Be Careful What You Look Through

Your stories and prayers moved me so much yesterday. I have prayed and continue to pray these words for you and your families…“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19b.

My 13yr old son taught me something that has encouraged my heart as a mom and as a woman. I shared it as a D6 story recently during my D6 Conference video session. I’d love to share it with you. You can click on the the arrow (on my face below) to watch a 2-minute video of me telling it.

At first, this was a lesson I was able to share with Joshua as a D6 story, but over time it’s become a lesson God has challenged me to really think about.

Sometimes my perspective gets discolored and, like my mom, I don’t like how things look. I become critical of myself, my circumstances or people around me. There are days when my emotions and hard situations tempt me to focus on life through my human eyes, keeping me from seeing through God’s perspective.

The verse Joshua and I discussed from 1 Samuel 16 about man looking at the outward appearance but God looking at the heart, is a truth I want to apply- being careful what I look through before judging what I see…

when I look at the outward appearance of my circumstances,
when I look at the outward appearance of my decisions,
when I look at the outward appearance of my future,
when I look at the outward appearance of my kid’s choices,
when I look at the outward appearance of my choices.

I don’t want to judge how things will turn out just from my perspective. I want to see through God’s perspective – having hope even when things don’t “look” the way I think they should.

I am asking God to help me see, not just the outward appearance, but more importantly the heart of situations, relationships and circumstances through His perspective. I am being careful what I look through before I judge what I see, trying to view life through His “lens” instead of mine.

Are their circumstances in your life where you need God to give you His perspective?

Copyright 2009, Renee Swope – All rights reserved.

********************************************
Today’s AMAZING Mom Give-Aways

We’re giving a copy of Lysa’s TerKeurst’s “The Bathtub is Overflowing but I feel Drained” a “perspective-changing” book full of hilarious stories and great parenting insights. For another winner, we’ve got two tickets to the D6 Conference and a year’s worth of Family Devotional Magazines from D6.

Also, Girls Night Out sold out, so we’ve added a Girl’s Day out . I have two tickets to give away! It’s from 11:30am-2pm with the same line-up, including Kate from TLC’s Jon and Kate plus 8, Lysa TerKeurst, Ayiesha Woods, Jason Catron, and me (who by the way is quite nervous about speaking in front of 4000 people! Me, the one who told God I wouldn’t even get up and pray in front of 20 people 10 years ago.)

To be part of today’s give-aways, click on the words “comments” below this post. PLEASE include your email so we can get in touch if you win, your city, and let us know which prize you’d like to win in your comment !

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Everytime I read this story of your mom and the sunglasses, it really makes my heart skip a beat. Because I pray everyday that my son can be as Godly as your Joshua. He is only 2, but I know I am building a man of God. Thank you for continously sharing this wonderful story. It has really touched my heart.

  2. Thanks so much – I have been hearing that song on our local radio and can definately identify w/ it.

    Hanna
    Houston TX
    HL0517@hotmail.com

  3. Thank you for sharing that story with us. My prayer today is that I can become a mom who can use everyday situations and stories and turn them into D6 moments. I think throughout this month your blog may help put me in the right mindset and allow me to “train” myself to teach my children in this way. Unfortunately, before starting to visit your blog, these types of interactions and sharing the Truth with my children in this particular way, did not even occur to me.
    I’m praying that I can become a D6 mom. My children are at such an impressionable age (5,4,2,and 10 mos.) and they soak everything up like little sponges. I constantly struggle with frustration and impatience because I am pulled in so many different directions. I have little to no time to recharge my own batteries physically or spiritually, which results in raising my voice and inconsistancy in dealing with the everyday conflicts between the children. That is not the kind of mom I want to be.
    I am trying to be more purposeful in my interactions with them and am always trying to apply sound Christian parenting techniques. D6 parenting is now a goal of mine. Each day your topics have really spoken to me. I have been touched deeply by each one and have been refreshed and encouraged each day. I have been so blessed and helped by the D6 info and will continue to pray that I can become a D6 mom!

    nikki.shoemaker@gmail.com
    Plain City, OH

  4. Holt Family says:

    Everytime I read this story of your mom and the sunglasses, it really makes my heart skip a beat. Because I pray everyday that my son can be as Godly as your Joshua. He is only 2, but I know I am building a man of God. Thank you for continously sharing this wonderful story. It has really touched my heart.

