The "Committed" Mom?

I am blessed to be the mom of three wonderfully amazing children I call Brent, Lottie and Kenzie. But honestly, there are days when I am committed and days when I need to be committed! So here's where this little blog comes refuge- my opportunity to share with all who care, the joys of being a "Committed" Mom!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Never Stop Praying or You Might Get Hit with Dog Poo

Ive alluded to the fact in recent blog post that I have been struggling, that my family has been struggling.  Struggling with depression, struggling with finding joy and laughter again, struggling with my sin issues and struggling with my son's sin issues. I know I've mentioned it before, but all three of my children were adopted and all three are blessings from the Lord.  I don't doubt for a single second that He took great time, great care and hand picked these children to be in our hearts and lives forever.  Though not of our blood, these three kiddos couldn't be any more like us than if they had been. (Good and bad)
As an adoptive parent there have been several conversations my husband and I have had (and some in my head) over being qualified for this task He has given us.  Things like "Really God? I've got no skill training in this area- I've never owned a 3 and 1/2 year old before (I saw owned jokingly) how does this work? How do we do this? How do we handle that? But we understand none of them, not even the ones born through us, come with instruction books.  So on this front, we share the battle lines with ALL PARENTS in general.
But being an adoptive parent also brings its own special conversations, that biological parents can relate with but it's got a slightly different twist.  Conversations about failing our kids. We think things like "God if these kids were of my blood, would this be different? Would they be different?  Would this struggle be happening if they weren't adopted? Is it Nature or is it Nurture, meaning are they this way because of the way we raised them (screwed them up) or is this because of their DNA and how they are wired? (Screwed up on their own with history)
Don't get me wrong, I know we are all screwed up and none of us even come close to perfection in the parenting department, but sometimes I feel like I am really making a big mess of things.  I feel like these poor kids might have had a better life chance, if they were with other more spiritually mature parents. Parents who always know the right things to say and how to say it- not like a screaming, cursing fool that I can sometimes be.  Parents who are way more grounded in scripture and can whip it out whenever it's needed to encourage and build up. I am not saying this is right thinking by any means, but I am being honest here and these are the thoughts I've (we've) had.  Never in a million years did I have a thought that parenting would be easy, but I can also say honestly, I never thought in a million years that it would be this hard either.  Nothing prepares you for the big things,  when Satan throws those life crushing blows. There is often no warning of when he drops a giant bag of dog poo on you and lately my family has had an awful lot of poo dumped on us.
Here is what I understand with all of this so far, here is what God has been teaching me.
God is a good Father. (Matthew 7:11)
He is the creator of all living things. (Gen 1)
He loves all of His creation (regardless of how we feel about certain things- like mosquitos and murderers). (Gen 1)
He is the Alpha and Omega. (Rev 1:8)
He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whosoever shall believe in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
God loved us so much, in that while we were still sinners-He loved us and died for us! (Rom 5:8) All of us.! He didn't wait for us to get clean and make things right by ourselves- He took us dirty, wretched, and sin filled.
God doesn't want perfection from us, He is perfection for us.
He was the ONE and only PERFECT parent- and boy did His kids really screw up! (Gen 3)
So if God was perfect and His kids were screwed up, than why do I think my parenting should be perfect when I am so far from perfection?  Why am I so hard on myself in my ability to parent, when I am only able to parent out of what I have learned along the way and who He has wired me to be?  If I proclaim that I am not a fit parent for my kids, am I not blaspheming God and telling Him He was wrong to pick me for this job?  See this is where He gets me every time....Wait for it.....If I am trying to be God, why do they need to know Him? If I am trying to be everything to them and fix it all, why would they go to God?  If I am my kids savior, why do they need a Savior?
Basically- I need to get out of the way and let God do what God does. I need to allow God to work through me without trying to take over and be in control and believe me, I love to be in control (well the illusion of it anyway)!
My job as a parent is to guide, protect and pray for my kids. I don't know if you have seen the War Room, but that movie has inspired me in how I am now tackling parenthood. We are in war against the dark principalities out there. The evil that seeks to destroy and annihilate families.  The evil that wants to crush the hearts and lives of all who proclaim that Jesus is Lord.  But we have the power, God has defeated this enemy and in the end WE WIN with Christ.  The enemy can attack and he can cause some devastating pain- but God is always in control!!! It is our job to raise our voices and claim our families for the Lord. It is our job to pray against and rebuke the attacks of the enemy.
