2 cents worth of wisdom | I AM Powered to Parent

  
Head’s up! Here’s my 2 cents worth of wisdom for the day (puns facetiously intended)

READ Proverbs 22

We all have Proverbs 22:6 ingrained in our biblical parenting toolkit, “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We moms wonder if & pray that we have helped set our childrens’ feet on the path that God would purpose for them-using scriptures to train & fashion their character.. .But, have you ever considered the FLIPside WARNING of this exact passage? There are 2 sides to every coin, after all. It’s all how you emphasize the phrasing: “Train up a child in the way HE should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” a completely different mindset, worldview, & outcome!! Contemporary culture is PCing parents to “spare the rod” (which spoils the child). “Woe to you, O land/household, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!” Ecclesiastes 10:16. “The rod & reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” The scriptures, especially the book of Proverbs, trains us parents in the way we SHOULD go, with the confidence that if we “discipline our children, they will give us rest” (Proverbs 29). 

Ok, 2 more cents: DISCIPLINE & PUNISHMENT. I learned this lesson many years ago, before I was married, in leadership training with Bible Study Fellowship. We were empowered to tackle a room full of toddlers which had a Little Tikes slide as the temptation/centerpiece in the middle of the classroom! I was absolutely amazed at how we could manage this crew of motley minis!! We navigated minefields of dysfunction & distress with these simple imperatives:
1. We walk up the steps & slide down on our bottoms. 

2. If you choose to walk up the slide, you will be invited to have a talk with the teacher outside the door. 

….singing the chorus of “Trust & Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST & OBEY“. ..we transition from bible story to playtime.

Jubilant toddlers form a line at the steps, except for Jack. “Jack, remember, we walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” | DISCIPLINE is training a child in the way he should go.

Jack smiles and proceeds to climb the slippery slope, upward. ..to the chagrin of eager bodies, exercising a new lesson in patience, itching to slide downward. There are no willowy threats in this room, no, “I’m going to count to 3”. ..and we don’t allow the insurrection to continue until all the adults are exasperated to the point of an emotional outburst and yelling, “DON’T DO THAT!!” when we have hit our own tipping points as little ones have started to cry & meltdown.. . | PUNISHMENT is giving an apt consequence for the infraction at hand.

Nipping mutiny in the bud, as the newbie childrens leader in training, I am assigned to practice the parenting lesson. Deep breath. I reach out to take Jack’s little hand in mine, smile, & invite him to come and have a chat. Outside the door, hearing the muffled  giggles of pure joy that must seem like a world away to the little pirate prince, I kneel to eye level with the now, wide-eyed Jack. The devious smile has flipsided in reverential fear. This is when we share understanding with the little rebel :: Logic + Love. “Jack, what is the rule for enjoying the slide?” Respectfully he answers, “We walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” “Yes”, I explain, “This way, everyone will safely enjoy the slide. I care about you and all the children here. I want you to be able to enjoy the slide. In fact, Jack, you are the oldest boy in this class. You could be the leader and show everyone how to use the slide safely! Are you ready to go back and try it again?” nod, nod. big smile!

Jack, a 3 year old, rose up to the challenge! He obeyed the rules of the slide & led his classmates, cautioning those who would start to backslide. He also came to trust my loving authority and would save a seat for me next to him at snacktime each week!! A disciplined son gives rest. 

What pocketful of parenting gems have you gleaned from this month’s 31 for 31 challenge in the Book of Proverbs? 

#IAMWise #IAMPowered #IAMPoweredToParent …COMING SOON to the I AM Powered Series

  

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Creme de la Creme

Salted Caramel Macaron with Gold
Salted Caramel Macaron with Gold

Over french roast (with a splash of cream & a whole lot of sugar), I shared with my bestie, “The Creme de la Creme is when you rise to the top of your circumstances (though they have not and may not ever change before our hair turns completely grey) by extending mercy to thoseespecially those– who do not deserve it & top it off with a whole lot of grace.”

Besties are blessed to share the best & the worst with each other, especially in the days when our ‘for better or worse’ circumstances seem like they can not get any worse. Of course, I should not be surprised at the attacks attempted at dragging me down the mountain when a new lesson is at hand. Then again, I am continually amazed at the perspective of The Great I AM, which is all together opposite my view from the bottom of a seemingly eternal crevasse. ..when He announces that I am being led to the next level, scaling the summit of Mt Everest. ..to the tip of the top we go!

cream: the thick part of milk that rises to the top. the part of the milk that contains fat. :a food that is made with cream. :a very thick liquid or soft substance that is rubbed into the skin to make it soften or is used as a medicine for the skin. ORIGIN: Welsh, cramen :scab or crust.

As a wordNERD I run to the dictionary, as a WORDnerd, I distill those words through the sieve of Scripture & The Spirit’s counsel. ..How are hardened hearts softened? What medicine can heal a whole life? What breaks through my hardened heart while wallowing in self-pity & self-preservation at the base of the cliff? It is that thrilling movie moment when the underdog becomes the hero with a determined thought that determines the triumph! Isn’t it funny how we reference the ‘worst of the worst’ as the valley, but in grammatical terms, that scene is referred to as the climax? That turning point is when we, IN our deepest pain & weakness, extend MERCY & GRACE to the one who pushed us over the edge. At that very moment, the crushing weight of rock & ice releases and we soar as a phoenix! He gives us a crown of beauty for ashes. In a single bound, we can even lift the lilting Lois in her downward spiral within this epic tale of life on earth!!

So, go ahead, mercifully forgive your brother (or sister) from the heart & bake that [pardon my French], jerk, his favourite treat with the finest of ingredients & celebrate Tuesday. ..just because. because of mercy & grace. Yours is the heart that will be thickened and rise to the top. Yours is the whole life that will be fattened-flavoured & filled-with the anointing oil of The Spirit of The Great I AM. Your love for the brother (or sister) who pushed you will be a healing balm that covers over a multitude of sins & promotes peace.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Peter 4:8-10

Creme de la Creme: THE VERY BEST. Synonyms: A-list, aristocracy [co-heirs with Christ] (Romans 8:17), best, choice (1Peter2:9-10), cream, elite, elect (2Timothy2:8-13), fat, flower, illuminati, pick, pink, pride, [a royal] priesthood (1Peter2:9), prime, royalty, upper crust.

I AM Loved therefore, I AM Love.

I AM Powered

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“I AM Powered”, by Maryann Wohlwend

available at AmazonBooks

Wandering in the wilderness of trials, tests, and temptations? In I AM Powered, biblical counselor Maryann Wohlwend walks alongside encouraging you through the valleys and edifying you toward the mountaintop. Journal your life transforming journey through 12 months of refining, renewed by the words of the Great I AM.