Abiding

I’ve shared a lot of stories lately of ways I’ve helped my kids see God in everyday lessons and apply His promises in their lives. But I want you to know that I don’t always know what to say or see spiritual truths in every situation. It’s something I really want and something I’ve asked God to teach me and do in me. It started several years ago. After going through a desert time in my relationship with God I came to a point where I wanted more of God. I wanted the life Jesus promised in John 10:10b. So, I aske God to give me a desire for more of Him. He answered! Now when I wake up in the morning there are three things I really want (other than a cup of coffee and another hour of sleep). I really want to see God. I want to allow Christ to live His life in me (Galatians 2:20) and through me. I want to hear Him speak to my heart, and follow His lead. I want to be an expression of His life on earth and in my family. So I pray, “Show me Lord, I’m looking. Speak to me Lord, I’m listening. And lead me Lord, I’m willing.” It’s my way of abiding in Him all day. Then I look for God and His activity in my life. I listen for His voice and direction in my spirit, my thoughts and plans. And I try to surrender my heart to His lead in each moment, each conversation, each relationship dynamic, etc. Now I don’t do this perfectly. I blow it all the time, and by 5pm I am sure God is thinking, “Renee, you’re not listening. You’re not looking. You’re leading again.” But when I do listen and look and follow, it’s amazing how God gives insight and wisdom. My friend Wendy Blight has a neat story about how she’s experienced this in her life as a mom, too. Here is what she shared with me recently:

One day after church our family took a drive to the lake.Moments into our ride, my two children morphed into creatures I did not recognize.It began as simple bickering that exploded into an all out brawl.As the volume increased, the distance between the creatures decreased, and they began to push and shove each other.When the female (older by four years) flicked the male creature, my husband completely lost his patience.He gave the female creature one and only one opportunity to apologize and forbid her from speaking another word until we arrived at our destination.She, of course, would not apologize and began to whine and complain why everything was not her fault.With no warning he pulled to the side of the road and ordered her out of the car.I thanked the Lord we were on a deserted road, near the top of a mountain, away from any other human life.

As I saw what was going on between them escalate, I prayed.At that moment, John 10:10 came to me, The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.I jumped from the car and asked my husband if I could take a walk with my daughter.He reluctantly acquiesced.

We walked over to a swing overlooking the lake.I began to share with her the verse God had given me.I spoke of Satan’s name, “Diablos,” meaning divider.I explained how Satan desires to divide families, and he commits his life to bringing all out assaults against families who love God and seek to make Him the center of their homes.

I did not want to frighten her, but I warned her how Satan goes after those who love God.I shared how I believed at this moment he was going after her.But then I spoke Truth to her.I shared that her heart belonged to God and had since the moment she accepted Christ as her Savior.I began to pray, praising God for who He is and for our family, standing in the authority we had in Jesus’ name and rebuking Satan and His power in Jesus’ name.As I was praying, I opened my eyes and saw the anger and pride pouring out of my daughter.Her stiff-necked, arched-back body went limp as tears cascaded in a continuous flow down her cheeks.She was broken, humble, and tender.Before my eyes, she morphed back into the beautiful young woman I knew.

It was an incredible moment in our relationship.How did this happen?ABIDING.I had recently committed my mothering to God.I had spent significant time in His Word, praying and studying, claiming promises and claiming Truths.As I invited Him into our family, my mothering changed.I was truly able to speak Truth in Love into situations without raising my voice, without “losing it.”Our home, our family began to change because God changed me.

 

What a powerful picture of what Jesus tells us in John 14:5, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” Wendy was able to bear fruit in her relationship with her child because she’d been abiding and seeking, and listening and following Christ.

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Win a copy of Wendy’s Book

Wendy is a dear friend, author and one of my teammates as a Proverbs 31 speaker. You can find out more about Wendy on her blog. Also, her first book, Hidden Joy in Dark Corner, is being released this month. I would love to give a copy away today so if you’d like a chance to win, please leave a comment below.

