Cords of Kindness

I am in the midst of Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself Bible study. This week is on kindness and goodness. Yesterday, I read about God's loving kindness to His people Israel and to us and how He so often expresses that kindness in terms of a loving parent. It's a beautiful picture that inspires me to be a more aware of God's Fatherhood and to be a better parent to my girls.

In the back of my mind the verse about the kindness of God leading us toward repentance kept playing in my head. I looked up the verse and it says, "Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" Rom. 2:4 (ESV) God does not force us to repent. He doesn't shame us to repentance (although He most definitely does convict!). He doesn't nag us to repent. He gently draws us to a place of heart change through kindness.

And I thought about my parenting. Am I trying to bring about heart change in my children using methods that can only change their behavior but not their hearts? Nagging, threatening, yelling, and punishing might bring about the behavior I'm hoping for, but my children's hearts won't be more tender toward God or more obedient to me because I do those things. I realize that I need to use kindness to motivate my children to want to obey. I need to use kindness to draw their hearts to me and to God. This doesn't let me off the hook when it comes to discipline. Leniency is not kindness!

So I'm asking God to give me creative ways to show godly kindness to my girls. It will reap rewards in all our lives.

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Carpe Diem

This week a hint of fall came to our neck of the woods. It wasn't full-blown fall, and I know it's only temporary, but it was a welcome change nonetheless. The girls noticed and wanted to spend much of their days playing in the lovely weather. And I let them. Which means I let some of their chores be postponed. So our house needs a little work.

I had planned for Friday and Saturday to be our catch-up days. We had no other obligations those days so I knew we would have time to both get caught up on our housework and enjoy the beautiful days. Until the stomach virus hit.

Joy had actually had a touch of it on Tuesday. Friday Grace came down with it. Saturday began with me feeling awful. Then Hope got sick. And then Faith. We were a rather pathetic bunch! And so the house remains cluttered. But I am so glad that the girls played outside earlier in the week. We can clean house any time. Such great weather isn't likely to be around for long.

I opted for the girls to have fun memories of playing stick horses in the back yard, eating a picnic lunch in the playhouse, and picking beautiful bouquets of flowers for me. One day I hope to figure out how to structure our time so we can have the memories and the tidy house. But for now I'll choose the memories.

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Who am I?

I a Jesus follower who is trying to teach my four girls at home and be a wife to my minister husband. I prefer reading to cleaning and have a crazy Border Collie and the world's best cat!


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