Lessons from a 2-year-old

RachelMeyer

Rachel Meyer

By Rachel Meyer

I am helping my daughter and her husband potty-train their little girl. It is probably enough just to say that Kinsley is a two-year-old, but she is so much more! Kinsley is strong-willed and opinionated; she is adventurous and bold. She is bright, and beautiful, and all things good in the world. Can you tell that I love being her gramma?

And love her I do, but here’s the thing: I’m kind of an old hand at this. Not to mention, I raised her mother. I have an edge in this situation. I learned long ago, that no matter what the situation is, it pays to have an edge. I understand now, what I did not realize with her mom. That hundred-watt smile? She already knows how to work it! Those tears that break our heart? They have nothing at all to do with penance! Even at two years old and just pushing three, she is truly becoming “wise as a serpent,” but I am not so sure she has the “harmless as a dove” part down yet. This child just wants control!

The other day, as we were ritualistically conducting the Battle of the Bathroom, I said, “Dear God, this child is more stubborn than I am!” I think God laughed. Seriously. I think He laughed right out loud! Then I heard that little voice I have come to recognize so well. “You can be successful or you can be right.” I think He said it with a touch of humor. I was about to spout off and say I was glad we could add some amusement to His day, when I “got it.” I was either arguing, or trying to reason, with a TWO YEAR OLD! I began to get the visual of what this must look like to The King of the universe! This time, I laughed! I also changed my tactics.

Now we have fun with it. I’m more patient, more kind. She gets to make choices. I get to relax the reins a little. She still has to wash her hands, but she can choose a lotion to use after. If she has an accident, no harm, no foul. I’m just as disappointed as she is, but it’s all good because in ten minutes we get to try again. We still have discipline, but I believe in her. I try to be quick to laugh, quick to applaud. I try to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I try to be like my Father, because I know what He is like with me.

That’s where I am really going with this. God’s Word is so much more than words. It’s a blueprint for every single situation, every personality, every success, and every failure. God is not a control freak. He’s a Father Who wants the best for His kids. He gives us all the tools we need for success, and then He gives us room to explore them. I remember times I have not chosen wisely myself. Continue reading

Piddles and Chewed Shoes

It is so easy to be delighted with a new puppy.  He is so cute, soft, cuddly, and eager to please. His tail is wagging and he is so happy to play with his new family.

He is given dishes of fresh water and puppy food, toys, and his own place to lie down.

All is going very well for a while, but the puppy has not yet learned his boundaries, or the rules of the house.  Before long, there are piddles on the kitchen floor and carpet, and chewed up shoes strewn about the bedroom. He has developed a pattern of barking at anything and everything at all hours of day and night.

Now the mood in the house has changed. The puppy is not so appealing anymore, and may even, after a time, be considered a nuisance and not worth the trouble.

Prophetic Puppies
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Lean Into This Season

It was a difficult time of upheaval, change,uncertainty, and loss mixed with abandonment. Then I heard the Lord speak to my heart:

“Lean into this season.”

At the time, I was resisting the circumstances, suffering from the pain I felt so deeply, questioning and doubting myself.

To me, this meant to accept what was. I was not going to get all the answers I wanted. There were so many things I was powerless to change, yet I wanted things to be different than what they were.

Many other times I have seen the power of prayer and faith-filled words bring a turn-around to negative situations.  However, this time it was not so much resisting evil, as it was resisting change.
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Practice Time!

In life, everything we are skilled at has come through trial and error and many times of practice.  We learned from our mistakes, perhaps, asked for help from another person, and tried again.  After a period of time, we learned how to feed ourselves, or read, or ride a bicycle, or give a talk, or play an instrument, or any number of skills.  Even when born with a gift for singing or athletics, that gift could be honed into a greater effectiveness than just raw talent alone.

We did something with the basic material we had been given.

However, a strange mindset often is present regarding the ministry of spiritual gifts. Somehow, even though, we expect the pastor to have studied and prepared how to deliver a sermon on Sunday morning, and we expect the choir and musicians to have spent time preparing the music, it is somehow not expected that any study or training is beneficial or even necessary for ministry of the gifts of the Spirit. Continue reading

Forged Values

When it comes to ice cream, you may have a personal preference of vanilla over chocolate, but, allergies aside, it really will not make a difference which you choose.

