Part 1 of this post was written on my heart and mind over the period of a few weeks. It didn’t as quickly translate to a typewritten post – hence the fact that these two posts are published together.
During this time, we have been preparing for the start of the school year and 4th grade. We anticipated this being a different year with our son going in to the upper grades – more independence, more accountability, and more work! Of course, as is my nature, that means that I want more order. As my one and only, he gets my undivided attention in this area – imagine his joy. ;)
The Lord quickened my heart again to that idea of letting go. That I was going to have to release the reigns and allow my son to work through a lot of these changes with less hands-on help from me. I’m still very much on top of things and involved – who’d you play with, eat with, anyone get in trouble, what’s for homework – that kind of stuff. Uninformed and letting go are two very different things. Being up in his business is my job as his mom…at least at the ripe young age of 9! While my husband and I are still there to guide, direct, and encourage him on the path, the Lord sort of told me to guide – not grab his hand and drag him down the path!
So, I decided if I’m letting go, then I’m making sure that God goes with him. We are talking public education here – God isn’t enrolled in school, but we can sure bring Him with us! We have been more diligent about daily devotions and preparing him to defend his faith. We’ve been doing studies on creation (www.answersingenesis.com) and trying on an ongoing basis to educate him against “millions and millions of years ago.”
The night before school started, we asked our son what were some ways he could shine his light for the Lord in his classroom. He said that he wanted to be respectful, kind, and be an example to others. Not so shabby…proud mom moment…he really is a good kid! We have been urging him to be more others focused – to remember the world doesn’t revolve around him. One of the pitfalls of only child hood.
In praying for him and with him, the Lord brought to mind these verses in Philippians Chapter 2…
3Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.16 Hold firmly to the word of life.
In my mind, they are the perfect verses for him to cling to this year as he tries to shine his light. We printed the verse out, highlighting the words in bold, and put it in the front of his school notebook. We shared the verses with him and let him know that we would be praying these verses for him. Whenever he felt he needed to be reminded of them, he could look to them for encouragement. They are posted on the refrigerator door and we pray them together, as well. We are teaching them, talking them, and walking them. (Deuteronomy 6:6)
I commit to pray these verses for him everyday. As I practice letting go (just a little at a time) and letting him spread his wings and find his own place, I find such comfort in these words. In v.13…God is working in him, giving him the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. We, as parents, can give him that instruction – but God is working in him to do it…that is amazing!
God is working in me too. This verse has ministered to me and made me remember to practice these values – not just teach them. Especially the not complaining part. I’ll let you know how that goes…especially when he doesn’t pick up his socks. :)