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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Thoughts on Thanksgiving and Parenting

Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas decorating is in full force, but I am still enjoying some sweet Thanksgiving memories.

  1. Preplanning via texts with my daughters about who’s bringing what. I love that they are funny, capable women who can multitask with the best.
  2. Fixing the dressing for the forty-sixth time with the love of my life who is also a great cook.
  3. Playing card games with the grandkids and visiting as we play a heated game of Hand and Foot.
  4. Sitting around the table with people who mean the most in the world to me.
  5. Watching Matt take the hand of the nearest family member and walk them to the kitchen for some tea or chocolate cake anytime he feels like it. With profound disabilities, he still knows he can count on them for the good stuff.
  6. Sitting with family in front of the TV after dinner to cheer for our favorite team.
  7. Kissing them goodbye as they happily go back to their busy lives and Don and I prop our feet up and have a quiet cup of coffee.

We enjoy our daughters and their husbands. They are people we would choose for friends even if they weren’t family. When they were growing up, we weren’t their friends. We were their parents and sometimes they didn’t like us.

Now I watch them parent their own kids. They laugh, they scold, they tease, they counsel, but they don’t let go of the authority role parents have to maintain. They expect respect and they get it.

They take their parenting roles seriously. It isn’t fun to enforce curfews and bedtimes or to check on homework and grades, but they do it anyway because it helps their children succeed.

Walter E. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University, writes a weekly editorial that appears in our local newspaper. Today he wrote, “Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he’s poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for a child to do well in school.

Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep. Someone has to fix him a wholesome breakfast and ensure that he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers. . . . .If those basic requirements aren’t met, whatever else is done in the name of education is for naught.”

 

In her journal mother wrote, “We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our prospective; people who help us learn from their experiences.”

It is a fortunate child whose parents will do just that.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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