There's a reverent value to remembering.
Remembering a family tradition of apple picking at Oak Glen.
Remembering the moment when you knew, just knew, you were in love with your spouse.
Remembering multiple failures that led to a personal triumph.
Remembering your first job, and how much you've matured since then.
Remembering that protective, parent-passion of being willing to die for the child you've held in your arms for merely a moment.
Remembering, is part of your story.
At the second Spiritual Parenting Class, we discussed the art of remembering, and transforming it into storytelling.
Because we all have a story.
Amazing, or tragic, it's a story worth telling!
Your story makes up who you are, and the type of person you will be. Your story does not define you, it becomes you. It molds to your decisions, and frays with your habits. It stretches and fades as you live each day. Like a favorite sweater, it shows holes of imperfections, and comfortable reminders of your character.
We were encouraged at the start of class to remember what the previous week had looked like...
After discussing the Holy Spirit's work in our children, how had we parented differently?
What did that look like practically?
How did that help us react alternatively than we may have before?
As we shared around the table, I was encouraged by the unanimous comments our group spoke of~ relying more on the Holy Spirit's guidance to parent, instead of parenting out of our own need to manage our kids behavior.
Free, was the word often mentioned.
Free to listen to God's voice, instead of our own, nagging, words.
Free to take off pressure we put on ourselves to be good parents, raise obedient children, or have all the right answers,
free to bury those burdensome expectations
and bury them in a hole,
and instead, ask God to create authentic, faith-teaching moments through us as parents, to share with our kids.
Free. in. deed!
Jumping into the week's video, we watched Michelle Anthony discuss storytelling.
Introducing her personal experience, she told the story, when, as a little girl, her dad would tuck her into bed, and make up stories, in which she was the main character. He'd add the names of her friends, but always, yes always, she would be the star of the story. The heroine and beautiful princess.
She loved his stories!
I mean, what kid doesn't want to be the star in a story~ defeating the dragons, or becoming a princess?
But here's the thing; if we grow up, still believing that we are all the stars in our own story, we will be very self-focused dragon-slayers, and princesses!
Instead, we get to share that God is the main character, and we all play a supporting role!
Did you get that? Let me share it again.
God is the main character and we all play a supporting role!
I forget this fact every
My mind constantly wanders to how situations will affect me ~ my schedule, my job, my children, my feelings, my sleep... yadda yadda yadda! It's embarrassing how often I think of me.
Most of us, who grew up in church, learned about the stories of Noah, Moses, Esther and Mary. We read books about a giant whale eating Jonah, or listened to silly vegetables sing about Joseph.
In these bible stories, Jesus would often make his flannel-board debut, and throw out enough fish to feed a crowd, or calm the stormy sea. But it seemed like he was just another character in a story.
For the first time in my Christian life, I sat in the Spiritual Parenting Class and heard about the Big God Story, in which God is the main character, and those in the Bible, as well as you, me, and our kids, are all part of His story of redemption.
A true aha moment! No simpler, faith-describing, view of God and his children has ever been explained!
To further illustrate The Big God Story, our table was given a bag of cut-out Bible Characters ~ around 25 cloaked, sandal-wearin' folk, and as a group, we had to put our bible friends in chronological order from Genesis to Revelation.
And lemme tell ya'... it was a challenge!
Six of us, hovering together, brows furrowed, attempting to recall if Nehemiah came before, or after Ruth. And where did Elijah go? Was he after King David?
If I'm honest, I failed this portion of the class. As a group, we did great, but I'm a bit rusty on my bible character Q & A :)
The lesson learned was priceless~ those characters are simply a part of the Big God Story.
Instead of focusing on the contained stories of David and Goliath, or you and me, we should remember that the overarching story God is telling, is one of his redemption. The characters from the Bible, as well as us, are a part of this amazing story.
Michelle encouraged us to lay out the cut-out bible characters with our kids, and let them choose one person. As a family, we can then learn more about Adam, or John the Baptist, all the while asking, "What is God doing in this story? How is he using this person to tell His story of redemption?"
You can bet I'll be acing my bible characters in the near future.
To bring the Big God Story full circle, she emphasized that God is still writing the story, and each one of us is a part of it.
She encouraged us, as parents, to share our story of redemption ~
When did we first meet Jesus?
What is our story?
Again, we took turns around our table, telling our personal journey and
I don't often revisit, and tell the story of how I became a Christian.
You can bet I will from now on.
Starting with my kids, I will look for casual moments when playing on the rug, or building castles at the beach, to share my story about how I met Jesus, and why that decision affects everything.
My story is made up of God's Spirit at work in my life. He is the main character, and I am playing a supporting role.
This will greatly affect how I parent my boys. By inviting them to be a part of the Big God Story, we will take the emphasis off of them as the main characters, and guide their eyes to the Creator working in their life. I can only imagine how God will continue His story, and use Tanner, and Ty.
The Big God Story.
This shift in thinking continues to seep into my bones, drench my thoughts, and pump through my veins. It's been life-altering.
Now, when I look back and remember, it will be powdered with storytelling. God has always been, and always will be, at work, writing His story. It's up to me, if I choose to be included in it, or if I attempt to write my own.
Hands down, I want him to be the author. The great author of my boys' story, my husband's story, and my story.
And it wouldn't hurt if there were dragons and princesses along the way!