Chin Up Devotional: Day 1

Day 1: The Amazing Grace Inside Our Children.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
— Ephesians 4:29

Inhale with me.
Exhale.
Good job.
I hope it's quiet for you this morning. I hope you have peace around you for just a minute. I hope you can clear your mind.

Today we inhale the new year and we exhale the last.

Let's exhale old, negative thoughts. Old bad habits. Old poor thinking and speaking. And let's inhale gratitude, joy, and love in our bodies and in our homes. Let's inhale an attitude of building up and benefitting our children with beautiful words. Amazingly, this will build us up too.

As we do this, we need a reality check. Because we are all born into a broken world, we are all born broken. We have a sinful nature pulsing through our veins since Adam and Eve took that fateful bite. But God, by His unending grace, gives us gifts and blessings despite it all. 

But so often my head is down and I forget about His grace.

I forget to keep my eyes open. I forget to shift to see the gifts. I forget to get my chin up to see what God has done and is doing under my very own roof.  He is at work in my home and in my children and there is beauty in each of us to celebrate. We can name the grace and build it up.

I want to be ready to catch my children being awesome and to absolutely delight in them. I'm guessing you do, too. I am willing to bet you are tired of being grumpy and want to be graceful. (Or is it just me that’s grown grumpy on winter break?) Let’s start our year with our chin up, looking at the King and all His goodness. Let's choose grace instead of grump. Let's get after it.

  • List three qualities or gifts each of your children have that you love.
     
  • Take a few minutes, in quiet, to thank God for those qualities. Smile as you do this.
     
  • Throughout your day today keep your heart and your eyes open for all those qualities (especially if they are still on winter break!). Hunt them down if you have to. Our children are incredibly gifted and each have unique qualities God has given them.
     
  • Before the day is done, commit to telling your children you love those three qualities about them. Smile as you do this. Build them up and benefit them with your words.

Take stock at the end of today about your perspective. See if you exhaled grumpy mom, and inhaled grace and beauty. What did this do for your soul?

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, then prophesy whenever you can—as often as your faith is strong enough to receive a message from God. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.  If you are a preacher, see to it that your sermons are strong and helpful. If God has given you money, be generous in helping others with it. If God has given you administrative ability and put you in charge of the work of others, take the responsibility seriously. Those who offer comfort to the sorrowing should do so with Christian cheer.

Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good.  Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
— Romans 12:3-11
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
— James 1:17

 

God, help me to reject grumpiness and to embrace grace. Help me to see my children and how amazing, beautiful, interesting, creative, fun, gifted, and hilarious they are. Shepherd me in finding the gifts my children have, even at a young age. Help me to laugh with them and to be light and to let go of controlling them in any unhealthy ways. Help me to enjoy them and let them be funny children with fantastic ideas. Thank you that you see us this way, God. You are a good good Father who delights in us.