My husband picked up a pretty cool hobby while I was pregnant with one of our more recent babies. Tree climbing… but not like when we were kids jumping from branch to branch… more like climbing a rope to the top of a tree. As he was doing all the research and beginning to do it, I was a little envious. My growing belly would not allow me to partake in this new found hobby.
This may surprise you- we’ve been married almost 10 years. We have six kids. This means I have pretty much been pregnant half our marriage. I just accepted that a lot of these activities I will not be able to do for a while. So, I don’t even have a list of things I want to do when I no longer have a baby growing in my belly.
Well, recently my husband pulled out the climbing gear to do a project, realized I hadn’t climbed a tree yet, and said, “Wanna climb a tree?”
Heck yeah, I did! I put on the harness and listened as he explained what each little gadget was and how to use it. Then it was time to go up the tree. As I was climbing, I actually considered not going all the way to the top branch.
My husband told me, “Just trust the equipment.”
If I am being honest, I have no problem with heights. (I can be a little bit of an adrenalin junkie. I’ve gone sky-diving three times.)
I also had no problem trusting the equipment. I had just seen it support him all the way up and down the tree.
I didn’t trust myself to properly use the equipment.
I am definitely in that spot in my walk with Christ. I trust Him fully (well that’s what I say anyways…) I know he can do all things. I’ve witnessed Him change me, give me peace, give me a new purpose, work in the lives of those around me.
But in some areas of my life, I trust myself first, and turn to God as a back-up plan…
I’m a parent. I love my kids with all my heart. I truly want what’s best for them… but sometimes I wish it were a little easier.
I’m quick to say I trust God with my kids. I know God has a plan for my kids. I’m excited to have a front row seat and witness that. However, that also means I have to do the not-so-fun parts of parenting- training, guiding, disciplining, instilling positive characteristic.
Let me just say, this is not something that comes naturally to me. I am a peacekeeper by nature. I want to just overlook issues and help everyone get along. That does not work with rearing children.
They have to be taught right from wrong. When they make a poor decision, we have to correct it and teach them why it is wrong.
A few days ago, my boys got caught watching something they were not given permission to watch on YouTube. So, I grounded them from the tablets. (They were already grounded from the television.) Seemed like a fair punishment (and even my boys agreed…)
But that didn’t stop them from telling me how much they didn’t like me, how unfair it was, and so on.
What did I do? I would love to tell you I stopped, prayed, and asked God for direction.
But I didn’t. I tried to talk to my boys.
Yep, that was a mistake. I ended up getting my feelings hurt by their words that were really just a reaction to a feeling.
I called my husband. Let me just tell you, God blessed me with an amazing husband.
When he got home from work, he had a conversation with my boys. I listened from the other room, and honestly, I was in awe over the direction of the conversation.
He started off asking them who taught them to tie their shoes. (mom) Who taught them to ride their bikes? (dad and mom) Who taught them to lie?
Wait no one…
Who taught you to be disrespectful?
“No one had to teach you that, son. It’s part of the fall of man.” He then went on to get out a Bible, read the fall from Genesis, and explain to the boys that sin is part of our nature. And that is was our job, as parents, to teach you right from wrong, to help you overcome the temptation to sin. But we all sin. We all fall short. We are going to mess up. But when we mess up, we have to make it right. (Seriously it was good. So good, there may be an early chapter book in the making.)
Parenting win, because of my husband.
Me? I went to bed defeated. Somedays I feel like I’m a rock-star of a mom! Somedays I wonder how I will survive another 18 years…
As I went to bed, I had an honest talk with God. I let him know I was defeated. I let him know I didn’t know what to do. And I got this conviction- Do you trust me with your kids?
Of course, God.
No, Renee. Do you trust me with your kids? You have to lean into me. Every second of everyday. Stop trying to do it on your own.
You see… I do trust God… but only in some areas… in most areas, I trust myself. I look to my own knowledge, my own understanding, my own abilities. It’s like I get in the car with God, but I want to be holding the steering wheel. I have to take my hands off that wheel and trust.
Do you think Moses had any idea what God could do when he came to the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army not far behind? If he had tried to do things his way, they would have all died. If he had asked God to only do things the way he wanted them, they may have survived (and returned to slavery I’m sure.) They definitely would have missed walking through the Red Sea on dry ground.
When Jesus’ disciples needed to feed the crowd of thousands, how do you think they would have solved that problem. Me, I would have sent them away. Or I would have prayed that someone would have enough money to support a large, large pizza delivery. But Jesus, multiplied what they did have.
We have to have faith to fully trust God, or we will miss out on what He is doing around us! Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways submit to Him!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.