Monday, April 29, 2013

What Makes You Happy? By Denette Schaer

What makes you smile?

Have you ever thought about what makes you smile? I mean REALLY smile?  The kind of smile that makes you grin from ear to ear?  For me the things at the top of my list would be hearing my children laugh, students grasping God's grace for the first time, my husband beaming about me with an encouraging word and of course a bargain.  Who doesn't love a bargain?  I mean if finding a good deal was a love language then it would be THIS girls love language.  I love to thrift, and I love to shop, but I don't like spending money.  I want to find that Coach purse for $3 and that amazing dress for $2.  I want as much as I can get with as little pain to my pocket book as possible.  We don't like to spend more than we have to on anything.  The thought crossed my mind….Do I take that same mentality with my kids?  If I'm not careful, I can.  I want to raise great kids but is wanting enough?  I can want to raise the next world changer, but will my actions, words and love point them there?  I know it's hard work, and I know it will cost me.  Am I willing to pay the cost?

Do you ever find yourself bargaining with your kids? I know I do.  I have three boys ages 8, 11, and 13.  All three of my boys have different personalities with different needs.  My husband is also a youth pastor, and I get to be around students every day.  One thing that seems to be a resounding truth is everyone wants to feel valuable.  We want to find a bargain, but we sure don't want to BE one.  No one wants to be someone else’s leftovers, and no one wants to feel like a knock-off of something greater or a has been.  The amazing thing is God showed us how valuable we are by His actions He carried out for us, but the question is HOW do we show that to our children?  How much effort do we put into making sure their value is based on Him and nothing else?  Has anyone ever told you their love language?  You know the little test that examines your personality and tells you just what makes you tick?  Many couples have used it over the years to help each mate better understand their partner.  If it's so important to know how to speak love into our spouse, why not our children?  What makes him/her tick?   I hear students all the time with broken hearts explain how distant they are from their parents.  They complain their parents don't really know who they are.   As I talk and sit and walk through story after story, I can see how that parent is providing, loving, and caring.  What I also sadly see is that sometimes those actions aren't speaking love to their heart at all. Have you ever taken your child shopping for one of their friend’s birthday gifts to realize that they are in fact picking out a gift that THEY really want instead of one the friend would truly enjoy?  I think we can try so hard to fill that void of self value in our children never realizing that all along, if we had pointed them to one who gives value they would find exactly what they have been desiring.

I know this isn't always easy.  I can get so caught up in ministering to others that I forget my greatest ministry is the six eyeballs I brought into this world.  Unfortunately as parents we have a lot of balls to keep up in the air and all at the same time.  Last week while at a minister's conference I had an analogy hit me.  I mean literally hit me.  I got up to go to the restroom before the next session started.  I happen to pick the restroom door that doesn't want to shut in just the right way.  I jimmy it shut and mid process the door slings open.  I'm stuck between two decisions: do I lean for the door in hopes to not cause myself embarrassment or do I finish what I started in hopes to not cause myself even MORE embarrassment?  Have you ever been there?  Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you don't know what to tackle first?  Motherhood can be so similar.  We don't know what to do first, fix first or handle first.  We have to make a decision on what's most important and just go with it.   Sometimes, we have to be strong enough to know we HAVE to finish what we started.  We cannot allow the embarrassment of admitting we have a problem stand in the way of completing the goal God has placed before us.  We can't physically do all that needs to be done. What we CAN do is seek out our children's hearts and place them before the King.  He knows how to speak truth and value into your child's heart.  Seek Him.  Ask Him to help you find your child's currency or love language. God so generously made us all different, and we all have different definitions of self worth.  Find out what that child or teen of yours longs for and be intentional about meeting them there.  It may mean better quality time, more affection, stronger communication or merely just words of encouragement.   If it is important to your child then MAKE it important to you. 

The best part of ALL is that by God's grace we all have value.  What about you?  Even if you feel like an item tossed out at a garage sale, He says you are more!  He is searching and pursuing our hearts saying, "Here, let me dust you off. You have been through a lot, but you are SUCH a find.  I made you to be something great.  Let me get you there."  No matter how strong or weak we are in handling our own insecurities, as moms our goal should be to point them to the one who DEFINES just how valuable they are and are intended to be.

I Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Denette Schaer

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