So, it is New Year's Eve already. Personally, the "resolution" thing seems like a set-up for failure. However, this year, in parenting, I have been encouraging my children to set goals. Goals for personal growth should be a high priority, in my thinking. Then I think of my kids and how they are growing physically, emotionally, mentally, cerebrally, intellectually, spiritually, without even trying. What an amazing gift, as a parent, to watch a child grow, and not only that, be excited about what is coming next.
Just this morning, I reminded one child about attitude. As I was talking, I was wondering about my own attitude lately. I encouraged her to go read her Bible or a devotional. She returned to my side with a smile and excitement. Coincidentally, the topic was "Consistency" in living what we believe about God. Who God wants us to be, shining that through our attitudes.
There have been countless incidences this past year where God has ministered to me through my children. I thank God for them!!
So, back to the goal of personal growth. I sometimes push myself to grow up more and more spiritually, thinking I can reach a higher standard. If I do this, this and this, maybe I will be a higher state of being somehow. I really don't think trying to grow works, now that I contemplate this. Just as a child cannot make themselves grow up, it just happens naturally. Growing up as an adult happens through experience, right? Spiritually speaking, I cannot force myself or think all these actions (things I do) will grow me up. That growth I seek can only come through the Holy Spirit.
John 14:15 - 18
Jesus said, "15 If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (NIV)
It is so hard to trust God at times, especially as a parent. Trusting that He loves me is a battle at times. What is there to love? So too, trusting that He has sent the Holy Spirit as Counselor and Comforter requires me to remember who God is and how He does not require me to be this legalistically-concerned agent, feeling that as a parent, I need to "make" my children understand the importance of going God's way. Though, He has required me to be a teacher and example, this growth cannot be forced down their throats, nor my own. His Holy Spirit continues to work in all His children. Speaking truth and love is pretty much where I need to focus. Resting in God - who He is and what He gives - brings peace.
My prayers are that God's love will prevail in us in the New Year. Being still enough, so His Holy Spirit will work in us and complete what we need in this spiritual exercise we call life. What a work-out that is...being still, I mean.
May God's love and peace reign in your New Year!! More love!!!! Happy New Year!