Good afternoon, friends! Wow, I am basking in God's grace today. I am clinging to it. I have needed it today. I woke up this morning before the kids which is always a blessing. This means I get to pour my coffee, make my bed and plop on it with my bible and long prayer list laid open before me. I love these mornings. I get to feed my spirit man before getting busy with the natural. I feel I have connected with the Lord & offered up the burden of others & in sweet times likes this your mind is off yourself. Perfect. You start your day with your mind on others and with bread from heaven, somehow this makes you smile when normally you'd be complaining or cranky due to having to conquer "another day." Well, this is me anyways. I read in the word the book of John. He (Jesus) talks so much of the spirit. He talks in parables explaining that we are carnal but He's referring to the spirit in most of his teachings. We must worship in spirit & truth because God is a spirit. The more I read the more it talked about the spirit....I pondered other verses I knew by heart that talk about the spirit. Jesus talks of eating His flesh & drinking His blood so that we can partake of eternal life---I pondered that, in reference with the sword of the spirit. His word. We feast on it. He said whoever comes to Him and eats of His flesh will have eternal life. He repeated this several times. Those who come. Once the crowd followed Jesus searching for Him, He said "I say unto you, ye seek me not because you saw the miracles but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled." Something satisfied them and they sought Him out!
So I'm feasting on all this as I wrap up my prayer time and close my Bible. I am learning to feast on His word after I read it. Not just read & move on with my thoughts and self centered ways. I feasted...inwardly. As we chew on this bread it cannot help but change us. It's like adopting a new, healthy eating habit; we will eventually see change! Oh, how I was going to need this bread today. As Lauren and I are eating breakfast & Liberty is scooping oatmeal onto her gown with hopes of getting some into that little bird hole of her's, I randomly blurt out to Lauren, " Lauren, I have been praying for patience. I realize I don't have very much & it's a fruit of the spirit." Her innocent response is, "Like, when I'm talking to you?" I don't know exactly what her reply meant except maybe she feels I don't have very much patience with her. lol. She is probably right. My sweet oldest has the right traits that rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's because we're so much alike. She is my dramatic, extreme, independent yet passionate girl. If you get hard on her she closes up & eventually you see that your words are nothing but merely words to her. Where as Liberty was born completely opposite. Her love is faithful. She loves unconditionally; even when you're hard on her. She is not dramatic & very laid back. I love this about her because it's opposite of me and it's how I want to be. That sweet nature that really doesn't take to heart your wrong. She is always willing to still hug you & act like nothing ever happened. I have two opposite children who teach me more than I could ever possibly learn outside of this home. God uses each of them to either show me myself or break me into Him. This particular morning I felt a little frustrated with Lauren. Maybe because I had asked her to leave Liberty alone for what felt like five hundred times and I still heard Liberty holler. The running through the house, the wildness & my words feeling like they just bounced back and hit me in the head over & over. Why does she not hear me? Why does she make me be so hard on her? While I'm thinking these things I hear a "hit" which sounds like a slap on the back. Liberty cries. I get up from my second cup of coffee and close my husband's bible that's always open on the table, grab the paddle & head into where she was. I confront her about what I heard and she is tempted to lie. Instead she says it was an accident. I tell her to go sit on her bed. She knows this can be good or bad. It either means a talk, a little bible, and prayer or a spanking, then a talk, & prayer. Since I had it up to my neck with her I was more than ready to spank that little hiney in hopes of a quick fix so I could get on with my day. But something deep inside wasn't feeling right. I knew Lauren lacked grace towards her sister because I lacked grace towards her. By grace I don't mean letting her "skip" getting in trouble. No, that's mercy. And that is not what she needed. By grace I meant some type of self sacrifice on my part. She needed to know I loved her. From what she stated at breakfast she obviously knows I get frustrated with her & who she is. Instantly I felt the lord speak to my heart, 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.' I was ready for a quick, get it over with discipline...but in my spirit I knew she needed more from me. I went into her room and looked at her. Sitting on her bed so frustrated. So frustrated with Liberty. Deep inside probably frustrated with me as well. I start off telling her that I know it's not easy being the oldest. We've had this talk before due to me being the oldest & relating to her frustrations at times. I told her to look me in the eyes and hear me when I say 'Mommy, understands.' I wanted her to know that she was sitting in company of one who really did know what she felt like. When you start off with compassion, especially with someone like Lauren & I's personality, it gets attention. She looked at me, right in the eyes.
"What you do to the least of these you do to me." is what we began talking about. But this time I was not preaching merely to her but to myself as well. I explained that what our hands & words do to another that is smaller, weaker, poor or less in any way is what we do to Jesus. This is is how we treat Him. She was listening. I humbled myself and told her I was sorry I had not been patient with her & that Jesus was watching mommy too, and how I treated her was how I treated Him. This is the same with her and Liberty and all people that are smaller, weaker than she. Then God brought to mind a demonstration I saw a mommy use on her kids. It's a blog I follow and in one of her post I was touched greatly by this lesson. I told Lauren I would be right back. I went into the kitchen & when I called her in there this is what she saw:
An egg with the name of Jesus. She looked stumped as you probably do too. Then I explained to her "This egg represents those who are smaller, weaker, poorer or less in way. Remember how easy the shell breaks? You are bigger & stronger than this egg. You have the power to hold & protect this egg or you have the power to crush it. All the smaller ones that drive you crazy represent this egg and yet what you do to them is what you're really doing to Jesus." I had her attention. She nodded. I then asked her to pick up the egg and smash it on the counter.