By Grace Alone

The real life struggles of a Christian mom

A New Life Verse July 30, 2009

I think I have found my “Life Verse.”  I’ve never had a life verse before, but I know people who do.  The verses are usually very inspirational, something along the lines of reaching the nations or future generations for God.  Good stuff, really.  My favorite verse thus far is Romans 8:1, but it didn’t seem to fall into the Life Verse category.

But a couple of weeks ago when I was doing my Bible study (an awesome study of God’s attributes which deserves many, many blog posts that I don’t currently have time to write), I came across a verse I’ve never noticed before:

2 Chronicles 20:12:  We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

Some context for those of you who don’t have 2 Chronicles memorized:  King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites are watching multiple nations of enemies coming against them in battle.  They know there is no way they can defeat this multitude.  Jehoshaphat calls the people together, and they cry out to the Lord, asking what they should do.  It specifically mentions that they are all standing before the Lord, along with their wives and children.   Can you imagine this picture?  Standing there, clutching your children to you, watching the enemy come, knowing you are powerless against them and crying out to the Lord for help.  (To see how it ends, see 2 Chronicles 20.)

This has definitely become my Summer Verse, if not my Life Verse.  For one thing, this verse is very easy to memorize.  It rhymes and has lots of 2’s in the reference.  And if there is one theme in my life right now, it is that I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to encourage my 5-year-old to not become a prideful Pharisee who craves approval and does all the right things only when someone is watching.  (It takes one to know one, and that kid is just like me.)  I don’t know how to encourage my 3-year-old to put his poop in the potty rather than in his pants.  And I certainly don’t know how to encourage my sister-in-law as she battles the most formidable enemy we’ve faced in a long time:  breast cancer.

I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on the One who is my refuge and strength, an very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).  He promises His perfect wisdom is ours for the asking. (James 1:5).  He hems me in, behind and before, and lays His hand upon me (Psalm 139:5).  When my eyes are on Him, I can choose to be overwhelmed by His love and goodness toward me, rather than being overwhelmed by my circumstances.  (With thanks to my summer Bible study leader for this last thought.)

I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.

 

Proverbs, Part 2 August 27, 2008

I’ve been reading Proverbs this summer and finally finished.  It was excellent!  (Of course.)  Here are some of my favorite encouraging and convicting verses from the second half of the book:

Proverbs 14:29:  Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Very convicting–the last thing we need around here is more folly!

Proverbs 15:28:  The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. I really stink at pondering how to answer.  I prefer to pour out whatever comes to mind.  I want to ponder like the righteous!

Proverbs 23:12:  Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. This one is for me and for my kids.  I’ve been praying for a verse for our part-time homeschooling next year, and I think this may be it.

Proverbs 27:14:  Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! I stink at waiting even more than I stink at pondering how to answer.

Proverbs 29:17:  Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. What a fabulous promise!  Did you see that, moms?!?  He said REST!!

Proverbs 30:5:  Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. What great truth and comfort.

Proverbs 31:11, 26-27:  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

I’ve been inspired by the Proverbs 31 Woman for a long time.  This month, verse 11 stood out to me with regard to my spending habits.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. Can my husband completely trust the way I handle our money and run our household?  Am I doing all I can to make sure he has “no lack of gain”?  Or am I adding to his stress as he works to keep up with my spending?  (Answers:  No, No, and Yes.)  What can I do differently to be more worthy of his trust and add to his gain?

 

Proverbs July 21, 2008

Filed under: parenting — Marissa Henley @ 8:10 pm
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A wise woman (my pastor’s wife) pointed out recently that there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, and perhaps we should be reading one a day each month. So in July, I set out to read Proverbs. I’m a little behind the one chapter a day schedule . . . probably on the two-month regimen. But it has been fabulous. I’m amazed at how the Holy Spirit has brought specific verses to my attention at just the right time. Here are some verses that have stood out to me:

Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understand, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Prov 2:3-5. Am I searching for wisdom from God or for earthly riches?

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense. Prov 10:20-21. For the sake of my children and others around me, is righteousness or foolishness on my tongue?

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Prov 11:28. I think you all know this is an issue for me.

A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly. Prov 12:23. This one has me evaluating what I write on my blog.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Prov 12:25. Feeling weighed down? I do often.

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Prov 13:1. I want to be receptive to my heavenly Father’s instruction, so I can teach my children how to grow in wisdom as well.

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Prov 13:3-4. Ouch and double ouch. That darn snooze button betrays me every time.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Prov 13:24. I’m sure this one doesn’t need explanation if you know I have a 2-year-old.

As you can see, there’s all kinds of good stuff there. I encourage you to read Proverbs with me–if you start now, you will have a head start on August!