marymcleary

Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals


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Worship Will Open a Child’s Heart to The Father

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Attending worship service Sunday pointed the New Year in the right direction. The seasoned pastor with fifty plus years at the pulpit and nineteen or so grandkids spoke with authority about blessing future generations through worship.

We watch in amazement as our teenaged grandkids race to adulthood while we mosey toward our Twilight Years. Our parenting now consists of prayers for our daughters and their spouses who are in the thick of parenting in a complicated world.

As I watch them maneuver this slippery slope, I’m filled with gratitude because they do such a good job, but since I am “aged up” I know that sometimes well-raised kids from faith filled families still wind up like the prodigal in the Bible. They are deceived and become dissatisfied with what they have. This starts their journey towards the pig sty.

Praise the Lord, many quickly realize their folly and run back home where they are received by thankful families, but others spend a life time wallowing in slop. What about them and what about their parents who prayed over them, showed these guys the love of the Jesus and watched sons and daughters baptized as children only to walk away.

Sunday, while listening to the first sermon of the New Year I received a “heart whisper”. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

In John 10:29 Jesus tells us, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

What my heart heard was, “When parents show their children My love through worship the hearts of those children are opened to Me. I dwell in them and they receive the promise of eternal life. They may be deceived for a life time, but they will come Home to Me for eternity.”

Mother wrote in her journal, “The pressure of everyday life may persuade us to focus on the here and now and forget God. That is why worship is so important. It takes our eyes off our current worries, gives us a glimpse of God’s holiness and allows us to look toward His future kingdom.”

If you are parents of young children, take and keep your children not just in church, but in WORSHIP so their hearts will be opened to the Savior and their eternity will be secured. The world will try to deceive them and sadly it may succeed, but they will eventually run home to the Father.

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Doobie Brothers and a Birthday Thought

Recently one of our grandsons bemoaned what, in his opinion, were the unreasonably high standards his parents held for him. Because his parents are wise, they realize how small the window of opportunity is for raising a good man and are diligent in guiding him to achieve all of which he is capable, and they know even when parents have done everything right, they can lose their good kids to bad situations.

There are parents today praying for their prodigal son or daughter and claiming Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he/she should go and when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it.”

My brother was one of those kids who was raised right yet lived with lots of regrets. His birthday was last week so I had him on my mind. It wasn’t in a melancholy way; he was ready to go. His last few years were spent in a nursing home because of his severe medical needs.

It was a little before noon that day when I went to Lowes to grab floor polish and Windex. I was the only one on the cleaning aisle and all was quiet when over the sound system came a song from the 1970s by The Dooby Brothers, Old Black Water.

The lyrics along with some killer guitar stopped me in my tracks. Before a stroke left his hand too weak to cord, Mike loved to play and sing this song. I instantly thought of the time he tried teaching me the last part to sing with him. He played and sang perfectly, but I never got it.

After the piece played all the way through, the sound system shut off and it was totally quiet again. It could be coincidence, but I think coincidence is a messenger sent by Truth. My heavenly Father loves me so much He gave His only son, Jesus, to save me. If He would do that He would also send a coincidence. The message I received with it was, “Your brother is doing just fine!”

 Mother wrote in her journal, “As one’s eyes are more and more opened, one sees more in them and it excites wonder.”

Our children fill us with perplexity and angst, but they can also excite us with wonder. Pray for them 24/7. The world needs the people you’re preparing and God is always doing new things even in the lives of prodigals.


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Sometimes You Have to Plant Your Feet, Stand Your Ground and Raise Your Voice

Proverbs 15:1-2 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise uses knowledge, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

For me, the trickiest part of being a parent of young children was to know the best approach to discipline.  Fatigue and frustration sometimes caused me to react in anger that wasn’t justified, but there were times when a child’s behavior was dangerous and I reacted with an angry voice that clarified the problem and brought about a desired solution.

There are some people who mistake a soft voice for weakness and there are some who just don’t get subtlety. Sometimes, for their own good, you have to plant your feet, stand your ground and raise your voice. As a wiser woman once told me, that approach is fine as long as it isn’t done too often and is always done in love.

The most loving Father uses different methods to guide His children. He woos us with his love, puts up roadblocks against danger, and if we won’t listen, He shouts.

In her journal Mother wrote, “Anger is a strong emotion.  Often it may drive people to hurt others with words or physical violence. But anger directed at sin and the mistreatment of others is not wrong.  When injustice or sin makes you angry, ask God how you can channel that anger in constructive ways”.

Dear Lord, Today we pray for weary parents. Give them wisdom as they discipline their children. Amen


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Advice for Kids from The Rocket, Our Grandson

071Today’s blog post will be written by The Rocket, our eight year old grandson who is visiting for the week. He wondered if little kids needed advice, and decided to contribute his point of view on various topics.
Advice #1 – If you have a big brother, don’t be bullied. Say, “I’m tired of you bullying me. Let’s make up and be friends.”
Advice #2 – If you are having trouble with your dog, that’s a different story. All you have to do is give him treats every twenty-four hours. He will be nice. He will sit for the treat and you can toss the treat into the air and he will catch it.
Advice #3 – If you are having trouble at school with math or science, you need to ask for help. Don’t be afraid because mostly they are nice people.
Advice #4 – If you are having trouble with parents, and you are being disrespectful I don’t have advice for that because you need to obey your parents.
Advice #5 – If your parents tell you to clean your room, just pick up five toys per hour. They will be like, “What the hay, hay?” Watch TV until they come in to check then hop up and pick up five more toys.
Advice #6 –Most grandparents let kids do what they want, but mine are better than that. I’m nice to them and they are nice to me. Be sure to say, “I love you.”
Advice #7 – If you want to exercise and can’t go to a gym, make your own gym in your room. Make your own push up place. Have a place for pull ups and make your own running machine. I don’t know how, but hopefully smart kids will know.
Advice #8 – If you need advice for bike riding, just get on the bike and go downhill. Put your feet on the peddles and keep going. Do not wear flip flops because your toes will scrape and get messed up.
Advice #9 – If you need advice for skateboarding just put one foot on the board and push off with your other foot. Quickly put the foot you pushed off with on the board and, boom! You are skateboarding.
Advice #10 – It is important to learn how to read. When you come to a word you don’t know, just sound it out.
The Rocket felt kids needed advice on how to get candy, but his counsel included getting up at midnight to sneak in the kitchen and take it. I said, “We can’t use that advice, can we?” He replied, “No, I guess not, but that’s usually the only way I get any.”
The Rocket’s great grandmother wrote in her journal, “God gives us our time on earth to build and strengthen our character for heaven.”
From the advice he offered, I believe The Rocket has the foundation to become a man of great character. We’ll work on the candy part.