This is Kim.
Her drink is a homemade butter coffee (your guess is as good as mine… all I know is that Kim is really disciplined with her Keto diet).
Kim and I seized an ebb from the smoke in the skies to head out to the park for our chat. Before we dive in, let me share how Kim and I met (it has a similar God-orchestration such as how I met Hilary from the last Sips & Scripts).
At my family’s first-ever event at the elementary school— Kindergarten Orientation for my oldest— we walked over to see where his classroom was, and there was another family who was doing the same.
The boy in that family, my son’s soon-to-be classmate, looked an awful lot like my son: light brown hair, rail-thin build. We got to chatting and had the boys introduce each other.
Fast forward a little and the only way to describe the boys’ friendship is through clichés: they were two peas in a pod. In fact, they haven’t shared a teacher again in three years and yet they are still thick as thieves.
As you might imagine, the kids bonding meant that we moms got a chance to know each other. And to my delight, Kim holds many of the same values and parenting ideals that I do. In fact, she’s an inspiring mom to me because she turns every conversation with her kids into a learning opportunity, and I just love that.
So it came as no surprise to me that during our chat, Kim not only discussed verses that were important to her, but also verses that she feels are important to impart in her kids.
Like me, Kim has a storied past— we both felt that there were years when we de-prioritized God and gave priority to the things of this earth. Though God has forgiven her for all of her past choices, Kim has chosen to take those experiences and turn them into lessons for her own children.
TEACHING HER KIDS TO TURN TO THE WORD FOR TOUGH DECISIONS
“I lived in New York City for awhile, and housing can be tricky there. My roommate and I slept in bunk beds to consolidate space. She told me she wanted her boyfriend to move in… and sleep in her bunk. Clearly, this was not going to work for me.
I had to decide if I was going to put in for another roommate, or try and move to another apartment. After weighing the options and rationalizing with myself, I opened my Bible. I landed on Acts and I read Paul’s simple line ‘After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship and returned home’ (Acts 21.6). That word home almost jumped off the page at me. I knew God was using that verse to tell me it was time to move home.
I’ve told my kids this story and that logic and reasoning is not always the way to the right decision. Turning the decision over to God often means it will be made in the heart, not the brain. Sometimes we have stop working so hard for answers, and open ourselves up to messages from Him.”
Sometimes we have to stop working so hard for answers, and open ourselves up to messages from Him.
TEACHING HER KIDS TO LISTEN FOR MESSAGES FROM GOD
“When I was a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, I heard the voice of God asking me to buy my co-worker a Bible. I didn’t even know the girl that well, and I felt pretty awkward about just handing her a Bible. I put His direction off for a bit. But I kept hearing it. So I researched Bibles, and found the one I would want to give her. It cost $43. At the end of my next shift, I counted up my tips and they totaled $43 exactly. I felt like saying, ‘God, I hear you loud and clear!’ And I bought her the Bible.
When I share this story with my kids, I want them to know that the voice of God can be a feeling in their gut… a phrase that gets stuck in their minds… or an image that they get in their imagination.
Because, ultimately, they will get lots of different messages— even within the church— and I want them to understand that the relationship they develop with God will guide them better than anything else.”
TEACHING HER KIDS NOT TO HIDE FROM GOD WHEN THEY MESS UP
“When my son was little, he got in a fight with his sister and hit her. He immediately ran to his bed and hid in his covers, hoping that hiding from me meant he would not get in trouble.
This was the perfect opportunity to talk to him about never hiding from God. We are going to mess up— it dates back to original sin. Eve and Adam made a wrong choice and what was the first thing they did? They hid from God.
But God knows everything. Hiding not only doesn’t help, it puts distance between us and Him. I told my son to confess and he will always be forgiven.”
TEACHING HER KIDS TO EQUIP THEMSELVES FOR THE ENEMY’S ATTACKS
“In the darkest part of my dark years, I felt like I was drowning. I didn’t feel like I could get myself above the surface. I asked God how much longer I would be drowning.
Again, I turned to the Bible. I read the verse ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5.8, ESV).
It felt like the enemy was trying to devour me. So I asked God for insight, and He told me that the enemy was trying to take my strength and my honor: the two attributes of my name.
It was Psalm 139 that really helped me find a way to the surface:
You have searched me Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all of my ways.”
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.Psalm 139. 1-5, ESV
In those days, I was still reeling from abusive relationships, and I needed to be known like that. Feeling so intimately known by Him was what really got my prayer life back on track. I didn’t have to be formal or all put together with Him; I could just be me and speak to him from where I was.”
TEACHING HER KIDS THAT THEY WERE GIVEN A PURPOSE AND CAREFUL DESIGN
Psalm 139 has continued to guide and shape our family. When I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter, I had an ultrasound and in the image printed, she was smiling. I framed it with the verse you knit me together in your womb:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully madePsalm 139.13-14
To me, this is one of the most convicting scriptures— the creator of the universe so carefully designed me and my children.
This knowledge helps if I ever am struggling with a parenting challenge— I pray and ask God to help me know them like He knows them.
And when I talk to my daughter about her careful and purposeful design, it helps instill in her that her identity can be in Him and not in the things that might try and influence her.
I have heard her recite this message to one of her friends who was calling herself ugly. My daughter said to the girl ‘God made you perfectly and so carefully! You are just as you are meant to be.’
Her friend had never heard that verse before.
And so the lessons we teach our children can have a beautiful and important ripple effect.”
TRAINING OUR CHILDREN IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO
Kim has turned her struggles into important lessons in abiding in God. I commended her tactic of discussing these things on the front end, before the ways of the world try and sway our children.
Like Kim and like me, our kids may have a spell when they stray or doubt God. But if God is in the roots, then the tree won’t be fully knocked over by the storm of doubt or the storm of disobedience. If the roots remain, new growth can always occur.
If, like the Proverb says, we “Train up a child in the way he should go” he will not depart from that way even when he is old.
And training up our kids means letting them know the mistakes we have made and the struggles we have had and how God redeemed them.
This is how we equip them for the storm or, perhaps, it equips them to help others through the storm.
with His love,