Friday, August 19, 2011

Journaling Notes on Matthew 7

How is the Matthew reading going?

What struck me tonight was this passage:

Matthew 7:7-8
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Let me give a little background before going specifically into why this verse stands out.

I'm going a little nuts here lately with the kids. In one sense, I'm so proud of them....they're getting complements on their behavior in public, and that's been a real blessing for Momma, especially, who runs most of the errands with them in tow.

My least favorite? The post office! Lines, lines, lines.

However, as I busy myself with selling and buying homeschool materials, and working through storage boxes of fall clothes to assess what the needs are, all without help........well, the precious kiddos are getting under my skin. (Mind you, this doesn't make them any less a blessing.)

For one thing, the endless hats, shoes, jewels, and Legos I pick up, are causing much blood to boil....sometimes spilling over into short yelling fits (mine, not theirs).

One thing has become clear: I must be consistent in having them come back and pick up their own items.  Being called back every ten minutes to pick up a shoe or a piece of paper or a crayon, causes their blood to boil.....leading to strife between us.

I remember a Catherine Marshall journal entry in which she spoke about the uncompromising, non-coddling nature of Jesus Christ.  Knowing this aspect of Christ's character helped her deal better with strife in her home. When you're working toward godly goals, there will be strife. She learned to deal with it better internally, so it didn't undermine her determination to raise godly children.

We must be kind in our dealings with children and apologize when we're not.  Our Bible/prayer devotions serve to point out our own iniquities so we can pray about them....thank goodness. But in raising our children--whether we're perfect in our parenting delivery or not--we can't back down on the principles.  This is especially true when we're sure a child is developmentally ready for what we're asking.

Five-minute pick-ups every hour have been instituted to help with tidiness, but I still call them back for items that might cause someone to trip.

Then there's this: I'm still getting used to the differences between girls and boys. Namely, that girls are whiny or tend toward this. (Adult women can be whiners too, evidenced by my own whining here on this blog right now. :)

My 2-year-old still suffers from allergies and perhaps that's most of it; she's been whiny for at least two months. Her sister, 4.5, can be similar, but it's more due to her stubborn nature.

Their whining takes a lot out of me! I'm still learning how to deal with it. Ignoring is best when they're not sick, but it's not always easy to determine the source of the whining. For example, is Momma busy on a project and failing to cherish them, or are they just sour about not getting their own way?

Some things must be done, and since parenting support is pretty much non-existent here, we plug away at necessary life tasks on our own. My aunt watches the kids once a year for a short date night, but other than that we're running solo....especially since she began spending winters in Florida two years ago. She has four children of her own to whom she lends her support.

Husband is home in the evenings now and that's been a major adjustment for me. No longer do I have time to unwind from my day with the children....either through nightly writing or quietly working on chores. His work day has him leaving at 7:00 AM and returning about 7:10 PM. Saturday he works 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and then he's off until Monday morning, which allows us to have family outings every weekend again (parks, orchards, nature centers, lake beach, etc.)  That part is a blessing!

But, husband is a people person who never desires alone time. Though I love him dearly and appreciate him, I needed that alone time. I have to give up sleep to get it now, which never works when you mother four children on your own. .

Now getting back to the Matthew Scripture.....

This Scripture about asking, seeking, and knocking reminds me that no aspect of my life is too small to speak to my Father about. I can pray about the whining or the untidiness or about the curriculum or the fall/winter attire......all of it. And not just once. I already pray about most things once, but what's wrong with continuing to pursue an issue with the Lord? Nothing! I can release it from my shoulders as often as I need to.

So, after all that whining (sorry!), I come to the heart of what Jesus is saying to me, personally, in Matthew 7: 7-8:

Keep pursing the Father about difficult areas! His answers will come completely, suddenly, or they'll come we're ready to process them. Many of his answers are about change in our own hearts, and that requires a readiness on our part. God, alone, knows when we're ripe for growth.

So, what is the Book of Matthew saying to you these last few days?

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