Hello everyone! Today you are treated to a guest post from my new, but dear friend Kelly. She’s an amazing writer, as you’ll see, and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for all her support, and also for allowing me to publish her work as I take a few weeks off to heal from having my new little baby girl, and to of course spend time with my ever-growing family! Enjoy, and remember to thank God for everything!
At our house, we are all trying to memorize Psalm 23 with our son for his Sunday school class. We are saying it with our prayers at meals, listening to the psalm on YouTube, singing it while we play, etc. It’s become a ‘thing’. (Note, I am so glad to say that this psalm is now the ongoing ‘tape’ in my head as I go to sleep. Gladly, it has replaced the song from ‘Frozen’ that used to haunt me while I tried to fall asleep. Elsa, girl, let it go already.)
Now, I’ve read this Psalm 23 before and I’ve seen Jesus as the shepherd it describes. But, today, I saw new meaning in this psalm. The study notes in my Bible shared that David wrote this psalm out of his own experience because he had spent his early years caring for sheep. As pasture animals, sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection. What struck me today was, if our kids are like sheep, they have a genuine and deep need for us. While this may seem obvious, without us, they would not have someone to show them love, teach them, help them understand how things work or protect them. As a mama, at times, I want to brush off their seemingly incessant requests or seemingly constant cry for, “Mom! Mom? Mom.” In contrast to how I act some days, the Shepherd would always hear them and always lovingly respond to them.
The psalm continues and shows that the shepherd or caretaker knows each of our “green pastures” and “quiet waters” that restore us. He was the one who made us; he knows us so well that he can help us in every situation because he knows what we truly need. As a parent, I pray that God would give me insight into my children so that I can know them as well as he does. If I truly know them intimately, then I can tailor all explanations, teaching and discipline specifically to them. I can understand their motivations and what encourages them if I study them.
In a child-parent relationship, our children learn to trust, to love, and relate to others from us first. As a child, they rely totally on us as their shepherd for their needs and, as they grow older each month, the ‘leash’ of dependence on us is let out a bit more to give them more independence. With us, they can grow in a safe environment learning how to manage more and more independence. If done wisely, we can teach them to transfer their dependence on us to the Lord as a model of their adult relationship in the Lord. One day, we will get to hand the shepherd’s staff back to the Lord when they trust in the Lord alone. Without training in this area, they will be ‘lost sheep’, so each time I understand my ‘sheep’ and help them to grow, they will be more equipped for the future.
By reflecting on these short notes in Psalm 23, I found deep and wide meaning to apply to my life. By looking at God’s word, I was able to see and hear sweet lambs who truly needed me and were asking for my help because they were helpless. It changed my mindset to see them for who they truly were, instead of seeing them as children nipping at my feet all day. I was able to hear their voices and meet their needs. I got to help a sweet lamb first start to learn to tie his shoes. I helped another lamb make a sunshine fan out of tinkertoys and I held a lamb when he hit his head. These are precious times and this psalm helped me see that. These are precious days for our little lambs and they are looking to us for their every help. As parents, may we prove to be faithful for this appointment as shepherd to our children.
Kelly Brinkmann is a writer, mama, intermittent exerciser, and hot tea lover. She makes art, paintings, pottery and assemblages with dryer lint with her young littles in her professional studio, Art & Souls Creative Studio, LLC. To follow her, see Facebook.com/ArtandSouls or see her artwork at artandsouls.com
Last post was about finding what unites us, and overlooking the magnitude of things small and large that seem to always divide us. And while reading through Romans Chapter 1 for a bible study, one verse really stood out to me. It was about God being revealed to all of us:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them.”
Now I’m no biblical scholar or theologian.
And I honestly don’t know what the official interpretation from the Vatican is on this verse. (Guess I’m a bad Catholic.)
I can only let you know what my own reflection was.
To me, it means that we all inherently know right from wrong, even if it is on a very basic level. God has given us morals from birth.
Don’t just take it from me; there is research that proves it. Just watch this adorbs video from CNN. Or google “Do we have morals from birth.” There are tons of examples.
