The Second-Chance Mom (#jammed daily devo, day 152)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 152: Grace gives second chances.

“The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 (VOICE)

Oh, crap, she’s out there without a helmet on, again.June 1

“Lo! Put your helmet on!” I yelled out the window.

Tucked back on a cul-de-sac, I never wore a bike helmet as a kid, but we live on the corner of a busy road. Every car that zooms around the corner as they ride along precariously on two wheels and wobbly roller skates triggers me to double-check the front window for their whereabouts.

“Lo! Seriously …go get your unicorn helmet!” But even the fun and flashy helmet wasn’t swaying her independence on this particular day, so I began to countdown. Girl hates to be timed.

“THREE …TWO …ONE.” Still unaffected.

“OK, in the house!” I boomed, as I pulled her off her bike and walked her back into the house.

“MOM!!!!” she stomped all the whole way, and then started jump-pounding on the floor as I stood and watched.

“Does this ever get you what you want …ever one time …has this worked for you?”

Even the dog was watching her in wonder at this point. She took a deep breath, and as she looked at my eyes, hers filled up with fresh tears. My girl had returned to planet earth.

“Can I just have one more chance?” she asked, her fury of rage having been replaced by an expression of tender-hearted apology.

And that’s where my daughters get me, every time. I’m a second chance mom. And they know it.

“OK, if you put your helmet on, yes.” I granted, and out the door she flew to the tune of “I love you mommy you’re the best mommy ever.”

I want to be a second chance mom, because I live under the grace of God’s willingness to give second chances. Within disciplinary reason, my daughters always get a second chance, especially if they ask for it. If I can teach them anything about forgiving themselves, God has done something good with my life.

In the heat of disciplinary moments, pull out today’s verse: “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.” When little people and life frustrate us, it’s important to get out of our heads and into His Word. To understand why it’s so important to clutch today’s verse over our own plausibilities, let’s look at the second half of the it:

“Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 (VOICE)

Like putting on a bike helmet to protect our heads, putting on God’s Word and relying on it to cut through (the sword) the madness and highlight the Truth allows us to protect our souls …helmet-like.

“The helmet protected the soldier and, under certain circumstances, helmets provided a striking symbol of military victory.” NIV Notes 

Our victory relies on the Helmet. Maybe it’s uncomfortable. Maybe it’s not a habit we grew up with. Maybe it makes us feel uncomfortable and sometimes seems to cramp our style …but it’s worth wearing lest we fracture our skulls and leave the very stuff of our souls exposed to the darkness attempting to crack it open.

The Greek Word for ‘helmet’ is, perikephalaia, the protection of the soul which consists in (the hope of) salvation. The hope of salvation is Jesus. Through Him, we can absorb the Word. Through the gift of the Spirit that Jesus died to give us, we can remember and apply what we’ve read to our real lives.

Jesus is our Second Chance. He granted Grace to us on the cross. To be a second chance person, like Him, we need to put on the Helmet, and cut through to the Truth with the Sword.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for the power of Your Word. Thank You for the way parenthood allows us a unique way to absorb and apply it to our lives. We confess getting caught up in our own masquerade of ‘authority,’ and pray forgiveness from You, who truly and justly holds it all. Bless our lives to be full of Your Truth, and fortify us with the strength to stand on It firmly in defense. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Chance-ing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

 

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The Bench (#jammed daily devo, day 137)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 137: The wrong spot.

“Make your parents happy
 Proverbs 23:22

“Oh, no, MOM!” my daughter wailed, “our bench is gone.”may correction

We’d been stopping eat lunch on our favorite bench since she was just a little toddler. Things change and life moves …and so did our bench.

Today’s section of Proverbs encourages us to discipline our children. Every parent wishes for their child to make good decisions, hang on our every wise word, follow our rules, and respectfully make us proud.

But what happens when the bench moves? When they move away from us? When they grow up? What happens then? Will they retain all of the wisdom we’ve tried to instill upon them in the short time we’ve had them under our noses? Will our arms remain open as their lives drift beyond our understanding and control?

Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.” Proverbs 23:23

The above verse gives us three keys to parent with wisdom:

wisdom-  knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action. dictionary.com

When we tell our children the Truth, we are giving them the opportunity to digest wisdom. If we simply respond, “because I said so,” we rob them of the ability to learn how to discern right from wrong. When we go to God’s Word with our kids, He begins to move in their hearts. They will eventually figure out that we don’t know everything, nor are we entitled to make mistakes without apology. Honesty, humlity, and apology build a foundation for formative wisdom.

instruction- education. (dictionary.com)

It’s not only important for our children to hear the Word of God from us, but it’s important for them to hear it from their peers. A solid church family, Sunday school, after school program, youth groups, Christian camps …it’s important to let them learn the Word of God, and how to build a community of fellowship, too.

insight-an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding. (dictionary.com)

Sometimes, the lightbulb pops on mid-verse. After praying about a specific situation, the Word will open right up and address it. God’s Living Word is alive and active, and our kids need the savvy to navigate the pages of the Bible. We can help them build a solid foundation simply by reading a short devotion a day with them, and praying with them often.

When we teach our children how to go to God, it prepares their hearts to lean on Christ. They will make mistakes, and it will hurt to watch. Trust that He will always be after their hearts …making their triumphant moments all the more sweet.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for the applicable nature of Your Word. Thank You for helping us though life and leaving us with the Holy Spirit to help us interpret and remember what we read and experience. Forgive us for lecturing our children with our ways, and help us continuously point them to Yours first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Word-ing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Dream-work. (#jammed daily devo, day

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 92: Constant Rehearsal.