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. Wow, what a great example of abiding in our Lord. Renee, thank you for sharing how you welcome God into your life every morning. I love the way you surrender to Him

  2. I bet God says that I’m not listening quite often. I try but find myself leading more than I should. It’s a habit I guess, and I’m definately trying to break it!
    Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

  3. Renee, I am so encouraged by the words and experiences that you share. I am learning so much from you. Thank you.

    amseagroves@gmail.com

  4. That story brought tears to my eyes. I always enjoy reading these kind of stories were a mother listens to God for guidence in parenting. It is still something I am working on in my mothering my children. I ask God everyday to give me the patience and wisdom in raising my children. I do see the change everyday, but still have a ways to go 🙂
    Thank You Renee for sharing your wonderful stories.
    God Bless.
    Brandie Cortez
    brcortez0632@ymail.com

  5. This post gives me courage and a starting point. I too want to lead my children by the example that God has set but find myself failing miserably daily. Thank you for the insight into your family and into His word.

    Tonya K
    countingpirate@hotmail.com

  6. What an awesome testimony. I think I will need to carry a small Bible around in my purse. I have such a hard time quoting Scripture. I usually say, there is a verse that talks about such in such. I wonder what it actually says and where it is. By then the lesson is gone. I will get better.

    – Wendi (college station, tx)
    wendio at suddenlink dot net

  7. Thank you for your words today. This is something I am praying about – abiding in Christ. Allowing Him to take control and prune what needs to be pruned in my life and help me grow further as a mom, wife, servant.
    ml4estsmom@yahoo.com

  8. Renee thank you for sharing your morning prayer. I read Wendy’s post this morning and have had John 10:10 in my thoughts today. You both are an encouragement to me.

  9. I have goosebumps from this story. My spirit is so touched by this message. Thank You for sharing Renee and Wendy.

  10. Judy Dearing says:

    Renee thank you for sharing your morning prayer. I read Wendy’s post this morning and have had John 10:10 in my thoughts today. You both are an encouragement to me.

  11. This is definitely something that I need to learn more about.

    lehrerin@charter.net

  12. Kirsten Noll says:

    Renee,
    Your words are so inspiring. It’s like you know what I’m thinking and feeling and you show it everyday in your words! I look forward to your Devotions daily and appreciate how open and honest you are. Thank you for helping me Guide not only my children through God’s word but also my Single Mom’s group as I share your words with them on a daily basis. You are a true inspiration, Thank you so much!

  13. Oh Renee…this entire post is such a “God thing”…even to the offer of the book…no kidding!!!

    Sorry…I have to rush right now…taking my son to school. I did get your message late last night – thank you. I’ll ‘talk’ to you again soon.

    Thank you my friend.
    Love ya,
    Joy
    joybells@porchlight.ca

  14. I want to abide in Jesus all the time, but those moments with my kiddoes….When they start to bicker sometimes all my patience flies out the window.

    Thank you for sharing encouragement with us!

  15. JottinMama says:

    This is awesome:
    “Show me Lord, I’m looking. Speak to me Lord, I’m listening. And lead me Lord, I’m willing.” It’s my way of abiding in Him all day.

    Thank you so much for sharing that simple prayer with us. It speaks volumes to me. I’m going to make it my own prayer daily.

    And Wendy’s story is so encouraging to me. What an impactful moment she had with her daughter.

    Have a lovely day,
    Kate 🙂

  16. Oh Yes, I needed this today and I loved the story by Wendy and the verse from John. It’s a great reminder that Satan does love to divide and he has been quite a job on my family! I need to seek the Lord more on behalf of my children’s relationship. Thanks for your wisdom as always touches my heart and sparks me on!
    kimlord@comcast.net

  17. What a great reminder of what it takes to be a godly parent. Lord, teach me how to abide in You!

  18. Hi Renee.

    Thanks so much to you and Wendy for sharing your experiences on being a Godly mother. It has to be the most difficult role but I love it! Your prayers and stories remind me that God is the only one who can give me the words and actions to lead my family to Him. Thanks again.
    JD at jdav7@aol.com

  19. Stephanie H says:

    I was so moved today by the blog I am in tears…because God lead me to this today for a reason… I need God in my life as a mother of two children. I too want to see the change in my family and it must start with me…thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  20. Abiding–it just portrays such an awesome picture of comfort and relationship!

  21. Gods Student 4 Life says:

    What a beautiful was do deal with sibling rivalry. I hope to win the book, if not, I’ll buy it!

    Thank you Wendy!

