I think since Ive been praying and talking about parenting lately, that God has been giving me opportunities to put my words into action – or – either the invisible enemy is mad, and trying to push me to my limits! Either way, I realized that I need God to fill my heart with His stuff, and help me get rid of all the “other stuff” that was making my heart feel heavy.
I will just say that this past week has been stressful in the Miles household, not because bad stuff happened, but just because life stuff happened.
Good stuff. Ugly stuff. Sibling stuff. School stuff. Sports stuff. Schedules Stuff. Friend Stuff. Coaching stuff. Teacher stuff. Wardrobe stuff. Disrespectful stuff. Argumentative stuff. Marital stuff. Teen stuff. Boy stuff. Girl stuff. Lack of time stuff. Frustrating stuff.
It seems our “stuff” has been at an all time high!
I realized that I was feeling more anxious and stressed than usual, over our abundance of “stuff”. So last night, while driving home from a meeting, I put in my very favorite CD (peaceful sounds of nature, water and spa music), and began to pray. I just wanted, and needed, to talk to God about all this “stuff”.
I could not help but wonder why I felt a bit more frazzled than usual, out of sorts, maybe even a little cranky. And to be honest, I wondered why it felt as if there had been a “stuff” explosion recently!
Slowly as I prayed, God began to open my eyes to see that this “stuff” was exactly what I have been talking about lately on my blog. The kind of “stuff” that consumes the hours in our days as we devote every waking moment to nurture the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the children that God has placed into our care.
You see, Satan does not want us to focus on being Godly parents like we have been talking about over the past couple weeks. He does not want us to be encouraged and excited about raising children who love and honor the Lord. So when we devote every ounce of our heart and energy to being the mom or dad or grandparent that God has called us to be, we then become a blinking target for the enemy who does not want us to succeed in this divine calling of parenthood.
The enemy would love nothing more than to trip us up in our parenting journey. He longs to make us so busy, anxious and frustrated, that we begin to wonder if our efforts are in vain and hopefully choose to devote less energy towards this task. And rest assured, He not only wants to trip us up, but he will simultaneously try to trip up our children too, with more stuff.
John 10:10a says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…”
I firmly believe that there is evil lurking in a spiritual realm that we cannot see, first and foremost because Gods Word says so. However, I have also seen evidence of the effects of spiritual warfare in my own life, and in the lives of my family and friends. I have seen that invisible warfare, become a visible reality.
God has placed on my heart this week to remember that this thief does not want our houses; our cars; our jobs; our money. He could not care less about any of the tangible items we own, like a normal sneaky thief would. He wants our families. He wants our hearts. He wants our souls.
He wants our futures, and the futures of our children.
Satan is after families. If he can destroy marriages and children and families through all the “stuff” that we deal with in life, then his work is successful.
If he can fill our hearts with busyness, frustration, anger, bitterness, anxiety, or hopelessness as a result of having to deal with too much “stuff”, then eventually we will allow those emotions to get so strong that we stumble in our faith walk, resulting in an a domino affect into our families, which affects not only us and them, but generations to come. Its an evil, sinister plan, and its a reality.
Our world is under attack. Not only as a nation, but as a planet. We are in a horrific spiritual battle. A battle that impacts religion, politics, schools, communities, and marriages. So many battles that seem beyond our control to fight…but our families and children are something that we do have the power to fight for, and our God is more powerful than any “stuff” the enemy can throw at us.
Today, I am choosing to look at my “stuff” differently. Instead of just “stuff” that might create anxiety or stress or frustration – I am choosing to see my “stuff” from a new perspective.
When I face all my “stuff” in the coming days, I will continue to pray that I can see it as new opportunities for love, growth, family togetherness, learning life lessons, and the blessing of experiencing an amazing journey.
The second half of John 10:10 says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. God longs for us to experience His fullness, not just in our relationship with Him, but in our relationships with our families.
Everyones life is full, that is for sure, but I want my life to be full of His life, not just the “stuff” of life. From this day forward, I refuse to allow the enemy to use “stuff” to cause me to miss out on the joy and fullness that God intended for me and my family!
Who is with me?!