Parenting When I Am Not One?

dcbab93ee74c1d117d3178dbe38c0452As a non-parent, you may wonder about me sharing about being a “prayerful parent.”  I understand your concern.  But, I am a parent to my Mom, to other’s children, to younger Christian women.  Because of this, I truly want to be prayerful when regarding these relationships.  They are precious to me.  They are important and well worth praying over. My mother has dementia.  My mother is very clear some days yet on those dementia-riddled days, she needs some parenting.  More than anything, Mama needs prayer.  Her mind gets so very confused, angry, out of control, and even fearful.  She needs one to love her unconditionally, to hold her, to calm her down, to ease her fears.  I handle her financial matters, paying her bills, and making sure she has fresh fruit and flowers, new nightgowns, clothing.  I did her laundry for years before I finally let the nursing home take care of that.  I keep her name written on her nightgowns and all else so she gets things back.  I try to keep her in touch with her two other daughters and her grandson by phone.  I hug her and assure her that she is loved.  So there are times I am her parent.  She is in my prayers all of the time.

I have taught children most of my adult life.  I have tutored children.  I take care of children one-on-one.  I may teach them reading, or math, or how to be kind, or to love gently, or just play with them.  I care about them and love them.  I pray for them.  I am a prayerful “other Mom” or “aunt” or “tia” or “Miss Linda” to them!  They know they are loved.
I have mentored several younger Christian women.  I pray with them.  I study God’s Word with them.  I may care for a little one of theirs while they run an errand or register for college classes.  I love them.  I pray for them when we are apart.  I am a spiritual parent to them and certainly am prayerful.You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.  Acts 2:28
God has given me a gift of parenting in ways I could never have imagined.  He has walked with me through deep forests when I knew not my way, yet He brought me into the light and I knew my way because it was His way.  God loves me through each relationship so that I am the best parent I can be at that moment.  He teaches me so that I improve just as “real parents” learn as their children grow, and from child to child.  Wisdom increases, knowledge abounds as we grow in the LORD.  God is the Only One Who gives us these gifts and walks us through the steps of prayerful parenting.  We need prayer for ourselves as parents.  We must not neglect the one who is parenting!You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.  Psalm 73:24 

LORD, I am so grateful that You have given me opportunities to be a parent in ways I never could have imagined.  You have allowed me to pray for each one and to love them with Your love.  As it is Your will, my Heavenly Father, bring those into my life whom You have chosen for me to parent and to pray for and over.  Your purposes are special and unique towards each one.  I am thankful that You use me in these ways.  May I be available when You call.  For now, LORD, thank You for giving me my Mama to love tenderly, to pray over, to take care of some of her needs, and to fulfill Your purpose for me with her.  May I always feel Your love flowing through me to her.  Amen.IMG_0053

Opening my Hands, Releasing

The LORD on high [is] mightier than the noise of many waters, [yea, than] the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.  Psalm 93:4-5

I am in awe, my LORD, of the beauty of Your earth.  From the mushrooms to the dew on the grass the small and often unnoticed … to the majestic mountains and the mighty seas.  I am in awe.  You have given me life on this earth.  I want to be a good steward of all you have given to me.  You allowed my parents to have me as their first child.  You have allowed me to care for my mother at her elderly age of 96 as she lives her days in the nursing home.  LORD, this week, I so struggled with my grasp on her, on the way I want things to be.  But she nor those things are not in my grasp.  I realized that a few days ago (once again), and began to open my hands, releasing the tight grasp I have on my mother and the need to have control.  She is Yours, my LORD.  You created her and have loved her with an everlasting love for all of these years.  You knew her before.  You wove her in my Grandmother’s womb.  You gave me to her for a period.  She truly never had me completely either, did she?  I was and am Yours too.  Since my grip has been rather tight on her, I realize, truly realize, I must give her back to You as she is not mine.  Yes, she is my mother.  I love her dearly.  She raised me.  She loves me.  She still knows me.  I thank You for that amidst all else. But she is not mine.  She is Yours.  She never was mine to own.  I held her hand as a child.  I knew her touch.  I felt comfort and security in her hands.  I think she feels that in mine now.  YET, I do not own her.  I never did.  I NEVER did.  That is so hard for me to say, precious LORD.  Tears are welling up as I type; the release is hard.  Painful.  So necessary though.  I must release her to You for You are her Husband, her Creator, her Maker.  You know the number of her days.  You know the hairs upon her head.  She is Yours, LORD.  She was never mine.  I just did not understand.  I am beginning to and will do as You wish me to do and be for her.  I am in Your hands too.  Walk with me, LORD, through these days, these times.  Please.  I know You will because You do.  I am sorry I held her so tightly.  Take care of her, LORD, yet while she is on this earth, and when You call her home.  I will take care of the needs I can do when You appoint them to me.  I  thank You so for providing this excellent nursing home and precious staff.  

Oh, LORD, she is my Mama.  I love her so.  Gently help me to open my hands all of the way that she is free of my grasp.  As I kneel before You, LORD, touch me and make me know that You are the One and Only in control, that the small and the large are Yours and Yours alone.  Amen.

He is the Lifter of My Head (@ Granola Bar Devotional)

The Lifter of My Head

 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  Psalm 3:3 ESV

Do you recall a time when you were young and someone you loved, looked up to, adored, took your lowered head and gently raised your chin with their hand?  Your lip may have been quivering, a tear running down your cheek?  That tall person lifted your head until your eyes met theirs.  You see their loving eyes and sense the care and gentleness they have towards you.  Your heart was touched by this one’s protection, love, reassurance, and care for you, just you at that very moment.
Slow down and remember such a moment, such a person as this.  Ponder the memory.  Sense the moment right now.

God, our Father, feels this way about us, and even more so.  God is our Shield.  He encircles us with His strength, His power, and His might.  He defends and protects us in ways we cannot even know.   …: he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.  Psalm 144:2 ESV

God is our glory.  He is majestic, deserving reverential love, awe, as we kneel before Him.   In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.  Psalm 62:7 NKJV  He lifts us up high.  As we stand in Him, let nothing in the world pull us down.  He sent His Son to die for us and nailed our sins to the cross.  Ashamed … we are not to be.  Standing strong in the LORD.  For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die.  Philippians 1:20 NLT

Lifting my head is looking up and seeing the Father’s glory, His reflection, His love.  His confident look is for me.  His touch is gentle and kind.  He created me and knows my potential.  He lifts me up.  Confidence is being built in me through Him.

Lifting my head helps me to see beyond my circumstances.  My head is higher than anything that is not of God.  None of that can control me when my head is lifted.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2 ESV   I can see above to the heavenly realm.  I can know that God, my Father, lights the skies for my way as I follow Him.  Fears are released and given no power for the LORD is the power.  “Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?”  Matthew 12:11 ESV

 LORD, I pray that each one of us seek You, the Lifter of our heads, our salvation.  You call us to come before Him in thanksgiving and praise.  We bow before the cross and ask for forgiveness, knowing that You have already poured Your grace upon us.  Abba Father, thank You for giving us vision to see beyond our current point in this life, past the pain and suffering whether of ourselves or of those in this world or both.  You know all and You call us to You side, lifting us from the miry clay.  Thank You, Sweet LORD.  We love You dearly.  Amen.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  James 4:10 NKJV

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This study is where my most recent Granola Bar Devotional blossomed.  Psalm 3 melded with my heart as only God can do; from the study, I shortened it and changed it a bit for the devotional.  If you missed that post earlier this week, you can find many devotionals @