What we’re all needin’, strays and not-strays, in the coming year

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

We’ve just come from a fabulous Ozark Christmas, round one down in Branson. Here on The Three, we’re headin’ into round two of the GCC, the Grand Christmas Celebrations. It’s time to gather with the Schrocklets Four and hunker down to party.

Stockings and presents and food. Oh, my!

To shoot real straight, I hadn’t planned on talkin’ to you. Fact is, I’d rather not. But the way this writing deal works is, I don’t. Work, that is.

For seven years, I had a deadline every week, and that meant writing whether I felt like it or not.

Not now. The only way I write is if I feel it. Or to put it real plain, when He taps me. So it ain’t always on the stuff I want or the style I’d really rather, or the topics I wish I could hit, or when. It’s when He starts movin’, puttin’ His hand on my back, and He asks me to step up and speak. Then I listen.

So what happened today is this: I was cleanin’ away, gettin’ ready for our slumber(less) party with the guys, and all at once, a girlie popped right up in my head. Not mine, of course, but one that belongs to someone else. (Or at least as much as any of our kids ever really *belong* to any of us.)

That quick, I knew what He wanted. He was askin’ me to pray. So in the new not-working-like-I-did-for-years-that-about-killed-me kind of way, I just stopped and I said, “What are you prayin’ for her?” This, see, was directed straight at Lord Christ ’cause He’s our great Intercessor. And in a coupla seconds or so, He told me. So I passed it right on up the line.

“Make her hungry and thirsty for righteousness.” This, to the Father of us both.

Then, my busy, caffeinated brain kept a-travelin’, and I thought of some other runnin’ kids and their parents, so I just widened that circle to include ’em. “Make ’em ALL hungry and thirsty for righteousness,” I said, “so that everything else turns to ashes in their mouths, into gravel between their teeth.”

This mom doesn’t mess around. No, uh-uh. You do not want me prayin’ against you, ha ha.

Anyway, then I got to thinkin’ on the parents of strayin’ kids and how, when you’re in that tight, pinchy pair of shoes, all you want is to get through it. Get on out of it. Get that kid back on the straight and narrow. And sometimes you’re so focused on getting done with the pain and havin’ it all fixed, that you can miss it…

You can clean miss it, that God’s wantin’ you to be super hungry and thirsty for righteousness…

Of your own!

In fact, the temptation for parents (or spouses or friends) is to hop in and start pushin’ and manipulatin’ and controllin’ and forcin’ your *one* so hard that you can shut ’em down, drive ’em away. You can interfere with His workin’ in their lives. If you haven’t learned it yet, I’m gonna clue you in on somethin’ basic. So listen up, this is big.

The only thing you can control is you. Your choices. Your holiness. Your obedience. Your attitude. In short, you need to be hungry and thirsty for Him.

It just doesn’t work to try to pray all kinds of stuff on someone else that they’re not even wantin’. You can pray for good friends for your kids, but if they’re not wantin’ that kind, you’re beatin’ on the wrong door. It’s just common sense.

You don’t eat what you don’t like, what you don’t want. So you won’t make good choices if you’re not wantin’ that kind.

“Make them hungry and thirsty for righteousness.”

In Rhonda speak, what that prayer is sayin’ is, “Help them to want the right stuff. Help ’em to be sick of the wrong stuff.” And the reason I have faith for the answer is from a verse that I learned long ago. “For it is God which worketh in you both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).”

This simple, powerful truth is a tool I’ve been usin’ to great effect in my own heart and life, and then I set to usin’ it for my own kids and whoever else Papa sends me to pray for. And of all ever-lovin’ things, all the workin’ and strivin’ and self-effort and self-managing that I used to put on myself and others close to me? That is all going away, and I am seeing actual, living results in my own heart and life.

I don’t have to change my own want-to’s. God does it. I don’t have to force myself to do. God changes my want-to’s, and then I *want to* do it. (And let me just say that when it’s somethin’ hard or unsavory, even there He gives me enough desire and gumption to just do it.)

I stand ah-mazed. I truly do. This way of prayin’ and livin’ and believin’ is miracle territory, people. It just is.

So that’s my prayer for your strayin’ kids. For you pushy parents and every other kind. For me and those I love. For us all!

In the coming year, I’m askin’ the Lord to make us all so hungry and thirsty for righteousness–that He works in us, first to will, and then to do of His good pleasure. For that, dear friend, is the road to abundant life.

Happy New Year from my family and I straight to yours,


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