisements and] set yourself to his ruin. Proverbs 19:18

Our first son is crafty and has been that way from his day one. If he sees it, he wants to touch it and examine its “components.” Early on, this meant stuff got broken and misplaced, often. Man, I would get sooo frustrated!

“How many times have I told this kid not to mess with other people’s stuff…my stuff?” This seemed to be a constant thought from age 4 to 14.

But when I saw these incidents as the teaching moments they were, he received guidance, for the time being, very well. Training was my job and learning and exploration and discovery was his.

Thank God for proverbial wisdom like today’s to keep me from harming his budding passion in an effort to establish boundaries of respect.

Now sixteen and very skilled in the attributes of hands-on craftsmanship, this young man has indeed made some marvelous discoveries that I couldn’t have found in a million years. And my whole household benefits from them daily.

Many of us read these words and agree with the biblical insights of Solomon, but our day of “discipline” is past. Our kiddos are grown and the effects of our chastisement or the lack thereof is forever etched.

Not so. That’s the beauty of Godly counsel. The moment you “get it” you can begin to apply it in the form of prayers delivered on behalf of the matter you face. And it can and will transform even the most hopeless of cases. Totally miraculous!

Your children are the letter you write to a time you will never see. So as long as you are breathing, don’t put down that pen. And even though it has no eraser, unforeseen adaptations are allowed and encouraged…they make the best kind of story!

October 1 – Do I HAVE To???

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.  Proverbs 8:34

I have a chore chart on the bathroom wall.  Each of our children from the oldest to our seven year-old has their name on it by a specific chore. (This is my attempt at a brilliant management move called delegation).  And in case any of these afore mentioned people decide they can’t read (they can), their names are followed by pictures of the chores.  I cannot conceive how to make it more simple or complete.

We’ve had the chart for 3 years now.  And. Still. I. Get. The. Same. Question. You guessed it. “Do I HAVE to do my bathroom chore today???????”

I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, being in the position to teach a skill or chore multiple upon multiple times for 11 kids.  Because as Solomon said, “nothing is new under the sun.” And I just have to post the verse here in the Amplified: “The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

Seriously, I’m cracking up at this perfect explanation! “That which has been done (or NOT done) will be done again (or NOT done again).” Yep, we’re talking generational brain lapses (or pure de-laziness) since the time of Adam and Eve.

But here’s the cool thing.  Several years of this “yes, we are doing this EVERY day” routine does start to pay off.  Most of the time my older ones don’t need me anymore.  They can do it. No more reminders, except the occasional hiccup that looks like every one of us adults.

Unfortunately, and most wonderfully, I’ve learned that I’m just like ’em.  Every day, God is calling me to hear, to watch and to wait for His direction and His presence.  And He watches me, many times, struggle with getting through my day, knowing He could have helped me out before it all came crashing down around my head.

Lord, I’m sorry.  Sometimes I’m lazy and undisciplined.  I don’t get up and go straight to my Bible and start listening for your Voice.  I often run around and think I’m getting somewhere when I’m just running around in circles.  Yes, I HAVE to.  I HAVE to get everything I need from you, every day.  Tomorrow, I begin again. And Lord, just this once, can tomorrow be the day we get the bathroom clean?

Jennifer 🙂

P.S. Here’s another post I’ve written related to this devo: http://justafamilything.com/2014/02/02/til-the-cows-come-home/