Category Archives: Christian Life

Discovering and Responding to Challenges

Most of us have some pretty amazing dreams and plans when it comes to our children.  And sometimes, well most of the time, things don’t turn out quite as we plan.  When  we begin to suspect our child may have a challenge of some type, or the truth is suddenly thrust into our face,it can be like be  like unexpectedly finding ourselves in a foreign land. Come listen in for the next 40 minutes as we explore this new land and begin to learn our way around this new world.

 

PLEASE make sure the volume on the youtube site as well as the volume on your device is up.  There have been a few who have not been able to hear it well but I have found adjusting the volume on the youtube channel to solve this. If it does not, please let me know!~

Monique Stam is a homeschool mom of 10.  In this journey she has experienced a variety of challenges.This messages was originally given to the GRACEDucators homeschool group in April of 2016 and graciously shared by one of its members who recorded it with permission  Please do not share without express permission.

This messages was originally given to the GRACEDucators homeschool group in April of 2016 and graciously shared by one of its members who recorded it with permission  Please do not share without express permission.

 

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I.S.I.S and Christmas

Fear.

Will I really stand if and when that day comes when I face pain for Christ?

Will I look to Christ, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy before Him endured…..

Could  I do as my brothers and sisters in Christ have done and stand firm in the face of threats…and death …of those I love?  Do I love Him more?

It’s questions that have haunted me since Middle School.

I take comfort in the fact that He says He will enable.

And in Corrie Ten Boom’s story of the train ticket.

Today…today… I needed something more than the willpower to think about the right things.  I wondere what I could listen to as I went about some tasks that would enCOURAGE me.

And I remembered my Christmas playlist.  What better thing to infuse into my heart and mind this morning than the incredible Incarnation and Redemption!

Can you identify a treasure?

I just finished reading this article written to single men and women  about how they interact with those of the opposite gender when they are not interested in their attention.

But what struck me is how often that happen between people in general.  You don’t think that person needs you to go out of the way to exhibit kindness, because they “obviously” have it all together.

Or you take “that attitude” as anger or rudeness when it is a desperate attempt to hold it together in the midst of terrible pain.

Or you think that person who is less educated, moneyed or connected than you couldn’t possibly have anything to offer that would help you or enrich your life.

And when you do, you miss a treasure.

Find a treasure this weekend.  And value it

courtship ready?

Courtship has been a buzz word you have either likely embraced or avoided in the last decade or more.  There are so many really good article, books and speeches, outlining “why”.  A few on “how”, but not many.
  When I wanted to outline our “how” twenty years ago, my husband wisely advised we would wait, because each situation would be different, and any “rules” we laid down were likely to be affected by the circumstance.  How right he was!  Our plan, whatever it might have been, probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for our daughter courting a widower!
But one thing I have seen over the years concerns me. Standards are great, and there are some you shouldn’t waiver on—like is the potential partner is a believer who is walking with the Lord.
  But I’ve heard about and seen many who expect 30 year marriage maturity out of couples who think they may be interested in each other, and discount a potential suitor (or  “courtee”) because they lack maturity in some area.
  Personally,I think what matters is where they are “going”.  I know many couple who married VERY young, but are doing well!
While you evaluate if the man or woman that your child may be interested in is an appropriate mate, ask if your child  “there”:?  Are  you even  “there”?   What defines “there” for you, and why?  Is it born out of your own struggles within yourself or your marriage?  Is it born out of fear or a sense that if you would just “do it right” everything would end up fairy tale for you and your child’s new family.
There are other ways to look at this.  I will speak from the girls’ parent’s perspective, but it needs to be looked at from both directions.    Does he have an interest in Christ?  Is he growing?  Teachable?  Manage his money well?  Look to the needs of others? (Not just :her” right now) Hard , diligent worker?  Respectful to his parents and grandparents?  Respectful of his church leadership?  Given to too much pleasure?  Self-centered? Insist on his own way?  Manipulative?  Given to anger?
What do they want to “be” in ten years?  This may change.  But do they have a heart for serving the Lord for How they  thinks they can serve the Lord better together than apart?  How does he expect to provide?  Do they agree about children?  What do his parents think?
Examine your goals for courtship.  Are your “standards” out of fear or a need to control?  Remember, the Perfect Parent raised His first “kids”  in a perfect environment and it didn’t turn out so well .  God raised Adam and Eve in Eden.  We surely are not going to be able to manipulate a situation that is better than what God provided.  And we are all now sinful, fallen beings.
So is it hopeless? No.  We have  a Redeemer.  And He has a plan.  Seek His face, not your plan.  Seek His wisdom, not the approval of others.  Seek to see through His eyes, hear through His ears, watch through His heart.
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Rest in the Lord!  Ask His guidance and trust Him.  There are some times we have walked things that make me wonder …then I remember that He does guide, and just because something is His will  doesn’t mean it will be easy.  There will be hardships.
  Like Teri Maxwell says in Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, you know things won’t go right all the time.  What we need to do is PLAN how we will respond in a godly way when they don’t.  She says this in relationship to children and disobedience.  We live in a fallen world.  It will happen.  But I think it’s applicable to so many other areas.  And so many believers forget 1 Peter and even Jesus’ promise that in the world we will have troubles. Our children will too.  It’s a strange, western “christianity” that thinks once we trust God, lifepo here will be smooth and happy!   The point is we have Someone to live for, who loves and redeems us…we have a real future…a purpose…..and someone who can see us through hardships, even situations that are a result of sin and even use them for good.
So where does that bring us in the “how”?  We still try to “do it right”, meaning in a manner that is seeking to please the Lord and the good of others.  We don’t seek to please the crowd we run with (or want to run with) or to be control freaks trying to protect our kids of inevitable pain.  Fear leads to sin.
Hopefully,  we have started to train them to deal with disappointment, relational hardships and the like in a God-honoring way.  The point is that marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. We don’t expect any many to embody the perfection of Christ.  The goal matters most.  The place on the field we are starting from matters as well.
But we don’t start at the finish line.

The Miracle of His Empowering

While we had seen evidence of God’s working in unnatural ways in the past, when our third child was born and had difficulties, I had a strong sense that this was something the Father wanted us to walk through, not around.

Though it’s not my story, this post explains it so very well.  Even if the hardship you are now facing is not a medical need, or a challenging child,  please  read this.  Even if you are cruising along pretty happily right now, someone in your life is huring, please read this.

So much going on?

Even if children with medical, educational or other challenges isn’t what is going on int your life, even if it’s “normal stuff” like bills and repairs and job stress,  this quote can bring you hope and grace

“Ultimately, when there is more than one child with diagnoses in a family, there is more than one way for God’s light to shine through and for His story to be told. We are fools if we miss the unparalleled opportunity to fully rely on Him, allowing His perfect power to be on display in such overwhelming weakness. Multiplying knowledge of His boundless magnificence”

Read the full, wonderful post here.

There are so many references to glorifying God in suffering., but here is one that came to mind.