The Power of a Memory

“Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved.” Psalm 96:10

God is unmoved. He reigns. He is omnipotent and sovereign. I know the truth of this verse in my head, but my world has been in complete earthquake mode. All of the wheels typically fall off in May, but this Spring’s combination of heartache and stress have left deep purple circles under my eyes.

“I don’t care …fine!”

The door slammed. Round two, day four. The tween years are rapidly rushing in the gray hair. Life isn’t stopping or slowing down so I can devise a plan of attack. It’s exhausting my emotions and frying my nerves. It’s messing with the amount of sleep I depend on, and interrupting hours when the house used to be quiet enough to unwind. Some nights both kids fall asleep on either side of me- one afraid of something and the other sad about something and we are all too tired to have heartfelt talks about it before we fall asleep. 

“Butthole …butthead …” The “butt” themed names continued to trail off as one of my darling children walked away to read her book as physically far away from me as she could get …to roll her eyes and make faces. How dare I tell her she couldn’t have my phone. It’s so great when that happens in front of other people in a public place …it’s my favorite. There’s no willpower, role model or Bible verse that can stop hard seasons and stages. I remember slamming my door off the frame when I was their age, but somehow I thought I had done just enough good parenting to skirt the door slamming issue. The respectful children I have raised are no where to found some days. 

On top of parenting two tween girls, life has piled on injury, conflict, difficult decisions, and air thick with drama in unexpected places. Life is going to be life, and if I don’t find a healthy way to handle the curve balls, I will start slamming doors myself. Or end up with stomach ulcers. When all of the hard, sad, trying, annoying, hurtful and overwhelming stuff reaches a certain capacity, I come unglued in prayer. The floodgates of composure open and the tears stream down my face, relying on the power of Jesus’ name (sometimes at very high volume) to pick me up off of the floor. In those moments, He is faithful to remind me I already have Peace.

Remembering is an important part of our faith. Psalm 105:5 says, “Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles …” (NIV) Our memories, answered prayers, and miracles are powerful. Remember. As a motivation for and focus of worship and the basis for trust- remember how the Lord has remembered.” (NIVSB, emphasis mine.) Compassionate and merciful, He sees us, hears us, and is with us. In the suffering hidden behind our highlight reels, He is palpably present. Psalm 105:39 says, “He spread out a cloud as a covering…” (NIV) to protect His people (NIVSB). His peace shields our hearts. He is constant. 

Constant means unchanging, uniform, regular or invariable. It’s continuing without pause or letup. Who, or what, is unceasing? Can we rely on anything to be regularly recurrent, continual, or persistent? Only God is faithful, unswerving in love and devotion. As we ride the waves of this world, He remains steady.

The dark circles under my eyes can be a badge of honor or a burden of despair. In every situation, I have a choice. And I don’t always make it well. I complain, but Christ is constant. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV) The steadiness of Christ is in me. But I sometimes approach life like a roller coaster, strapping in and screaming when I’m scared and laughing when I’m happy. That’s no way to live. 

Through all of the chaos, Jesus remains constant. Unmoved. He sees me. He hears me. But I need to pause and remember the peace He died to give me. It’s not an easy world to live in. We will undoubtedly feel like aliens on our own planet many days. We’re placed purposefully by an all-knowing God who promises we’re never alone. Believe Him. Matthew 28:20b says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Happy Purple Circles,

Megs

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“Parenting Beyond the Rules,” Connie Albers.

“They remember the pictures your words paint.” Connie Albers, “Parenting Beyond the Rules”

Life is picking up speed as my husband and I begin to race through the pre-teen years with our two daughters. This book set me on track to stay ahead of the game. A lot of the topics Albers discussed in this book are in the beginning stages of development already. I see certain behaviors and feel equipped to peek around the corner in regards to how they may develop. Books like this one are essential to me, as I seek to learn more about myself and God as I parent the two beautiful lives He has entrusted me with. 

Albers takes us on a journey with our changing children, teaching us what to look for and how to understand and celebrate the life they are now beginning to live with more independence each passing day. When to let go is a struggle, and the information packed into these pages helped me attain a better perspective on what to let go of and what to hold onto.

I felt encouraged reading this book. I finished it in two days. It was a quick read, I believe, because it’s so applicable to “Raising teens with confidence and joy,” as the sub-title promises. I found myself looking back on my own life as a teen, and being able to pull from those experiences in order to grow as a parent who will need to help her teens through some inevitably hard seasons.

The book is broken up into twelve chapters, with a section in the back full of resources for parents who would like to continue learning and researching. The stories throughout the book help paint an accurate picture of the research and Biblically based advice. I particularly liked the chapter titled, “Monitor Your Mouth.” How easily it is to find myself slipping into an argument with one of my children. I felt convicted and equipped to speak life to my kids.

I highly recommend this book to parents of tweens and teens. I will keep it close by as a reference for the years to come.

“Your child might act as if what you say doesn’t matter, but don’t be fooled. Their confidence will be shaken-or increased-by what you say and how you say it.” Connie Albers, “Parenting Beyond the Rules.”

Click here to purchase your copy of “Parenting Beyond the Rules.”

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Prayer for Pre-Teen Parents

I fumed about my older daughter’s lack of timeliness, as I thrust the car door open and lunged in. Her little sister sat alone in the backseat, and worried tears streamed down her face. Stunned from watching her best friend run out of her sight, her seven year old voice was as panicked as her eyes were.

“I don’t know where she went!”

The engine hummed and the door hung wide open, as I tore around the yard. We called out her name and searched the hiding places. Flashes of missing kids paraded through my mind as I ran along the edge of our property. Stopped cold, I reached into my pocket to execute every parent’s worst nightmare. 

“My daughter is …missing,” I managed to verbalize, as I ached in prayer for God to protect her.

How had we gotten here?

That morning, I allowed the one thing that my daughter struggled with to snap my patience and leverage a war on her pre-teen emotional state. As she explained herself to the three police men parked at the end of our driveway that day, a guilt that I had failed her washed over me.

Click here to continue reading …