We all have a piece of God inside us- He created us all exactly how we were supposed to be made. We’re all on our walk of life with His guidance, no matter how far along that path we are.
We all deserve acceptance and love from each other, simply because we are all made by God– every single one of us, no matter our clothes, religion, nationality, culture, customs, beliefs, or looks.
So next time you are in a disagreement, or just can’t possibly find a thing in common with an adversary, or if someone just plain gets on your nerves, (We all have those people in our lives.) slow down and remember that they are your brethren through the Lord.
We are all part of His family, and that is the ultimate uniter.
Thanks for reading, happy new year, and remember to thank God for your precious, special life today!
“He did not point out the numerous flaws, sins, and inadequacies of those around him…He sought common ground with people so that he could reach them, and teach them, and love them, where they were…He dressed like they dressed…He sought common ground.” Jones states in her beautiful book.
Cute post, and a great reminder!
Who knew a simple roll of toilet paper could provide so much fun?
John and I were watching the grandkids a few days back, and it was one of those times where everyone was a little grumpy.
We’d mowed the yard. They’d played soccer. Had been in a car and driven enough miles around central Florida to not want to do anything but be vegetative.
One-year-old Ryken refused to nap. He needed one. I needed him to need one. But after over a half hour of weeping and wailing, I relented and got him out of bed.
He wasn’t interested in toys. Music. None of the things that usually distracted him from a bad mood.
I had a momentary lapse of attention. He escaped into the bathroom and knocked the toilet paper holder down. Sent TP rolling across the floor.
It caught his attention.
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Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
- Learn about Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.
- Enlist the help of discipline.
- Focus on your end goal, and stay that way! Wants will come up, but always remember that your goal is more important than that new toy/trip.
Great info from Dave Ramsey!
Dave Ramsey posted a while ago 10 Things Americans Waste Their Money On, and they are:
- Credit Card Interest
- Deal Websites
- ATM fees
- Overdraft Fees
- Speedy Shipping
- Designer Baby clothes
- Unused gym memberships
- Premium cable packages
- Daily coffee trips
I agree that some of these are wasteful, for instance #1 and #4. There shouldn’t be any reason why you should be paying fees on things you could get for free.
My personal experience with the top ten are
- Credit Card interest – Since I have a balance transfer on my credit card, the company is trying to have me pay interest. I will be paying the remaining balance this month so that I won’t have to deal with that anymore.
- Deal websites – I don’t shop on deal websites, but I do occasionally take part on deals when it comes to getting cheaper quality clothing. I like to…
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It’s possible to live a life without debt. This is a huge part of succeeding with money. How you handle your money affects every area of your life, and learning how to handle it is vital to your happiness. As Dave Ramsey says, “your” money is really God’s money- you’re handling it for Him, so be sure you do a good job. There are several Bible scriptures that deal with debt, and none of them refer to debt as a smart thing to get into.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
So why are so many of us in debt? It’s just a normal part of culture. No one even thinks before signing up for a mortgage or financing a car. Everyone around us is doing it, and maybe your parents probably even guided you along the process for your first major purchase. It’s hard to know something is bad when you’re not educated on the topic, and for lots of us, it takes making these mistakes and living with the consequences to realize the massive stupidity. Also, we are often caught up in the instantaneous culture of wanting things
Now, Now, Now!
and even that is too slow for some of us.
But folks, the internet and social media may move at lightning speed, but your financial life is not going to. There are some areas of life that take old fashioned patience, focus, and delayed gratification to become successful at. Don’t let the get-rich quick-schemes, or the get-happiness-now ads fool you; you won’t make caboodles of money overnight any way you try, and purchasing a new toy via debt will not bring you happiness, not in the long term, at least.
Maybe your Christian background has taught you that money is evil, so you don’t think it’s right to worry about it. But it’s the love of money that’s evil, not the mere handling of it, or even the accumulation of money. Accumulation and handling of money is necessary for succeeding in life, it doesn’t make you evil.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Proverbs 27:23 Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds;
Next week I’m posting the details of my own debt free journey, so come back and read more!