Purposefully Made

“We are a product of our past but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”  -Rick Warren  The Purpose Driven Life.

My daughter came home one day from school very upset and crying.  For several months another girl at school seemed to love to gossip and talk about her which she would just let roll off her back.  I know for a fact she had tried to make peace with this gal more than once and I was really proud of her for it because I know that with her being so much like me, it really bothered her to be talked about like that when she had tried to be decent and cordial to the girl.  However, on this particular occasion she was extremely hurt and affected by her words.  She shared with me that this gossip girl had been saying nasty things about me and the fact I had been married three times.  I knew that this day would eventually come.  I knew that at some point, my children would suffer the consequences of my mistakes and being teased or put down for it was to be expected.   This is not a situation that every child will face.  This is a situation exclusive to the families that are not considered “normal”.  This is what children face from broken homes and it breaks my heart because the situation is not their fault but they still have to suffer the consequences.  I’ve talked before about the best we can do for our kids in a blender is be as stable as we can in this “not-so-stable” situation. I talked with her and told her how sorry I was that she had to be hurt like that, that our situation, our family is what it is.  We absolutely cannot change the past but we can definitely look to God to shape our future.  I told her that I am secure in who I am today and have grown and learned so much more about who I was created to be through all the heartache and pain.  All I can do is be the best mom, wife, and christian woman I can be from here on out.  I have been honest with her about my mistakes and talked with her about making better choices when it comes to marriage and relationships.  I told her that she should never let them make her feel less or that something was wrong with her because,  most importantly,  I reminded her that God created her with a purpose in mind and she should try and strive to fulfill His purpose.  (Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”)

I was able to really talk to her about these things also, I too, have been made to feel that way.  I have been excluded, looked down on, and made to feel ashamed and less than others.  I felt like that up until I realized that not only had God forgiven me but I had to learn to forgive myself.  Please read a previous blog post about forgiveness if this is an issue you are struggling with about your past entitled “New Year Old Past”…    Don’t ever forget that God made you for a purpose too!

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The Integrity of Potting Soil

ImageI have some new spring flowers to plant so I went to a brand new hardware store that just opened a few weeks ago in our community yesterday.  There were about 10 workmen working on building wooden displays just outside the store for their gardening area and in the middle of all the cords, saws, wood, and men was the display of potting soil.  I went inside and got the young sales girl to walk with me outside to help with which type I should purchase.  After deciding, I tried to pick up the bag, which was wet from the rain for the last several days as well as weighed about 40lbs.  She volunteered to carry it but she struggled more than me.  Finally she said I could go in and pay for it and then drive up closer to get my soil.  After paying and driving my car up to the curb, I walked back through the work zone, and struggling, managed to hoist the wet bag to the car.  Struggling again, I got the car door open while balancing my burden on one propped up leg and finally dropped it onto the front seat.  I literally worked up a sweat!  I became more and more angry on the drive home. There were 10 or more men working right there, some were busy and some stopped to stare even, but not a single one offered to take less than a minute of their time to put the heavy bag in my car for me.  It really got me to thinking about integrity.

Is it just me or does it seem that boys aren’t raised to have integrity these days or to be gentlemen.  We have talked with our kids, particularly our boys about having integrity.  We have explained that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.  We have done devotions and family prayer time on it as well.  I really want my boys to know that being a gentleman means conducting yourself with integrity.  We also have a young teen daughter and the things boys have said to her or around her were unimaginable in my day.  Oh I am sure that issues and topics haven’t changed all that much but it seems that there are no boundaries or respect in society today.  It’s the “it’s all about me” or “if it feels good” mentality.

Now think about what potting soil is used for…  It is to create a safe nutrient rich environment in order for plants to thrive and grow to be their best.  That is exactly what I want to do for my children.  I want to be what they need to help them flourish.  I want them to automatically do for others.  I want them to see opportunities, even those small gestures such as carrying a bag of potting soil and take them without having to think about it.  I want it to become part of who they are, not because of how others will view them on the outside but because of who they are in their heart and in their spirit.  If more parents would really focus and invest time in becoming great potting soil for their kids just how much better an environment would be created for our children so they don’t just grow up to be adults but grow up to thrive and flourish.  Proverbs 22:6 NLT “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Heavenly Father, help me as a mom and bonus mom be the soil that my children become rooted and grounded in honor, respect, and integrity so that they will bloom and flourish into what You have created them to be.

“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.”  Dr. James Dobson