By: Christi Grimm
Today was a challenging day. Too many late nights and busy schedules made for short tempered children, ugly words, and negative attitudes.
Who am I kidding?
I was just as guilty of the aforementioned! Needless to say, it’s 4:00 p.m. and I’m pooped! Even with the difficulties of the day, there was a moment of redemption.
It was 2:30 and my middle-schooler had still not finished his math. I had been patient, explained several ways, kept trying and even overlooked the attitude I was receiving from him.
Until I just couldn’t overlook it any longer. Ugliness hurled from his mouth. Resolution rose within me enough was enough. Upstairs he went, books in tow, to finish his work alone. Cleaning his room would be next, and all of this would be without a door attached to his bedroom—privacy is now a privilege. I had had enough!
After calming himself for a bit (and after cooling off myself), I felt the sinking feeling of despair and failure in my heart. I felt like a failure as a parent. Satan’s words began in my mind and for a moment I entertained them.
“Christi, you are an awful mom. Look how unhappy he is. It’s all your fault. If you were a better mom, he would get his work done quicker and he wouldn’t have an attitude.” Satan is well-versed with exactly how to attack. For me, many times, it is through my mothering abilities. He will tell me my children’s sinful nature is because I am not doing a good enough job.
The reality is:
My children are sinful because they’re human!
My children are going to do childish things—some of which are sinful.
Yes, I will pass down some of my sinful habits to my children.
I will also pass down all of the good things God has done in me as well.
The reality is my children will be Christ-followers BECAUSE of me and DESPITE me!
When I had had enough of Satan’s lies, I turned to the One who speaks truth and asked for direction. I had no idea what to do but felt strongly I needed to gather my children, starting with the middle-schooler, and lead them in a journaling session with Jesus.
I had no wise words to speak, no Bible lesson prepared, and no focused Scripture to point to. I just knew we needed to hear from Him. I talked with my son for a few minutes and when that started going awry, I asked him to begin writing down all the thoughts and feelings he was having about himself.
He returned a few minutes later with a paragraph full of words which broke my heart. Words all of us often think and feel.
I asked the Lord what to do next and He gave me the idea to have my son write a letter to himself from God speaking to all of those thoughts and feelings. My son balked at the idea and questioned if God would speak but after a few minutes he left the room to sit quietly with Jesus and write.
Half an hour later, he presented me with a beautiful paragraph full of God’s truth’s.As I read, verse after verse came to mind which correlated with everything he’d written. I highlighted each of these truths and talked about where God says those words in scripture. “You are not alone.” “You are created on purpose.” “You are deeply loved.”
My son walked away with his paper to write out each verse to combat the thoughts and feelings he was having.
The concept of writing a letter to himself from God helped scripture come to life. I could have recited verses to him combating the lies, however, it would have been void of the personalization God brings. When my son sat down and wrote out the letter from God, his heart was able to hear God’s voice.
I regularly practice this discipline of writing letters to and from God, however, I hadn’t encouraged my children to do this. This is a game changer in my parenting!
I encourage you to try it and see if God’s Word comes to life even more for you AND for your children!
Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats.