the answer is yes

There are all types of moms out there. For years, I was the uptight, live-by-rules kind of mom. I confess that I was a wet-blanket sort of mom when it came to time-consuming, messy, inconvenient, expense-required adventures.  When my son came along (10 years after two girls) I realized that I was spending way too much of my time talking my kids out of things and saying no.

The Lord spoke to my heart about adjusting my perspective on my kids. He urged me to say yes as much as possible to my kids, without endangering their safety, integrity, or maturity.  At first, I did it SO begrudgingly. (Sigh.) Then it became such a joy to say yes!!  I have experienced a long-desired increase in intimacy with my teenage daughter through this adjustment. What do you know?  I have become a blessing to her by saying yes more. I have shown her that I respect her passions and her interests, and she has blossomed in confidence.

This morning, when I read a passage in 1 Corinthians 1, I realized that through this parenting adjustment, God was asking me to follow His example.  Check this out:

Do I (Paul)  plan according to the flesh like a worldly man, ready to say, “Yes, yes,” when it may mean, “No, no?”  As surely as God is trustworthy and faithful and means what He says, our speech and message to you (the people of Corinthian church) have not been a Yes that might mean No.  For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who has been preached among you by us, was not Yes and No; but in Him it is always the divine Yes. For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him.  (1 Cor 1:17-20)

Did you catch that? With Jesus, it is always the divine YES! He loves to say yes to you. When you ask for something, He responds to the heart of your request. He sees the deep-seated need and meets it in the best way possible. The outcome of His yes may not look the way you expected, but it is a divine yes nonetheless.  It will be exactly what you need.

The other gold nugget in this passage is that when it comes to the promises of God, the answer is always yes. When you ask the Lord for something that is promised in scripture, know that the answer is already yes. Think and behave as if you know the answer is yes. Allow a joyful anticipation to overrule your fear or worry.

Open your heart to receive it in His timing and according to His will. The answer is yes!

simple little lesson

Learned a lesson today… something so simple, even a third grader can understand it.

I was teaching a bible lesson to my daughter, and the curriculum suggested Psalm 37:4 as her memory verse for this week. She read it to me in her version, and I learned something new.

That’s what I love about being a teacher… whether I’m instructing my own kids or adults in bible study… the teacher always learns more than the student. I love that.

I know verse four as, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart.” I claim this verse in my life often… I want God to give me what I want. (I know, I’m so spiritual.)

My daughter’s bible read, “Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants.” (NIRV)  I paraphrased it for her, and as the words were coming out of my mouth, my heart opened wide to receive this new insight.

If you first love what God has already given you… then He will let you have the other things that you want.

So simple, even a third grader could grasp it.  It’s sinking in.

Thank you, Lord… for all that you’ve blessed me with. Help me to be grateful for each and every blessing and provision. I will wait patiently for the rest.

the desire of my heart

I was reading Psalm 21 yesterday. What a true psalm of praise. How can one read that, and not think of all the ways that God has saved, provided, rescued?

As I read verse 2, it was like a flood broke in my heart and the tears came pouring out.  “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. (NKJ)  I saw the absolute truth of this verse on two levels. Let me rewind a little to explain.

Nearly two years ago, the Lord began working in my heart as He posed a question to me. Would I be willing to have another child?  I had two girls, aged 9 and nearly 7 at the time.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. They were becoming more self-sufficient. We were moving into a new phase and I was loving it. Have a baby and start all over? No thank you, Lord.

Well, He persisted. Through one of my daughters, through the Word of God, through others. I knew He was talking to me.  But I have plans, Lord. What about the things that I desire, God? I decided that it was too crazy to move forward without some confirmation. I asked a friend to pray for me, but I did not give her any details. It turns out that she didn’t need any details from me, because the Lord was clear in communicating to her that a baby was in my future.

The more I prayed, the more it became clear to me that the baby would be a son. And the purpose would not be about me, but about blessing my husband.  I shared this news with my hubby several months down the road. It took some time, but we were finally willing to let God do what He wanted.

Within 10 days of opening the door for God to do His will, I became pregnant. We were in shock. God really meant what He said!  We were excited, but mostly scared out of our minds. Our life and family circumstances were not ideal for having another baby, but we tried to trust Him.

Then, the unthinkable happened. We went to the doctor at 11 weeks to hear the heartbeat for the first time, but there was no heartbeat. Our baby had been developing, but the heart stopped beating. He was taken from us.

The sorrow came. The questions came. The anger came. Was God messing with us? Was this some kind of sick test? Could we really trust Him after this? We wrestled and wrestled with these hard questions.  We cried alot.

Then the answers started coming. We realized that this baby…the one that we weren’t sure we were ready for…. this baby that wasn’t our idea…. this baby was ALL that we wanted.  We were sure that God wanted us to have a son, and now we desperately wanted God to carry out His will. No questions. No doubts. We wanted a son. Funny how a tragic event can change our perspective.

It took another 8 months before we got pregnant again. It wasn’t until we let it go that God was able to do His work again. This week we faced the one year anniversary of our miscarriage… and thanks to the Lord, the pain was softened, very nearly wiped out, by the growing baby in my womb. It was no coincidence that four days before the anniversary of our loss, we found out that this baby is indeed a son.

So back to Psalm 21:2. I’ll personalize it a little bit. “You have given me my heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of my lips.” Clearly, God has given us what we desired, what we have requested from Him.  No question there.  But the Holy Spirit led me a little deeper into this verse.

God has given me my heart’s desire. Not just granted my heart’s desire, but He actually gave me, planted within me,  birthed in my heart this desire for a son. It’s not what I wanted two years ago. It’s what He wanted for me, and He took my stubborn heart and transformed it in His loving hands.   He brought me in line with His will and led me to a place where I could say, “Yes, Lord.”

I not only thank Him for giving me this precious son, but I praise Him for giving me the desire to begin again as a mother. To add a new soul to our family. To bless my husband, who has given selflessly to our family for nearly 14 years. God is good. I think I’ll let him give me the desires of my heart from now on.

What do I want next, Lord?