    Melissa
    mggb75@gmail.com

  22. momagain67 says:

    Wow, got my cheeks wet with that one. I pray I could also be prepared to react in that manner. Thanks for sharing your prayer — it’s going on a note card for sure!
    pitkin5@comcast.net

  23. blessedoriginals says:

    thank you for another great post! my 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son have been going through this type of behavior here recently. i am going to try this next time it happens.

    many blessings!
    melissa
    blessedoriginals@yahoo.com

  24. Thank you for the encouraging post.
    God’s timing is always perfect.

  25. Heather Conrad says:

    Wendy has such a powerful story there! I too have asked (begged and pleaded) for God to guide me in the mothering department, and what an amazing transformation that takes place. Somehow the voice that exits my body has truly been “dripping with honey” – now that is NOT me! What an amazing God we have!

  26. What an amazing story. How quickly we forget God’s perspective on our lives, not to mention following His lead. I so desire to be a mom who does not react in anger, and a woman of God who is attached to the Vine. Thank you for your post and I can’t wait to dig into His Word and draw close. God bless.

  27. Abiding in His peace and love and letting it shine through us as we go about our earthly existence is, sadly, much easier said than done…that’s why being in the Word and prayer is so important! Great post!!!

  28. Thanks so much Renee for reminding me how easy it truly is to ask for God’s presence each day. As a mom of 4 young children, I often feel guilty that I usually can’t devote hardly any time on abiding in Him each morning as time just doesn’t allow…but thanks for reminding me that I can accomplish my desire of Him leading me throughout the day in a rather simple way too!
    Jenniferroskamp@gmail.com

  29. Again it is amazing how perfect your timing is with your chosen messages. I have been having the same sitations with my children unfold in front of my eyes a lot lately. I believe that I am going to print out this blog and sit my family down and read it to all of them TONIGHT.

    Thanks !!

    kawalker@cmsinter.net

  30. Wendy Blight says:

    Renee, thank you for letting me share my story about Lauren on your post. I have been so encouraged by the sweet comments each of you have shared. Abiding IS the key to godly mothering. In our abiding God will provide EVERYTHING we need when we need it. Once we surrender to Him and begin to fill our well with His Word, His Strength, and His Power, we will see amazing changes in our lives and in the lives of our family.

    When I was asked to speak at an event on Mother’s Day, I asked Lauren what I could share with the ladies about how God had changed me. And Lauren’s words brought tears to my eyes, “You just don’t yell anymore mommy!”

    Praise God!!

    Blessings to each of you,

    Wendy

  31. What a story! Parents need to hear how other parents struggle and make it through.

  32. Awesome story, thanks for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Kim / Ohio
    kimdillon@vernay.com

  33. The story today really hit close to home. I opened it earlier today but didn’t get to finish reading. When I got home this afternoon things were exploding between my husband and his son. I had to run out to pick up my son as I went down the road I prayed to help find peace to help me not to react but to think before we spoke. Praise to God things did calm down. It is so easy to get caught in the situation and react. When I did just sit down to finish reading it reinforced what I know I need to do. Thanks for showing that I am not the only one who struggles. I look forward to reading your column everyday. I am also reading the chronological bible it has really made a difference. thanks again ballfieldlady@hughes.net

  34. Wow! Wow! Wow! What amazing examples of abiding in Christ. Thank you for sharing your daily routine of looking, listening, and abiding. I am seeing the Lord daily, but am stuggling with continuing through the day when it becomes tough. Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you for posting Wendy’s story. I have been trying to understand my daughter’s bad attitude and why it is not changing. I talk to her all the time about letting the Lord take the emotions that are clouding her heart…but she doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit. I prayed this morning out of desperation that the Lord would provide me another way to pierce her heart on this issue. Thank you!!! I know it won’t be long before I am having this talk with her.

    Leanne

  35. Susan Lanthrip says:

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

    susanlantrhrip@knology.net

  36. What a powerful message. My family is currently facing difficult times – financially, emotionally, and spiritually – and this post gave me peace knowing that God works in all of us. “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” was the verse that came to mind for me. I used to focus on the first part, but today the last “for those who are called according to His purpose ” is what struck me. I need to focus on doing it His way, abiding in Him and it will work for good. Thanks so much for sharing!

  37. What a powerful message. My family is currently facing difficult times – financially, emotionally, and spiritually – and this post gave me peace knowing that God works in all of us. “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” was the verse that came to mind for me. I used to focus on the first part, but today the last “for those who are called according to His purpose ” is what struck me. I need to focus on doing it His way, abiding in Him and it will work for good. Thanks so much for sharing!

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