I have been in battle for my son's soul for almost 3 years now.  The enemy is a prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8), waiting to devour my son- using his weakness and his struggles to attack him spiritually, emotionally and mentally.  He thrives off knowing my son feels defeated and cannot get past his struggles.  My 12 year old son is ready to give up because he thinks, this is all there is.  He feels life will never get better and things will always be the way they are now. This son of mine, who was abused significantly the first 3 1/2years of his life, whose mother made a choice to give him up- but keep his brothers. This son of mine who was exposed to pornography at the tender age of 9 and who was introduced sexually to things he had no business being exposed to. The son who now struggles with some very adult issues that are causing a great deal of pain and problems in his life. His choices have lead to great heart ache and great sorrow on a level that I don't wish on any parent or family. But  I have a hope for my son and that Hope is Jesus!
I realized that after watching War Room, that I had a calling for 2016.  This year I am called to be a warrior for the Lord. Which is kind of cool for me because I always wanted to be a Charlie's Angel, but God's Warrior Chick is so much cooler! I am called to stand against this darkness and fight. (Eph 6:10-18) Some battles we pick, some we have no say in joining, regardless of that choice I need to put on His full armor and walk bravely into the war zone.  I am called to the battle lines and stand firm in my faith. I am called to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)  I am to come boldly to the throne of Grace and ask God to help me (Heb 4:16), not attempt to do it in my own strength. Most importantly I need to be on my knees and never stop praying for anyone and everyone God brings to my mind (1 Thess 5:17).
 I realized tonight just how important that last statement is.  When things were bombarding my family- when the bags of poo were being flung without warning, I was on my knees, face down, prostrate before the Lord. I was crying out to Him regularly and battling daily. I was a woman on a mission, a woman who vowed not to give into the enemy and allow him to steal her family away. I was journaling, I was singing worship songs, I was growing a deeper faith with each challenge that came my way. I felt strong, I felt empowered, I felt there was nothing that God couldn't do! And then....
The bags of poo stopped, see the enemy knew I was prepared for them so, he came with a new attack a more subtle approach. I got prideful, I was like "Yea- take that Satan- you can't take me! As for me and my house we will serve the Lord- HA! How you like me now Satan? I can take it, cause I have the Lord-mmmm!" Peace began to emerge, things quieted down and my husband and I started to breath again.  I didn't feel like I was constantly looking over my shoulder for what was coming next. I began to relax, a little too much. I started noticing I wasn't on my knees as much. I wasn't in battle so I was good. Life is good God, I am good. But I could hear the whispers, day after day- "Nina, come back.  Sit here with me, I've got work for you." I would smile "Alright Lord, I'll be there in a minute- I've got to rest awhile. I've got to decompress. (Facebook, mindless brain numbing shows and games like Candy Crush Jelly)" I was good at decompressing, I liked it. I didn't have to think to much, or worry to much. God continued to call and I kept saying "I'll be right there Lord, tonight I will make time....(zzzzzzzzz)" Well God maybe tomorrow.  My prayer life didn't stop, it just got...lazy. I got lazy.
What happens when we get lazy? Sneak attacks!!  I should have seen him coming- but I was not on guard. I was not prepared. I was not fully awake at the post and he sucker punched me with dog poo again!  I won't lie, I did get angry, really, really angry. Angry that it happened again, angry that it happened on my watch, angry that I was the one who let the enemy in. I could blame no one but me. I let complacency set in and take over. Complacency was Satan's subtle approach-His crafty secret weapon.  Complacency was wrapped in comforts that I liked and I fell for it! But what Satan didn't know is that I have a new favorite saying "Not today Satan, not TOOOOO-DAY!" and rather than beat myself up over it and shame myself (which is how I used to deal with things) I saw what God's lesson was for me and I asked for His forgiveness and I went back to my post.  I didn't stay where I was or wish I had made a better choice and whine about my mistake, nope I cleaned myself off and  I realized that when I stop praying, no one is protected and the moral of the story is: Never stop praying or else you just might get hit with dog poo.