Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#104 - Seed of Strife

Good morning! We have been having a fun time here in Orlando! We went to Disney yesterday, Magic Kingdom. It was fun. Quite exhausting, but fun! The boy had a good time and made a LOT of friends! Everywhere he goes he makes friends! Literally at the pool on Monday, their were some older people that came and chose chairs by where he was playing just so they could watch him! They'd wave and laugh, he'd laugh and crawl around in the pool splashing. Then he'd crab walk to them. So funny! Kids are definitely a joy! It will be fun when Trinity comes.... and Timothy & Taylor. :-) Our future kids!

OK.... let's get going.
Proverbs 17:14 - The beginning of strife is as when water first trickles [from a crack in a dam]; therefore stop contention before it becomes worse and quarreling breaks out.
Proverbs 31:27 - She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.
Well....let's just say that this was not the topic "I" wanted to talk about today....but, it was directly told to me by the Holy Spirit that THIS was the topic. Strife. As I was talking to the Holy Spirit about strife, I let him know that I didn't really know of any strife in my life right now, He was quick to let me know that a LOT of people are living in strife with others.

Strife. It is a choice. We can choose not to participate in gossip or quarreling. Strife comes before quarreling. We can stop it before it even breaks out. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she will not even eat of gossip. She does not even take part in it. One thing the Holy Spirit said to me about it was: Choose to speak and say the best about people. It's about being gracious. Gracious. People can be firm without being in strife. Mom's can be firm without being in strife.

He went on to say to choose decisions and then stick with them..... and the kicker that I thought was really good was this: Choose decisions, stick with them, then don't dwell on people's disapproval. Dwelling on disapproval allows the seed of strife to grow in your heart. I thought that was GOOD stuff!! I think specifically about several friends of mine who may not have the best relationships with their mother-in-law. Hearing about the "battles" and "controversy" can be quite interesting at times, but the bottom line is this: MOM IS MOM! DAD IS DAD! Being parents WE get to make the ultimate decision for our children or ourselves. When we are out of our parents house, they may most definitely have an opinion about things we do or do not do with our children, and we can respect it, but decisions we make for our children come down to what WE decide. Choose not to allow conversations to lead to strife. It may even be a fun game to play next time a "heated discussion" is tempted to arise. Choose to be GRACIOUS... even thank them for their opinion or advise, thank them for sharing their thoughts, and then in a GRACIOUS but matter-a-fact way, feel free to let them know what you, as the parent, have decided. "I really appreciate your concern in this area. You have such great knowledge in raising children, but I have decided to do ______________. But again, thank you for your thoughts and advise." And then LEAVE IT AT THAT. Dwelling on disapproval allows the seed of strife to grow in your heart. Sure, they may continue to talk about it and dwell on YOU not following their opinion, or they may continue to disapprove.... BUT that doesn't mean YOU need to allow the sin of strife and quarreling to BLOCK blessings in your life! Let it be over and move on.

As the verse talked about strife begins when the first water begins to trickle. I was reminded of a recent leak we had under our kitchen sink. When we turned on the faucet, it would leak out the sides. Eventually, we noticed that under our sink in the cabinet, it was filling up with water. If we would have let it continue it would have ruined a lot of things and cost a lot of money to have fixed. Strife is the same way. When we let strife continue it can eventually ruin relationships and cost a lot in time, forgiveness, repentance & maybe even money to fix. With strife when it relates to words said, sometimes it can not be fixed. Sure maybe forgiven, but most times, hard to be forgotten.

Choose to fix the leaks IMMEDIATELY. Choose to not let strife linger. As I heard growing up, "Nip it in the butt!" Put an end to it immediately and don't allow it to affect your family and relationships. Choose to be gracious even when it may be hard, even with that person in your life that "in the past" could just make the hair raise on your arms. Choose to be gracious towards them. Package your comments in a compliment. Surely you could find things about them to compliment. And like the Holy Spirit said, even MOM's can STAND FIRM without being in strife. So be a FIRM MOM... or FIRM PERSON without being in strife.

Well... be blessed today. Tomorrow I will be taking my Day of Rest and then heading back to Columbia. The boy gets to spend the rest of the weekend with Grandma & Grandpa. How fun!

      Amy J


Deb Ellis said...

Good stuff! The phrase you referred to is actually 'nip it in the bud's. It has to do with nipping the buds off flowers to make them healthier and have more blossoms. By nipping stress in the bud we will see more beauty and fruit in our lives.

Kimberly Bestul said...

great msg today AJ!! I like that "package ur words with a compliment" phase. That's such an Amy thing to say!! :D Cute!! It does work tho!! Choose not to let the conversation lead to strife...that's good too.

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