  5. Thanks for that story. I know more times that not, my family is looking through distorted glasses. Sometimes they are rose colored sometimes they are just black. I think I need to add to my prayers to let me see without the distortions. What a great thing to remember.

  6. Hi Renee,

    I was one of the ones that left a prayer request yesterday. Amazingly, God has spoken to me today through your blog and has eased my worries. I will continue to trust Him and have faith.

    Thank you for your blog on D6. I live in the Dallas area and would love the opportunity to come to the conference if I’m chosen.

    Lori J
    Dallas, TX
    lj75189@yahoo.com

  7. Hi Renee,

    I sent you a prayer request yesterday for my daughter who has Ulcerativecolities. Your story spoke to my heart. I pray that God will work on my heart to see the future for Jennifer through his eyes. I know alot of times I’m looking through distorted glasses. I will trust God to show me how to see circumstances and decisions I need to make through his eyes. Thank you for sharing your story with us today.

  8. Sorry Renee I forgot to put my email address.

    Have great day and weekend!!

    kelemcar@aol.com

  9. gunningfam05 says:

    Renee
    Thankyou for sharing this.. I remember that from the Camp Berea retreat also.
    It is so easy to jusrge outwardly instead of looking at the heart of the matter.
    I think sometimes with my kids.. I need to step back and really look at what is going on.
    With 3 kids so young it is easy to get caught up in who did this to who.. instead maybe we should look at their hearts more….
    As a mom.. we sometimes focus on what is not soo important.
    Please pray that we can discern inward motives and focus more on changing the heart.. so that they will grow to love Him.

    Chrissy
    cgunning94504@adelphia.net

  10. Awesome story Renee. I pray that I can take off my distorted glasses especially when dealing with my children and see them as the gifts they truly are from God. I have had a tough time with them lately and I have been not so kind.

    I am physically and mentally and realized spiritually drained and what comes out of our mouths is what overflows from our hearts and my heart has not been too full lately.

    I am praying and trying to make a concerted effort to be more loving and understanding to my kids and trying to make a point of spending time with God…tho somedays it ends up being very little time and I flounder on what to study/read etc

    Blessings

    Kim
    chinarnrmom@comcast.net

    Unfortunately I live in bitter cold IL…bbbrrr

  11. Thanks for another great post. I tend to struggle with this sometimes. Your son sounds amazing. You are so inspiring. I wish that I was in the Houston area. 🙁 Everybody is going to have such a great time. I’ll pray for you. One day, maybe I’ll get to travel from Idaho to come to one of your fabulous events!

    cswartz12@msn.com

  12. I struggle with my “glasses” a lot. Hormones, moods, and just circumstances color my life and put things out of perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    Brittany
    Miller0712@yahoo.com

  13. gunningfam05 says:

    Renee
    I forgot to add my city:
    Littleton, NH

  14. Thanks so much – I have been hearing that song on our local radio and can definately identify w/ it.

    Hanna
    Houston TX
    HL0517@hotmail.com

  15. abbasdaughter says:

    Once again I am blessed in spite of my pain in my loss of my son.This devotional hit home again to me at what the Lord has been impressing on my heart.I have had to pray and tell the Lord that I do not know how to grieve let alone feel.I have sensed that God wants me to just let Him live through me and that he knows these horrible circumstances and how I should grieve and feel and live and that He will see me through and my family besides.Thanks for your prayers.My husband is struggling with memories from what he saw after and I can not help him and he can not really deliver me either from my thoughts and questions.We covet your prayers on our behalf.abbasdaughter46@yahoo.com

  16. My Journey to Hope says:

    So insightful!

    -Michelle
    Dallas, TX
    michellewallace04@yahoo.com

  17. Oh to see things through the lens of God’s love. Beautiful story.

    It was so precious to hear your voice again! :o) Love ya so much. Continuing in prayer.

