i like addendums.
or addenda ... (if you prefer to be plural and technically correct).
i am an addendum kind of woman.
i am the mother chasing my children out the door and yelling, “oh ... and one more thing, sweetheart ...” they can almost count on it. in fact, i’ve watched my teen daughter when backing out her car, pause in the driveway. her window will go down and her eyes will look up at me on the porch step, “anything else, mom?” because she knows: there usually is.
it’s why i love texting.
i can bid my husband or young tribe goodbye and then text them all kinds of messages about the things i failed to remember before they scrambled out the door. i’ve even put this kind of mother-forgetfullness into categories:
the reminder list: “honey, don’t forget your dentist appointment at 3:30 today.”
the rest of the list: “sweetheart, i forgot to tell you we also need milk and eggs.”
the response list: "baby, i didn't answer your question ... but, yes, you can go."
the relational list: “i love you. i’m proud of you. you can do it. i’m praying for you!”
i bet some of you do this too. i know some people think texting is just for teens, but really it’s the perfect tool for forgetful mothers. granted, i can’t do this with the children who remain phone-less in our home. bella, wanting to be part of the big kid game, did ask me recently for her own “real-live” cell phone. but, i assured her that though her time would come, her pink princess phone was sufficient at the moment.
and the same is true of my recent blog posts. maybe it’s because i’m fresh from a writers conference, but lately, i throw something out there, and within minutes, feel an addendum (addenda) rise up within. it could be heart burn, but, honestly, i believe it’s more words fighting their way out. now, i know some of you are sitting at your computers reading this and violently shaking your heads or even shouting with raised fists at your screens, “no jody! no more words. enough! you say plenty, girlfriend!”
but because this is my blog and i can do whatever i want (wink), i’m going to go ahead and give you some more words to my last post ... i'm going to give you a "part two!" let’s just be grateful i don’t have your cell number ... it could arrive in text form!
because here's the deal:
i posted a few days ago (read here) about the lady in the brown house. who, by the way, i am pretty sure doesn’t read this blog. if she does, i hope she doesn’t mind me labeling her as such and employing her so significantly in my recent writing.
at the end of that-lady-in-the-brown-house post i told you about a clever little scripture document i have used with my kids. it's a compilation of verses which they copy when they show some kind of erroneous behavior or unfortunate attitude. i, by the way, have used it for my own self as well -- just needing to be real here.
in my post, i offered the document as a good tool of:
1. discipline. makes them think twice about grumbling if they know they have to write out a bible verse about grumbling. plus what child likes to copy anything 100 times?
2. memorization. writing these verses over and over again cements God’s word and His truth in their minds and hearts.
and both of these are true and beneficial and all around wonderful ...
i feel like i left out the most important thing in that post. as i re-read and played it over again in my own mind, i knew something was lacking. there was a glaring hole in my message. (not the first time that's happened).
that-lady-in-the-brown-house ... the sequel.
copying scripture is a great tool of discipline and memorization, but what i failed to highlight in my last post is the POWER of scripture. in and of itself, scripture is LIFE-CHANGING because it is GOD’S very WORD. it is enough and it is complete.
“let the WORD of CHRIST dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom ...” ~ colossians 3:16
i wanted to write my little addendum because i don’t ever want to look at scripture as just a tool or as just something catchy, clever and useful. yes, it’s useful...but it is so much more. recipes are useful. pinterest is useful. operating instructions are useful. but God's Word is POWERFUL. it is power. God’s Word is TRUTHFUL. it is truth. God's Word is PERFECTION. it is perfect.
it doesn’t need little ole me to copy and paste it into a document. it stands alone. and, praise His name, we can stand on it. did you hear that? WE CAN STAND ON IT. yes, we can copy it on our papers and hide it in our hearts. yes, we can use it to help wrangle in our wild children. but let's also acknowledge the fact that we can stand on the power of it.
it is our weapon.
it is our relief.
it is what we require.
it's what we wish for.
what we want.
what we need.
