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Posts tagged ‘revival’

I was listening to Revive our Hearts yesterday, and the speaker quoted from the book The Life of Helen Keller.¬†After describing the scene where Anne Sullivan taught Helen to eat like a civilized creature (if you’ve seen either of the “Miracle Worker” movies, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; if not, either watch one or read the book!), Anne goes on to say something very profound:

I saw clearly that it was useless to try to teach Helen language or anything else until she learned to obey me. I thought about it a great deal, and the more I think, the more certain I am that obedience is the gateway through which knowledge, yes, and love, too, enter the mind of the child.

I don’t know how to improve on that, so I’ll just recommend that you read it again, 2 or 3 times, and let its meaning really sink in.

Yesterday I had a battle with Manny. Not near as big as Anne had with Helen, but it was something. Lately he has not wanted to eat any cereal except the chocolate-covered “Koala Crisps” (which are gluten-free and actually have nothing he is allergic to in them, which is why I buy them and give them to him occasionally). Trying to get him to eat anything else for supper is a battle. So last night I decided to try something different.

When I offered him the food, I told him clearly that he had a choice to make. He could either choose to eat cheerfully, or he could stand in the corner. He hates standing in the corner, by the way. But he chose not to eat, so by default he chose the corner. I put him there and worked nearby, watching him closely. If he turned around and looked at me, I would remind him to put his nose in the corner. Of course this made him cry again, but I persisted. I started him out at 2 minutes, then offered to let him eat. When he said no, I went 2 1/2 minutes. Then 3 minutes. Then 3 1/2. Each time I offered him the food, showing it to him, and letting him choose between eating and the corner. He tried to interject other options, like “nigh nigh” (going to bed), but I would not allow those options.

I am not sure how long it took, but we were up to 5 minutes between choices, and finally he chose to eat. He said, “Eat, eat,” so I put him in his chair, poured hemp milk on the puffed millet that I had coated with carob powder, and offered him the spoon. He ate the whole thing cheerfully, and was delighted to get some grapes afterwards!

Not only was this a great victory, but Daddy noticed later that evening that he was more compliant and less demanding. I think I have hit on something here.

The truth is, I have been very neglecting of my child training lately. But I have also neglected my walk with the Lord. In the past few weeks, I have been going through a period of revival, which always results in reformation if it is genuine. And this week the Lord convicted me that it was time to start working on my child training. I have been praying for wisdom, because Manny has some serious issues, and he’s too young to reason with, and I let some things get too far. But thanks to this victory yesterday, I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

But it’s a very long tunnel! At least, it feels like it! But God is my guide, and I know I will win as long as I remain with Him.

By Matthew McVickar on Flickr

Have you ever built up walls around yourself to hide who you really are? Have you put up a front just to try to make people think that you are better than you really are? I have. Over and over. And I think I’m not alone in this. I want to share a little of my experience of the past few weeks with you, dear readers, but first I need to give you some background.
I was raised as a Christian. So for me, conversion didn’t happen suddenly one day. It was more like the sunrise in the north–slow, gradual, gentle. As a young teenager, I had a passion to know God’s will for my life.

Now, I had ups and downs even then, but after I became an adult, they became even more pronounced. Habits that I had formed in my youth began to bear fruit in my adulthood–fruit of which I was not proud. At times I hated myself for being the way that I was, at the same time desperately trying to build a wall that would make me look good to those around me. I did not want anyone to be lost because of me. So I tried to be a good example on the outside. On the inside, however, I was a mess. And it just kept getting worse.

And then there were times of revival. I would get disgusted with my life and would read about Jesus and feel drawn to Him. But it never lasted. Old habits die hard, and unless they are given up entirely will often come back to haunt one.

So a few weeks ago, I was in a real mess. I have been seeing my bad character traits mirrored in my children–especially my 4-year-old daughter. It’s one thing to get frustrated once in a while and bang something and just yell at everyone to “just leave me a lone!” It’s another thing to see one’s daughter doing the same thing. It was a sort of wake-up call for me.

But I was afraid. I had tried so many times before, and every time I had failed. You know what I mean? You say, “This time, Lord, it’s for real. This time I’m going to go all the way.” And then a few weeks–or days, or hours–later, you are right back where you started–or worse off than before. Well, that’s where I was. I was trying to dull the pain by a series of obsessive actions, I guess you could call them. I would get a book from the library, and then couldn’t put it down until it was done. You know, a big, long book that should take a week or two to read. I’d finish it off in a day and a half and go back for another one. I wasn’t getting anything done except basic meals and dishes and sort of the laundry. Then I’d get disgusted at my laziness and try to change. Then it was something else. And then something else. And all the while my children were suffering from my neglect.

After a while I realized that I had to do something. I had to talk to someone. I didn’t know who to talk to. My husband was showing evidence of the stress, and I didn’t feel like talking to him about it. I wanted to talk to another woman. An opportunity came up one night and I talked to a mature Christian lady about what I was feeling. She loaned me a couple of books, which helped some, but I think she missed what was really going on inside. Not that I blame her. I didn’t even understand what was going on.

I can’t say that I fully understand even now, but I am beginning to. What I have learned over these past few weeks is what I want to share with you. I am going to break it up into several posts and post it throughout this next week. And don’t think this has nothing to do with Christmas. It does. As we near Christmas, we need to remember the Reason for the Season. Jesus came as a baby; that’s what we’re celebrating this time of year. But He came for a reason. That’s what I’m going to be writing about.

And just maybe something I say will strike an answering chord in your heart and be a blessing and a help to you. If so, my purpose in writing this series has been achieved.