Monday, April 22, 2013


I was weary.  It had been a long week and I felt like I would loose the battle.  Surely I would wave the white flag of surrender long before this miserable version of Groundhog Day would be done repeating itself again and again.

Here she was, in front of me again, frustrated and upset.  She was sure that everyone was at fault- everyone except for her that is.  Her eyes flashed and her arms were folded across her chest.  And yet I knew she was wrong- dead wrong.  Why is it that the person that usually comes to tell is often the one with the problem?

She was deceived and had been tripped again by one of the oldest tricks in the Book- the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  She seemed blind to the sin of pride this week.  Granted it changed costumes with each day-  one day it would manifest itself as being easily offended; another day it would entice her to want to be in charge; another day it would rally against something that she perceived might make her look foolish.  

And here I was- wondering how this day kept repeating and repeating itself all week.  I knew that in a few moments, once she calmed down a little, I would hold up the mirror of God's Word again and she would crack.  She would shed tears, say how repentant she was and I would forgive her.

But I was growing weary of the daily cycle.  I was desiring to see fruit worthy of repentance rather than hear about repentance- again.  I had begun to pray fervently for wisdom.

And then it occurred to me.  I was neglecting the most powerful tool we have.  

"Have you been asking the Lord to help you with this?"

How many days had I failed to be fervent in prayer and how in the world had I missed asking her that?

Ephesians 6:12 tells us:  
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood."  
Do we forget that?  
Are we tempted to think the 
struggle is with one another instead?  
It isn't.  

"No" she responded.

"Well, you cannot ever truly change without the help of God"  I encouraged her.  "Please ask Him to help you."

And the difference?  Quite honestly, it has been night and day.

As we have utilized the power of prayer, God has changed her little heart; completely changed the week I was having and brought Himself glory.

It is a true statement that He is our very present help (Psalm 46:1).  And our prayer is an act of obedience and worship (Matthew 6:5).

True, sometimes the Lord does answer us with something other than an instant yes.  George Mueller prayed for a man all of his life and it was not until years after Mueller died, the man was saved.  Paul asked to go to Rome to preach and God answered with an all expenses paid trip as a prisoner of the Roman government.  We do not always know the best course, while our sovereign Lord does.  And His timing is perfect.

Prayer is a resource that Satan doesn't possess 
and the flesh knows nothing of it.
Yet it is yours-- a powerful asset which the Lord 
warns you not to neglect.
Of course, faithful prayer is difficult, 
as the disciples discovered and as we all know.
And right here many battles are lost.

~Jay Adams

On Sunday, we heard a sermon about the man who "lived among the tombs."  in Mark 5:3  The passage says that, "no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain."  

By that wording we infer that at one time this man had been bound with chains, but over time those outward restraints were no longer effective.  I began to think about how that relates to how we interact with our children.

When children are little, we often teach them with outward restraints.  We simply make disobedience less desirable than obedience.  But as they grow, the law itself can become like weak restraints.

What really changed this man was his encounter with Christ.  He was transformed into a reasonable, clothed, and grateful person who told those around him about what the Lord had done for him.   

How often do we neglect the command to pray (Colossians 4:2) and instead rely solely on outward restraints in our parenting?  

And how often, right there is the battle lost? 

May we be fully enabled to tackle the ministry of parenting as we rely on the help of the Holy Spirit.  

Blessings friends,


  1. Excellent post! And a great reminder :-)

  2. Wonderful, wonderful post! So glad I read this tonight - right when I needed it. :)

    I do have a question. Have any of your girls given you "attitude" day after day with doing their school work? We are homeschooling our oldest daughter. She is in second grade now and despite getting amazing grades, she constantly has a rough attitude about actually doing her work. I mean daily... with the grumpy attitude. I feel like I am at the end of my rope and really don't even know how to tackle this with her? I've tried and tried to talk to her about getting her work done - hoping she will open up and talk to me. We've tried to talk it out, we've tried to get strict, we've tried to be encouraging and supportive, we've tried everything we can think of to open her up to doing school work during the week...yet, nothing seems to help her attitude.

    Over all she is a wonderful, happy, helpful little girl! Really the only thing she gives us attitude about is having to do her school work. To me, it seems as though she wants me to sit down next to her, during our entire 'school day' to help her with every single question. Keep in mind, she is getting such good grades, I can clearly see that she KNOWS what she is doing and doesn't exactly need me helping her with every single question.

    We also have 3 and 4 year old daughters at home, as well as another baby girl who is due in July. So in many ways, I feel like I am being pulled in every direction. (Don't all mothers!?! lol) I'm fretting about starting kindergarten in the fall with our soon to be 5 year old because she too is showing "attitude" about school work. For example; I have been trying to teach her how to hold her pencil or crayon the correct way for MONTHS on end and no matter how I try to help her, she ends up with a grumpy attitude towards me and about school in general. :( So I am nervous about really starting school with her when something as *simple* as trying to hold the pencil the right way turns into such an issue.

    We love our girls and we desperately want homeschooling to be an enjoyable experience for all of us, unfortunately it hasn't been too enjoyable this year! Have you experienced this with any of your girls? If so, how did you and your husband correct the situation to make it more enjoyable for everyone involved? I don't even know what to do at this point....

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

  3. Timely. Excellent. Thank you.

  4. Thank you, friends. It's always good to hear when God is speaking to you about the same things He is impressing upon me. :)

    Hello Kelly! What a fantastic question. I think ALL kiddos struggle with poor attitudes in various areas from time to time. Mine do. And truthfully, so do I! My response is on the long side and should probably be its own post. Look for my response later today. :)

  5. Here's the link to the blog post: