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Friday, August 27, 2010

Rock Star Mom

One of the things that I have been processing lately is my parenting.  And what I have come to realize is....I am parenting the way I think others think I should parent instead of the way the Lord is leading me to parent. 

Let me explain.  I am a people pleaser and a perfectionist.  NOT A GOOD COMBINATION!  The last thing I want people to think about me is that I am a "horrible mother."  So...what I tend to do is take on every advise or look around at what others are doing and I "do."  But you know what?  Just "doing" is not changing my kiddos hearts.  God created everyone VERY different and what works for one child does not work for the other. 

I hate to admit that I used to me "one of those" who would sit in judgement when a child would be out of control.  I would think,  "If their parents would just (fill in the blank), then they wouldn't act that way.  Give me one day with that child and I will show them!"  Please tell me I am not the only hypocrite out there!!!

But now, after having one of "those kids," I realize that there is not a formula to cause obedience from our children.  There is not a formula because formulas don't take into account that everyone is different, unique.  But what we do have is....GOD!!  God is our creator!  He is the one that made each one of us.  So He knows what will work!! 

"Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."  ~Psalm 95:6,7

So what I am learning to do (and I say learning because I still struggle with this) is not to worry about those around me but to pour out my heart to God and ask him to show me how to guide Parker and Tanner to obedience and ultimately draw them into His loving arms.

Now, I am not saying that we shouldn't seek advise from our believing friends.  But what I don't need to do is to "do" just because that is what others are doing.  I need to bring that advise to the Lord, our Creator, and say, "Lord will this work for Parker or Tanner?"  I get lots of wonderful ideas from wonderful books, friends, blogs, etc.  But my personality is to say, "Oh good, if I just do this, then_________."

Well.....I am here to tell you that "just doing" doesn't work.  My sweet Parker has taught me that.  He is such a gentle spirit but a hard nut to crack.  Very deep, very complicated.  I am very thankful for Parker because he has reminded me that I need to be on my knees asking his CREATOR how to minister to his soul.

So, I want you to know that any advise you read on this blog is not for everyone.  Pray about it, ask the Lord to show you if the advise is something that will work for your family.  Now, there definitely are basic principles that we all need to apply across the board.  But weather or not you should let your children watch Star Wars is not one of them.  :)

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike;  Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord."  ~Romans 14:5-6

Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord.  And let's not judge one anothers heart.

Dear friends, I am sharing this with you today because this is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.  I have learned to give more grace when I see a mother struggling to keep her child under control.  So many times I have beat myself up thinking that I had done something wrong along the parenting road and that is why my children act the way they do.  Was is because I wasn't mentally there for them when my mom lived with us?  Was I neglecting my children as I took care of my sick mother?  Did I traumatize them when I yelled at them.  What about that one time I grabbed Parker's arm real hard.  Did I scare him for life.  Will he always resent me for that?  What about TV?  Do I let them watch too much TV?  Are they learning this stuff on TV?  Where is the root of it???  Where, where, where, I want to fix it!!

And what I hear the Lord telling me today is....."Whatever you do, do it unto Me and I will fill in the gaps.  There is grace in parenting.  Just follow me."


You know the truth is, people may think that I am a bad parent.   But what matters to me is what God thinks about my parenting!  And God thinks I am a rock star!

Lord Jesus, help me be a rock star mom for YOU today! 


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Go to the Mattresses

How many of you remember this phrase from the movie, You've Got Mail?  The phrase came from the movie, The Godfather and it means "all out war."

This is what we must do with sin!

Last night I heard our teaching Pastor talk to 900 college students about "going to war with sin."  It hit me to the core.  This is something that we all need to hear.

One thing he talked about was cutting out the very things you struggle with.  For example if there are TV shows that causes you to stumble, then why do you still have your TV?  Sounds extreme, huh?  Well, that is what "going to the mattresses" looks like.  Does that mean that you can never have your TV back?  No!  Maybe it means cutting it out for a season. 

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."   ~Eph 4:22-24

A challenge to all of us today:  "Go to the Mattresses!"

Be reminded that sin is very real and the enemy is lurking to trip you up today.

Ask the Lord to renew your mind today and let's go to war.

Thanks Greg Pinkner for another awesome message.
click here to hear the message title "The New Life."


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Most Important Things in Life

"The Most Important Things in Life Aren't Things"

This is what the speaker talked about at the family camp we were at this weekend.  I think the Lord is trying to tell me something!  :)

In my last post I talked about the book Living with Less so Your Family has More.  I have been pondering this for days now and God affirmed my thoughts this weekend at family camp.

You see, I was reminded at Family Camp that there is a battle going on for our kids' hearts.  The enemy would love for us to fill our lives with "things" to distract us from coming to the throne of God.  The enemy would love to keep us busy so that we don't even think of Jesus and the abundant life He desires for us to experience. 

"What good will it be for man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?"  ~Matt 16:26

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 
~1 Timothy 6:6-8

Contentment---The word “contentment” comes from the Greek word “arkeo” meaning “to be enough” or “to be sufficient”.

To be honest, we live in a culture that tells us that nothing is ever enough---you need the biggest and best of everything----which is impossible to do because there is always something bigger and better.

We are teaching our children the art of discontentedness by giving them "things" and catapulting them right into the enemies hands.

In reality what our children really want and desire is not "things."  It is US!  For they don't know yet that what they are truly yearning for is Jesus.  But God has given Paul and I the awesome role of guiding our children to Him and being examples of His character so that they will some day come to know Him and rely on Him to be their all in all.

My prayer is that God will be enough for our family.  May we not give in to the enemies schemes to take our hearts away from our Creator by busyness and "things." 

God You are all-sufficient.  You ARE enough!  May we not get caught in the things of this world but be content in your provision.  You are about our hearts, not our status.  Work on our hearts to be conformed to yours, oh Lord!  ~amen


Pictures of us at Family Camp @ Sharp Top Cove

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Living with Less

I have been pondering the issues of my last post and the Lord has revealed a lot to me over the past serval days.

Side note....I forgot to tell you in the last post that Ladd sugguests going and buying a used Bible or use a Bible that you already have that you can mark in. She said that she uses a different maker for each person in her family and uses sticky notes to write notes about certain situations to pray for with that particular scripture.

As I have been praying for Parker and his heart attitude, the Lord has revealed to me some areas that need attention. The Lord confirmed this by leading me to a book called Having Less so Your Family Can Have More by Mark and Jill Savage.

Our culture believes that bigger is better, but Jill and Mark Savage believe that being satisfied with less materially can allow you to give your family more-emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.

What gleamed from the book:
Make constructive sacrifices, but avoid destructive ones. Making certain types of sacrifices can benefit your family by freeing up more time for them. These include: comfort, sleep, hobbies, entertainment or recreational activities, and career pursuits. However, be sure not to ever sacrifice your relationship with God, your marriage, or your identity, because doing so would harm your family.

Okay, so where I am I going with this?

Well.....I have been convicted that "Living with Less" doesn't always mean downsizing your home but it is a heart attitude. It is a way of life in every decision you make for your family. The thing that Paul and I have come to realize is that we have fed into the "Having more" attitude and not teaching our kids to be content. When your child has a Wii, Game cube, every movie known to man, every toy ever created, their own room with a TV and access to it whenever, able to go to the pantry and get whatever they want whenever they want to get the food that they demanded at the grocery store.....something is wrong.

I hate to admit that this is where we are at!

We have made some major changes in the White household. I don't like to call them "rules" but rather "boundaries" we have set to point our children to Christ and less on the World.

If we sale our house and move into a smaller one (which we are waiting on the Lord's provision on that as a for sale sign sits in our yard) yet our attitues of "having" have not changed, then what have we gained? Sometimes the most important decisions are not the big ones but the smaller daily ones.

I will write more about this as God reveals. But for now I challenge you to see where your heart is. Whether single, married, married with kiddos. Are you following into the footsteps of the world or God?

Am I saying that having "things" is bad? Absolutely not!

Here is what wrote on the practical application of Mark and Jill Savage's book:

Our culture constantly says that you need more in your life: a bigger house, a newer car, better clothes, more activities. But none of that reflects what God says is most important: healthy relationships. Pursuing what truly matters requires living with less - not more - so you'll be free to grow closer to God and other people.

Pursue simplicity. Realize that living simply isn't about deprivation; instead, it's about determining what's truly important and discarding the rest from your life. Pursue inward simplicity by examining your heart often and keeping it fully focused on God. Pursue outward simplicity by expressing your values through your lifestyle decisions, such as: buying items for their usefulness rather than for their status, rejecting anything that's addictive to you, making a habit of giving things away, refusing to believe that you need the newest and the best, learning to enjoy things without owning them, developing a deeper appreciation for creation, resisting "buy now, pay later" schemes, speaking plainly and honestly, rejecting anything that oppresses others, and turning away from anything that distracts you from seeking God's kingdom first in life.

This is still all very new and fresh and the Lord is still dealing with me on these very issues. I just pray that I would be silent enough to hear His voice and then follow.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Not perfect, but being perfected in Him,


Sunday, August 1, 2010


I was laying out by the pool yesterday reading The Power of a Positive Mom and watching my kiddos splash in the pool. I was reading Chapter 6: A Positive Mom is a Praying Mom.

Karol Ladd says, "Do you want to make a positive impact on the next generation? Become a praying mom!"


I am not saying that I don't pray. I do. But I often forget to pray for the very people I live with...Paul, Parker and Tanner. I can tend to only pray when a situation arises--crisis mode. Like a few days ago when we were at the pool, one of my neighbors and good friend told me that I should talk to Parker about what he was saying.

It is not important for you to know what he said but let's just say.....It sounded like something you would see on Dateline.

I mean what do you do? I pulled Parker aside and immediately started asking questions to get to the root of it, of why he would say such things. I reminded him of what God thought about what he said and then reminded him of how much God loved him and desires him to reflect His character.

You better believe I got on my knees that night and asked the Lord to help Parker make better choices. But the thing is, I don't want to react. I want to be proactive.

Yesterday a friend of mine reminded me of John Wesley's mother, Susanna, who was a devoted prayer warrior. Susanna believed very strongly in daily prayer and if she could not find a private place in the house to pray, she put her apron over her head as a sign to the children to be extra quiet, mom was praying.

Makes me want to go out and buy an apron! :)

I truly want to become a woman of prayer. Not only for my family but for those that God puts in my life.

Some suggestions from Ladd's book:

1. Set aside a time to meet with God

2. Find a place to meet with God without distractions. (Buy an apron if you need too.) :)

3. Set aside a Bible in the household for use as your family's "prayer Bible." Highlight the passages and promises for which you want to pray for you and your family. You may want to use a different color marker for each family member.

Here are some suggested verses that Ladd gives to help get you started.

  • Pray that they will come to know Christ and follow him (Romans 10:9-11)
  • Pray that they will be able to recognize evil and hate it (Psalm 97:10)
  • Pray that when they do something wrong, they will be caught (Psalm 119:17)
  • Pray for protection against the evil one (John 17:15)
  • Pray that they will be kind and forgiving towards others (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Pray that they'll have courage to stand up for what is right (Joshua 1:7)
  • Pray that they will have respect for authority (Romans 13:1)
  • Pray that they will chose wise friends (Proverbs 13:20)
  • Pray for their future spouse, that they will marry a godly person (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
  • Pray for them to submit to God and resisit the devil (James 4:7)
This morning I got out my "household Bible" and started marking verses for my family. AND I actually got up before the boys did to spend time with my sweet Father. It was so refreshing to sit out on the screened porch with a cut of coffee, my "household Bible," my journal just pouring my heart out to Him.
I encourage you to do the same. If you have to put a blanket over your head and tell your children that when you have the blanket over your head you are spending time praying with the Father, your children will grow to honor and respect that time. Who knows they may just grow up with a heart like John Wesley. :)