When I began the year with this theme of fully focusing on God, the intention was that it cover all areas of my life. I started with areas that I knew needed some work and decided that I needed to take what I knew that God's Word says about that area and get practical living out that truth. All the while, trying to stay tuned in to Him to see other areas that need work and to not miss any opportunities to show Jesus.
Giving and our budget in general is an area that my husband and I both agreed we needed to get right before God. So this year, we made that a priority and got to work getting our budget in order and cheerfully giving out of the abundance of God's blessing. - It is important to note, because I believe this has been part of our growth process, that this is not to say that we are rich. In fact, my husband has been unemployed since Christmas and I only work part time. As you can imagine that makes taking care of a family and paying bills quite difficult, and honestly in the past when this has happened, it has been difficult. However, in the past I had been trying to figure it out all on my own. As I have been trying to put my focus upward, I have been reminded that everything I have has been given to me by God and all of it is blessing in abundance. Because He has given it to me, I can trust Him with it. What an ENORMOUS weight has been lifted off my shoulders!!! Seriously, I don't think I can remember a time not being stressed over finances. But now when that stress starts creeping in, I remember that I can trust God and then I do. Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am. Stress gone! Honestly, you should try it.
Oh, but that's not even all! Not only is the stress gone, but trusting Him means that I also trust Him to do what I believe He can do... for me. For a long time, I would hear stories about how God would provide for people by having others randomly and/or anonymously give them money. You know without asking for it, just giving it to them. I believed God really did this, but I believed it with jealousy not believing that He would do it for me. How long have we struggled with finances, yet He had never done this for us? Now there are two things I have to say about this. First, that I now see that it had never happened for us, because I never believed it would. Second, I can now say He has done that for us!!!!!! I knew that to say I was going to trust Him meant I had to believe He could and would provide in whatever ways He saw fit, and He saw fit to have that happen to us not once, but 3 times in just about a month's time!!! God is amazing.
Parenting - We all hope that we will be good parents and most of us are very intentional about being good parents. But just being a good parent wasn't enough. I want to be a biblical parent. I want to parent my children in a way that brings the focus back to Scripture. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because I believe that it is that important. Now, I am not saying that I have been the perfect parent in this last month, but what I can say is that there has been major change here. I have caught myself mid-yell and stopped to apologize to my children and start over the right way. Even more importantly, trying to stay focused on biblical parenting has opened my eyes to be able to see the root of problems more quickly and clearly. This has really helped in being more effective in discipline.
I've also been praying for my children on a regular basis. You may remember that I have chosen specific Scripture to pray for every person in our family. It's been really cool to pray Scripture over each of them. They not only know that I am doing this, but I have it out in the open, so my older ones who can read even know which Scripture I am praying for them. We have had great discussions about this at times during the discipline process when I have reminded them of the Scripture I am praying for them and what it means. I have to tell you that talking to my kids about Scripture and theology has shown me how much they really do understand, even with how young they are - just further proof that this has more to do with the Holy Spirit giving us understanding than it does our age, education, or anything else.
Have I said that God is amazing? Well, He is!
Last, but assuredly not least, God has done tremendous things in our marriage. One biggie - He proved me wrong. Now that may not seem like a good thing to anyone else, but trust me, it was a great thing! You see, my husband made some promises a few months ago, that in my anger with him, I refused to believe. The other day, it hit me, like a slap in the face - he's been keeping his promise. I was wrong. Intertwined with proving me wrong, was another biggie - the promise my husband has been keeping - which is to allow God to lead him in leading our family. It has been amazing. God has been amazing and I know He will continue to be just that. AMAZING!