“and the WORDS OF THE LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay purified ...” ~ psalm 12:6
oh, dear friend, know that when i post my little bitty document (and i will) ... please realize you aren’t getting jody’s version of anything ... you are getting GOD’S HOLY WORD. nothing can be added ... nothing can be taken away. my sheet is only a flimsy little pile of papers by itself. but God's Word has enormous power, all power, no matter how we relay it to our children.
that's exactly why we are allowed to stutter a bit. we don't have to be always eloquent. the power behind God's word has nothing to do with us or our ability to communicate it.
i've heard young moms say things like, "i'm not confident using the Bible with my kids." or "i don't have a really good handle on scripture."
you don't have to. God's word is enough. it more than makes up for our insufficiencies. say that to yourself a few thousand times ... and then get out there and begin using it with your kids ... and yourself!
the power behind changed hearts and kids (and us!) doesn’t come from our ability or a succinct few sheets of paper that some half-mad mama pounded out one summer night in desperation ... it comes from rightly dividing the word of truth. it comes from the holy spirit’s wonderful whisper in the ears and hearts of us all. and it only comes from HIM.
“the unfolding of YOUR WORDS gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
~ psalm 119:130
just this weekend, while away on a little trip, i had to lay into one of the kids (anyone else ever have to “lay into” a child? i don’t mean, “correct” or “address” ... i mean lay into -- laying into a kid is the equivalent of a come to Jesus moment ... we need those around our house on a regular basis). anyway, guess what all that laying into was about? their WORDS. ironic after that last post, huh?
see friends, i want to make sure we’re really clear on something in this blog: WE STRUGGLE MIGHTILY HERE IN THE MCNATT HOME. every. single. day.
and though i wish i could tell y’all that this little document has changed everything ... i won’t sell you that line of wishful thinking.
the only thing which really makes a difference is God getting a hold of our hearts -- both mine and my familys. should we use His word as a tool of discipline or instruction: of course. BUT let’s not make too much of the document or the discipline. let’s make much of the ONE who deserves our praise.
so after posting that-brown-house-lady-piece-part-one, i got in the car and drove with my kids up moose lake minnesota. isn’t that the greatest name ever? and though we threw a whole lot of stuff in the car, i did not pack up that document. honestly, i am going to have to do a little digging for it when i get back home. BUT, like most every day, we sure did need some of God’s Word to come calling yesterday morning. we are staying in the guest house of our friends’ cabin (so, so delightful, by the way -- thank you verdoorn family!). and before said child could even head over to the main house for breakfast, we pulled out the guest house bible on the coffee table and we went to work with colossians 4:6.
“let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” was pounded out in a borrowed notebook with a guest house pen -- 25 times before we went to breakfast. see this little assignment can work anywhere ... even at moose lake!
we don’t need documents. we need God’s good and perfect Word. and we need to be diligent in pointing ourselves and our children to it. i really will send you the document, but don't be afraid to use the concordance at the back of your bible. it will provide a wealth of wonderful scripture for whatever the need at hand. my concordance is worn out ... i mean it ...plumb worn out. not really from my kids’ issues, but from mine.
anyway, all that to say, i’ll send y’all my scripture document when i get home from moose lake. unlike the author of this blog, it’s concise. it’s easy for kids to read and copy from, BUT ... it’s not about a quick fix or about a method ... it’s about THE MESSAGE God has for us in His Word.
i know in my home, i have to be very careful not to make too much of method, but instead to hone in on God’s message. and that takes some discipline and some memorization. it absolutely requires some work. but, i can tell you all the way from northern minnesota's remote moose lake, it’s worth it.
“do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” ~ 2 timothy 2:15
it’s about our reading ... and HIM revealing.
and i just needed a part two to say all that.
yet another addendum:
since the whole topic of this post concerns words and truth ... the truth is, we aren't exactly in moose lake. that's the main town, but the cabin's address is, technically, cromwell, minnesota. however, for all literary and poetic purposes, moose lake certainly sounds more interesting! i can't take literary license with scripture, but i can take a tiny bit with my blog ...
and in case you weren't interested in reading words tonight ... i'm including a few pictures from our weekend in moose lake/cromwell minnesota ...