Sparrow Refuge

Sparrow Refuge

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Near the Altar

February 10, 2012

How can you raise good kids? Continually point them to their adoring Savior–then get down on your knees every day and pray that  the Lord will pour out His grace onto them.

When your sustained longings begin to parallel those of your Heavenly Father’s, you will (through the power of the Spirit) begin to do outward things that will benefit your children.

Yesterday, I discussed grace-filled parenting with a group of moms at Second Presbyterian Church (Memphis, TN). If you’d like to hear more about “How to Raise Good Kids” you can listen to my brief summary of Chapter 2 from Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson’s book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With The Love Of Jesus via my Chirbit page by clicking here:

Thanks for listening.

Map of Grace

January 25, 2012

On days like this, when I can’t focus, can’t pray, can’t listen, can’t read, can’t write, and can’t fold another piece of laundry—I go back to this tree. Somehow, it reminds me of a loving God who works in all things for His glory. It’s a map. My map. It’s my weird, crooked, sometimes overlapping, often dysfunctional, precious family tree. When I connect the dots of my lineage, I’m forced to see God’s hand in all things. Then I remember “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). His plan is good, friends. Whatever His plan is for us, it’s for His glory. His grace is enough and His “power is made perfect in [our] weakness” (2 Corinthians12:9).

When In Doubt

January 17, 2012

There’s a form hidden away in my closet. I go to it from time-to-time, when I need help remembering. I don’t understand what all the numbers mean, or why someone took the time to compare my verbal IQ to my performance IQ, but it’s still proof to me of God’s willingness to redeem His children.

When I’m tempted to doubt God’s provision, love, or mercy, I pull out that form and read through it until I get to these words: “Appears relatively weak in acquired knowledge and/or long-term memory… Suspect reading disorder along with mild to moderate performance anxiety.”

I remember the day I took that test, and all the ones before and after. I remember the red brick building and the metal railing that lead to the second floor. I remember the tall table and disproportioned chair that forced my elbows to sit level with my ears–making me look like an eight-year-old positioned for flight.

Don’t be nervous. Just do your best. 

The twenty-six-year-old piece of paper helps me remember God’s love for me, the gifts He’s given me, and His ability to overcome the trials of this world. Sometimes, I forget (in the busy moments between piles of laundry and child-rearing) that God has his eye on me, that He holds me in His hands, that He’s redeemed me and promises to do the same for my children.

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

Saying: Father, I long for my struggling children to be filled with your Spirit. Please, forgive me for pointing them to their need for improvement instead of their desperate need for grace. God, remind me of my constant need for mercy and your willingness to overcome my shortcomings. You are able, Father. Please grant me the patience and willingness to wait on you while you make my children more like your Son…and less like their mother.