    Blessings,
    Joy
    PS Even if your hair had been a little red…there’s nothing wrong with that – spoken from a true redhead :o)

  18. Thank you for sharing that story with us. My prayer today is that I can become a mom who can use everyday situations and stories and turn them into D6 moments. I think throughout this month your blog may help put me in the right mindset and allow me to “train” myself to teach my children in this way. Unfortunately, before starting to visit your blog, these types of interactions and sharing the Truth with my children in this particular way, did not even occur to me.
    I’m praying that I can become a D6 mom. My children are at such an impressionable age (5,4,2,and 10 mos.) and they soak everything up like little sponges. I constantly struggle with frustration and impatience because I am pulled in so many different directions. I have little to no time to recharge my own batteries physically or spiritually, which results in raising my voice and inconsistancy in dealing with the everyday conflicts between the children. That is not the kind of mom I want to be.
    I am trying to be more purposeful in my interactions with them and am always trying to apply sound Christian parenting techniques. D6 parenting is now a goal of mine. Each day your topics have really spoken to me. I have been touched deeply by each one and have been refreshed and encouraged each day. I have been so blessed and helped by the D6 info and will continue to pray that I can become a D6 mom!

    nikki.shoemaker@gmail.com
    Plain City, OH

  19. Anonymous says:

    Your blog is such a blessing to me. God bless you.

    Susan Lanthrip
    susanlanthrip@knology.net
    Mongtomery, AL

  20. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for your views. It always seems that you are talking about just what I need to hear at the right moments.
    God Bless You.

  21. Renee – your video was so great! Not only was it a great story, but you are so poised and beautiful on tape (and your hair is a beautiful color!) *grin*

    I am in Virginia, so I only can accept the GNO tickets if it includes airfare!!! But I’d love Lysa’s book otherwise.

    I’ll say again I love this ministry you are working with!

  22. Ack, I forgot to add my email and stuff. Have I mentioned how I love what you are doing this month? I run to the computer every morning to see what new thing is on your blog. It’s so exciting. 🙂

    wendio@suddenlink.net
    College Station, TX (between Houston and Dallas)

  23. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    So good to “see” you again. You soothe my heart with your words and perspective. Such wisdom from the heart and mind of a son.

    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Happy Weekend to you and yours.

    peace~elaine

  24. Happy Four says:

    Renee, your blog continues to be such an encouragement.

    I would love to attend the D6 conference. My city would be Charlotte.

    Blessings to you.

    thegrossmans(at)carolina(dot)rr(dot)com

  25. Joanie Butler says:

    Thanks for this story; it provided a reminder that I greatly needed today. This day started off on a really bad note. The pain and hurt that I have felt all day b/c of an angry and unjustified attack have greatly effected my view of life, and indeed I have allowed the events of this morning to rob me of my peace and joy.

    I’m off now to pray that God will forgive me for allowing this incident to cause me to block the Lord’s voice from my life today.

    Although I know better than to wallow in self-pity, I am human and when I am attacked I forget to turn the other cheek.

    Please pray that I will be able to speak words of love and restoration to my DH and show him the unconditional love that Jesus has shared with me.

  26. Chatty Kelly says:

    Renee – your video was so great! Not only was it a great story, but you are so poised and beautiful on tape (and your hair is a beautiful color!) *grin*

    I am in Virginia, so I only can accept the GNO tickets if it includes airfare!!! But I’d love Lysa’s book otherwise.

    I’ll say again I love this ministry you are working with!

  27. Renee,
    Your sunglasses story reminds me of the Bible passage that states, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. I think that we can see what sunglasses we’re wearing by slowing down and listening to our speech. I’m hoping to continually refine this area in my own life and begin to decrease comments that express worry, discouragement, frustration, and impatience toward my children and husband.
    I would love the opportunity to attend the D6 conference and receive the yearly devotional. I live with my husband and 3 young children in Metamora, IL (near Peoria).
    Thanks for the Godly perspective today.
    MMERoth@aol.com

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your blog posts!

    Jacki
    Bolivar,MO
    jackiedge@hotmail.com

  29. I think I have read that story on your blog, but it is a good reminder. Just moments ago my husband and I were talking about adding more children in our future home through foster care adoption. We were talking financial, logistics ect…what an exciting time for us…but a gentle reminder of looking at it Through God’s eyes…let Him guide my heart and decisions!
    smarklow@gmail.com
    Shannon

  30. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    Thanks for answering God’s call to pray aloud and speak His word through your life.
    I would love a copy of Lysa’s book. Thanks,
    JD at jdav7@aol.com