“Those who practice the law and teach others how to live the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19b

She began to beg for ballet when she was two, not once straying from her “pointe shoe” image-92dreams. Dance moves her, and her little sister, out of the house in active pursuance of something other than small-town life and small-screen apps. She believes in a dream too big …even for her …to fully imagine yet.

In today’s verse Jesus’ is addresses legalism. We know it well by the name of hypocrisy. It’s one thing to have a dream, but quite another to work towards it. We’re called, not just to believe in God’s Word, but to live it. That’s hard work.

Legalism-strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code. Merriam-Webster

“Following the letter of the Law while ignoring its spirit. ” NIV Notes

My daughter’s dream to dance is hard work. It’s sacrifice away from friends and after school activities …and all the criticism that comes on account of that from people that don’t understand.  It’s Saturdays and pieces of summertime spent in air conditioning. None of which she’d trade for a minute. Someday she’ll find out why God put this dream in her heart, but for now she just keeps chasing it. All dreams within God’s will bring us closer to Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetI don’t want to be a legalistic parent. I want to be transparent, and I want Jesus to shine through me so brightly that she can see Him and hear Him over me. He is the dream. To walk with Him is surreal. It’s hard …but it makes life, life.

Father, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You for His perfect honesty and transparency. Forgive us for dishonest moments bred of insecurity and fear. Strengthen and bless us to raise our kids in kindness and love, but with a firmly secure hand on Your Word and it’s discipline. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Practicing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Dance Shoes (#jammed daily devo, day 91)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 91: Always the right fit.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:14-15

The mailman ditched an over-stuffed white envelope into my mailbox, and onto my image-91ballerina’s feet the shoes went …for about two seconds. Too big …again.

“But I ordered a half size bigger than the ones that were too small!” I shared with a mom in the studio waiting room, “I am so confused!” 

Trying to find the right shoes for a decent price is very “holy grail-ish.”Guiding my daughters in a competitive sport has been a great lesson in faith. “Am I pushing too hard?” “Are they learning how to honor commitment?” “How do I teach them the importance of hard work without being too hard on them?” …and that’s just the pressure I put on myself.

Parents face many voices that attempt to convince, pressure, size-up, and compare them …and their children. It’s important to let God’s voice drown them all out. He created each of us differently, but lent the same Truth to guide us. In His living Word, we find His guidance, direction, and assurance. 

Today’s verses assure us that when we are walking in faith, our heals will not slip. Jesus walks with us, not someone we’re supposed to be or will become. The way to protect ourselves, and our children, from the comparative pressure of competition is to follow the instructions in Ephesians 6:14-15. Stand firm in the Word. He will defend us, and prepare us.

“Fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” ensures us that when we chase after Him, it’s a perfect fit every time …and we feel peace. Not just relief, but the peace that Jesus when to the cross to grace us with.

 My job as a mom is to make sure that I prayerfully consider whether the path my daughters’ are on will lead to His feet. Throughout all of the doubt that I’ve dealt with over the years, our dance family has been His evidence that we are on that “right path.” In a sea of pressure and drama, we somehow walked into a family. My girls glide across the stage to the tune of genuine support. Not just of their dance, but for who they are.

jammed-click-to-tweetI’m still trying to figure out how to order dance shoes for my daughters without ending up with a pile of shoes no one can use, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re on the right path.

Father, Praise You for fitting us perfectly in our shoes …in our lives. Thank You for placing people around us to encourage us for who we truly are …not who they want us or wish us to be. Forgive us for pushing others to be who they are not, and casting judgement on those who simply don’t know any better. Bless us to love those put close to us, and encourage them to stay in their lane as we hold tight to Your hand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Shoe-fitting,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Cookie Claim (#jammed daily devo day 2)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 2: Let’s Claim our Grace Space.jammed-day-2-image

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

“Mom,” my daughter informed, “don’t let Daddy eat these cookies …they’re YOUR
cookies.”

We looked at each other and laughed at the thought of her Daddy …our late night cookie monster …leaving nothing but an empty mug of milk and some special “Mommy’s Cookie” crumbs on the counter for us to discover.

Humble acceptance of Jesus is our claim to God’s great grace.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.” 1Peter5:5

James and Peter doubted Christ was who He said He was. Peter three times before the rooster crowed, and James despite relational brotherhood to Jesus. Their words of His acceptance endure through ancient text and into our hearts to comfort and assure us that He was …and is …and will be. They both quote Proverbs 3:34, connecting the Old Testament promises to their real-life experiences with Jesus:

God treats the arrogant as they treat others,
    mocking the mockers, scorning the scornful,
    but He pours out His grace on the humble.” Proverbs 3:34

Jesus didn’t endure humanity for the sake of a select few; or require grace to be earned. Humanity …we are the special batch.

 Jesus loved me so much that He died for me. And God loved me so much that He let Him. Let’s not take those sentiments lightly by embracing our inner critique. Throw it to the shadows, and claim our grace space. What could happen if we do?

Father, You are powerful to cover us in grace before we claim it. We praise You for Your justice and patience to love us more than we can ever comprehend. Forgive us for allowing our inner critique to deter us from claiming our space in Your grace. Bless our hearts with the assurance of Christ’s sacrificial love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

What keeps you from claiming your space within God’s grace? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

Happy Claiming!

#greatgrace17

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.