Why Page 747 is My Favorite Page in the Bible

I smile when I open my Bible to Ecclesiastes chapter two. Not necessarily because it contains a favorite verse. I smile at what greets me at the bottom of the page. eccliastes scribbles

At some point during my daughter’s toddler years, like many small children, she began practicing the first initial of her name. She drew capital M’s everywhere. I’m sure her preschool teacher encouraged this, as did her mother. One day, while flipping through Ecclesiastes, I stumbled on some of her preschool “homework:” a series of pen marks that vaguely resembled two M’s.

crayon scribblesI don’t remember if at first this discovery ticked me off (it most likely did.) But through the years, I’ve grown to cherish page 747. Along my rollercoaster journey of throwing pebbles—small acts of love—to ripple good into my kids’ hearts, I crave reminders that every once in a while, something goes right. On the uphill days of parenting, page 747 is a blessed reminder.

Please hear me. I am not saying I condone children scribbling in the Bible.

My baby girl wasn’t writing in my Bible to be naughty. She was repeating an action. She saw her mommy take a pen and “crayon” to underline and make notes in the Bible. Though I speak to my kids of the importance of cherishing God’s Word, nothing speaks louder than my actions. The daily pebbles I threw as I opened and read my Bible rippled into her preschool-aged heart and mind and resulted in change. She “caught” the habit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy heart soars when I see one of my teenage children with their Bible open. There was a time when we shared daily devotions together. But as they’ve grown and schedules have changed, it’s become their personal privilege and choice to open their Bibles and draw near to God, so He will draw near to them.

To keep things real, I confess that not all habits my kids have learned from me are as holy as this one. dishwasherI watch too much TV. I complain about the humidity and the unemptied dishwasher (among other things). I drink too much coffee and not enough water. I’m far too attached to my iPhone…

You get the point.

I have miles to go in the department of setting a perfect example. But if I can point my children to the example, the Word-made-flesh, then at least I’m getting something right. And I do believe it’s the main thing.

pebbles in heartAt the end of the day, if my children’s TV-watching habits are less than optimal and they’re a tad over caffeinated, but they love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength . . . I’m good with that.

As a pebble-throwing parent, how do you toss pebbles that ripple good habits into your children’s lives? Is there a contagious habit you need to stop? Do share your thoughts in the comments below!

Are You a Piggy-back Parent?

Parenting is not for sissies.

I just finished wading through a parenting decision that threatened my peace. It was a confusing time and though friends offered great advice, I lacked clarity in determining the next step. With each passing day, the need to make a decision loomed and my anxiety increased. My moods swung, my muscles tensed, and my sleep was interrupted.stress

One morning, as I brought my anxious feelings to God, He allowed me to see a snapshot of myself. It wasn’t pretty. I looked like a busy, fretful mess. Immediately I knew that my worry and need to control were getting in the way and robbing me of His peace. I took time to name my feelings, agreeing with Him about my anxiety and fear. I laid down my decision, surrendering the process to my gracious Father.

A few tissues later, another mental snapshot came. This time, God motioned me to stand behind Him. As soon as I did He lifted me onto his back and I grabbed on like a little girl hanging onto her dad piggy-back style.dad & girl silouhette

I rested my head on my Almighty, All-knowing Heavenly Father’s shoulders and the spiritual atmosphere around me shifted. My anxiety left. Next, I glimpsed the last and final image. I got to see what—or rather whom—was in front of God. Our child was standing closely in front of the Father. Both of His strong hands were resting on our son’s shoulders. Perfect peace enfolded me.

Since that morning, I’m often reminded that it’s not my job, or my husband’s, to control our children’s lives. It’s God’s. He’s got them. My job is to hold onto God, and even my ability to hold on is accomplished through the grace of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you a piggy-back parent? We can toss pebbles of fear that ripple the waters of our households with disorder and unrest or we can choose to release our emotions to the One who calms the raging seas of our hearts and minds. Piggy-back parents grab onto God during the storms, rather than fearfully attempting to micromanage their circumstances.

Earlier this week, we reached a decision. I have peace. And because God is a cherry-on-top-of the-ice-cream-sundae kind of Father, He left me a gift in my e-mail inbox yesterday:

piggyback“About Benjamin he said: ‘Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders’” Deuteronomy 33:12.

What God revealed in mental snapshots during my prayer time, He confirmed in His word. Because He’s just that good.

Do you struggle with fear and control as a parent? Join the conversation below by sharing how you throw pebbles that ripple peace into your homes.