However for the important decisions of life– choosing a church home, a career, a partner–there are reasons why one choice is more personally appealing than another. The reason is personal values, those non-negotiables in life where the line is drawn by us. Values provide the reasons why we do what we do. Continue reading

No Coincidence

Within the space of a few hours, I received a word of knowledge about an individual and three requests for prayer from different people, all regarding separate and very similar situations. And I wasn’t in a church service!

Each request and the word had a very similar theme, which altogether was startling in the timing. It was as though the day had been labeled as “The Day for This Type of Situation”.

Since I don’t believe in coincidences, it definitely got my attention, and I wondered what else God was going to bring my way. Continue reading

When Your Call Changes

Seasons come and go, whether we want them to do so or not. It is far better to adapt to colder temperatures with heavier clothing rather than to wish for summer and shiver. How often people resist the change of seasons and remember with longing the way things used to be!

We can learn something from the birds. They know when it is time to migrate. They are called to the South and months later, they are called to the North.

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Miserable No More

Whereas God’s intention is that we are blessed (which according to the Amplified version means: happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable), many people are waiting for something or someone outside themselves to make them happy. Many are trapped in a prison of pain, rejection, and self-pity. It is time to learn how to be free and to be miserable no more!

Listen.

Wilderness Dwellers

While many teachings deal with wilderness experiences, Laura Houck draws from the life of John the Baptist who was a wilderness dweller.

The Fivefold Church

In this season, many are dissatisfied with the current operation of ministry found on Sunday mornings. They long for the corporate experience of worship as the people of God in which His presence is felt and His power is demonstrated.  No longer satisfied with the basic milk of spiritual food, they long to be fed something they can sink their teeth into — something meaty which gives them pause and makes them stronger.

God in His wisdom knew we would need help if we were ever going to mature and become conformed to the image of Christ. So Jesus left His mantle of leadership here on the earth and called men and women to take up that mantle and enter into His service. Continue reading

Facing Dream Busters

There are a lot of reasons why people discourage others from pursuing their dreams.  Many seem to be altruistic – an effort to protect someone from failure or pain.  But we can’t protect someone from the pain of life, and certainly not at the cost of their dreams.

Jesus did not get his identity from what people said about him, he got his identity from what the Father said about him!

All things are possible – so, do you believe?

Which Way to Run?

Two Responses to Challenge

God knew that after 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were not ready to enter their Promised Land. They needed to have a new perspective of who they were and of the God who had delivered them. In His mercy, with the cloud by day and the fire by night, He led them along an alternate route, rather than a direct one.

After a time, they grew discouraged in the wilderness because of the way. (Num 21:4) Their trek was longer and more challenging than they had expected. They fell into ingratitude and grumbling towards the man they had once praised for his vision and leadership. Mutinous plans to return to Egypt were formed, but God squashed the rebellion. He intended that they move forward into their inheritance as a sovereign nation. Continue reading

God At Work In You

The prophet Samuel declared that the shepherd boy, David, was destined to be the king of Israel. After Samuel went on his way, David returned to taking care of his father’s sheep.

In those days of waiting, God was at work, preparing David to be a mighty warrior king. Long before he faced Goliath, he fought and killed a lion and a bear who were after the flock. The lonely days of watching his father’s sheep were spent developing courage, faithfulness, and a heart of worship. He was being prepared to rule the Lord’s sheep, the people of Israel.

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Seasons of Change

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1)

Just as the earth experiences the change of seasons, so do we, spiritually speaking.

In the spring of our walk with the Lord, everything is fresh and alive. We were born again into spring, as spring lambs, to whom every day is warm sunshine in the love of God, and refreshing showers of joy in the Holy Spirit. Life is exciting and couldn’t be better! Then the seasons begin to change and summer appears. It is a time of much work and the promise of harvest. The days are long and glorious. We begin to mature and gain strength, walking in authority and spiritual gifts. At this time, we begin to take on the characteristics of mature sheep, bearing wool, producing for the Master. It is a time of exhilaration in the things of God.