  31. I have lots of trouble with the lens’ on my heart. It’s hard to see things appear so difficult and trust that God will make good come of them – and even harder to see your children faced with those hard things! We’re trying hard to put on our spiritual armor so we’re ready when the bad things come. My three-year-old daughter loved our Advent devotions so much that we’ve added a scripture learning activity to supper each night, and we’re hoping that it will help us know God better and be prepared for the times ahead. I would love to win the family devotional magazines because I’ve never really done those until this past Advent, and it’s something that I’d really like to know more about. While I have my own quiet time and we do that individually with my daughter, our son is almost old enough to begin to participate – 20 months now – and I need to learn more!

    lehrerin@charter.net

  32. Kristy Baca says:

    I love your blog and it is such an inspiration to me as a busy mom of three. Sometimes I wish I could see myself through God’s eyes when I have pulled into my driveway for the 50th time midway through the day. I could only imagine what he would say to me! Thanks for all the encouragment you give, you are a blessing!

    K Baca
    bacakris@yahoo.com
    girls day out!!

    I LOVE Jon and Kate plus 8!

  33. Renee,

    I posted earlier today, but my 12 year old daughter told me earlier tonight that she would love to see Kate at the conference. Please add us to that drawing.

    Thank you,
    Lori J
    lj75189@yahoo.com

  34. I'm so glad you guys are giving away more tickets. I've talked to so many people who were bummed when they learned it was sold out and they hadn't bought their tickets. I can't wait to see you there!
    Paula G.
    <
    I loved the video!

  35. Wrinkled Shirt Ministries says:

    I'm so glad you guys are giving away more tickets. I've talked to so many people who were bummed when they learned it was sold out and they hadn't bought their tickets. I can't wait to see you there!
    Paula G. <><
    I loved the video!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Just stumbled upon your site today … can’t wait to look further. Thank you for what you do.

    Erika Smith
    els12@twcny.rr.com

  37. Anonymous says:

    I have really enjoyed today’s devotional.I a am person with a very low self- asteem! This makes me very hard on myself.From now on i pray i can start looking through God’s perpective instead of my own corrupted thinking!Please pray for me.I know god’s plans for me are to have hope and a future,- I praise god for this! ksn

  38. forgot to post my e-mail It is ksn196640@yahoo.com Thanks!

  39. Thank you so much for opening your heart to me and women everywhere. Your daily insight into God’s word has been very encouraging. Lately I have been struggling with a deep depression. I have been looking at myself through the world’s eyes focusing on my faults and failures. I know that God does not see me this way, but knowing and truly believing is difficut. Your web site has helped me see we all struggle yet God has a plan. Thank you very much. It would be wonderful to attend the conference however I live in Oregon. The book would be wonderful also. My email is vinnyraven@q.com God Bless.

  40. dear renee thank you so much for your encouraging words this morning I a am a mom of two boys that we brought into our forever family from Guatamala they are 6 months apart both being 8 and all that goes with being two active boys i have been ill recently and my energy level is not quite there. I know God has given us two great gifts but the challeges of raising boys can sometimes be quite overwhelming I would love to read your book about the sink and the drain sometime it has been hard to find and i can’t always take the time to order. Please pray for my energy level so that i can be the mom these boys need my husband is a great father and i am blessed to have him sincerely ruthie

  41. Your son is wise beyond his years. Wow.
    thepadens@cox.net

  42. What a great story. I always hope and pray that I can pass faith on to my three boys. This is a lesson that I pray my boys will understand one day. Also one that I know I need to work harder at. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. You are always opening your heart up to us. I have learned so much from you. I have heard you speak before and I think you are an amazing speaker and can handle an auidence of 4000.

    God’s Blessings,
    Nicole
    jnwbeg@comcast.net

  43. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! This morning I'm preparing to Pray with other mothers for my children –
    2 in college – Senior & Sophmore;
    2 in High School – Senior & Freshmen;
    2 in Elementary school – 6th & 4th

    Keep encouraging us!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,

    I am a grandparent who two small grandchildren. I have a grown son, who doesn’t God or HP mentioned in his home. But I tell him won’t it be better than what they hear now. I am not installing my views and issues.
    I am learning too. I want them to question and see my concept and service to God.
    I was touched. This is a very important service for church, parents and grand-parents.

    Thank you!

    Gai1
    Garrettsville, OH
    gailwolff@mac.com

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