But somehow, in all of our growth and learning, we didn’t yet understand about the seasons of the Lord, even though nature and the Scriptures teach it. We didn’t know that autumn and winter were coming… Continue reading

A Foolish Consistency

Surrounded by guests at his birthday banquet, King Herod swore to the dancing girl that he would give her whatever she wanted, even up to half his kingdom. Prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

Grieved at her request, but because his oath was made in front of all his guests, he agreed. And John was killed.

Keeping your promise or staying with your original decision is a usually a good idea. Far too many promises are made and broken these days.

But sometimes the initial decision, like Herod’s, is faulty. For many people, it’s just easier to stay with the first decision, rather than go to the trouble of attempting a new solution. Additionally, the desire to save face and avoid embarrassment fights against admitting that a change is now needed. This is pride and foolish consistency.

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Pursuing the High Calling

With the gift of salvation Jesus also gave the challenge that we would take up our own crosses, put away old ways of living and become new creations.  God calls us to live a higher life and calling.

Paul used the example of an athlete as how we are to pursue the high calling of Jesus Christ.  We are to train, restrain and develop ourselves to come up higher and pursue the calling of God on our lives.

It’s My Life!

When a person becomes a teenager, they begin to question the rules by which their parents have governed them.  As they mature (one hopes!) they will come to realize that some of the rules are wisdom and for their benefit– going to bed at a reasonable hour so they can make it to work in the morning, brushing their teeth so they don’t rot out of their mouth, etc.

But many teenagers who think they are finally “free” of their parents rules actually become slaves to their rebellion.

We are not to require continual monitoring, control and correction to do the things that are wise and godly.  That is what children require.  As we grow and mature, we are to take responsibility for our own lives– naturally and spiritually– as WE are the ones who will answer to God for them!

Your Heavenly Makeover

The nature of the universe is designed to respond to your words and belief system– all of creation responds to the voice of the Lord.

Our thoughts, words and actions need to agree with the spiritual image God has destined for us.  We need a heavenly makeover!

Avoiding Shipwreck

When the storms of life come is when people will often cast away the very things that they need in order to survive. Tossing away the anchor the last-ditch effort of desperation, but it is not the way to avoid shipwreck.

If we will heed the voice of wisdom, hold to the anchor of faith and fight the good fight, we can avoid being shipwrecked in our faith. Hope, the Word of God, confession and consistency are the very anchors that will see you through the storm. Hold fast, and fight the good fight of faith.

Overcoming Failure

Everyone is going to fail at something at some point. Big or small, a failure is inevitable.

Our response to failure and our perspective if it, however, will determine whether we move forward, learn from it and grow, or whether the failure shuts us down and we get stuck there.

Throughout scripture we read of phenomenal men and women of God who had HUGE failures, but they weren’t characterized by their failures and continued to go on and fulfill their destinies. By learning to have the proper perspective and responses to our failures, we, too, can learn the lessons and move forward to fulfill our destinies.

Understanding Transition

We all go through seasons of transition. Transition– the process of change from one thing to another– is a necessary process in which God ordains for us in order to be fully conformed to His image. In order for us to go from the promise to the manifestation, we must go through transition.

Transition has a fair amount of uncertainty, and can be painful and disappointing. God intends for us to learn, and unlearn some things as we go through transition.

The keys to successfully getting through our transition is to get the message of what God is having you learn, and to respond properly. As we seek the Lord and the comfort of the Scriptures, we will see the end result of transition.

What’s Growing? Part 2

God has set Pastors, Teachers, Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists to equip us for the work of the ministry; to make us ready for the Lord. Getting us ready means they will be dealing with character issues, discovering our gifts and callings, and equipping and releasing us into that calling.

So, how is your field looking? Is it producing the fruit of the Word of God? Or have you gotten lazy and are weeds choking out your fruit?

It’s time to take a hard look at our fruit, and tend the areas that have fallen into disrepair because of our laziness. The Word of God WILL produce in our lives, provided something is not choking it out. And, our five-fold ministers are bringing out the shovel and the weed-killer to help!

Getting Out of Your Own Way-part 2

Date: November 3rd, 2007

Getting Out of Your Own Way – part 1

Date: October 27th, 2007

Lessons from the Seven Churches

Date: October 20th, 2007

The Wrestling Match of the Heart

Date: September 15th, 2007

Ready for Abundance

Date: January 20th, 2007