One week ago today, I woke up a little before my alarm went off. I decided that I would enjoy the quiet time and headed downstairs. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, something to my right caught my attention.
The front door was open. Not open as in unlocked. Standing wide open. Open. As in I was looking outside at my front yard. I called for Chad and we immediately we checked the house out. Nothing appeared out of place.We both were completely unsure of why the door was open and the alarm was off. After a few minutes, we decided that we just got distracted when we were locking up and in the process of letting Paddington (our canine son) out, we just totally missed it. Really, there is no other explanation.
You better believe that come Monday evening, we double checked everything! After the last recheck, I settled in and went to sleep much faster than normal.
Shortly after midnight I woke up after the single most disturbing, terrifying, heart wrenching dream I have ever had. While I will not get into the details of that dream (mainly because they were so Biblically inaccurate) I will simply say…God used it to imprint something on my heart. THAT is what I am sharing here.First of all, it has taken me a week to process the two events and see that He was using them to teach me something. Honestly, I wasn’t even going to blog about it, but the overwhelming urge to do so this morning has overruled my desire to just keep it to myself.
Tuesday morning after God woke me up from this dream, I went to check on my girls. I did something that I haven’t done in a while, but after what I had just experienced, I HAD to. I curled up on their bed besides them and prayed over them. Then I got in the floor in the hallway between their rooms and prayed. By this time I was wide awake so I headed downstairs.I cannot begin to explain the pressing on my heart. This urgency for my daughter’s purity and protection. It was stronger than I have felt in a long time. So I did the only thing I knew to do, grab my Bible and start reading. I hit Proverbs and since it was the 27th of the month, I started there. And boy, there is some meat in the first verses! LOVE it…but where God begin to have me settle was on down around verse 12.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, the simple go on and suffer for it.In other words, when you see danger you don’t knowingly walk into it! Especially, when your children are at risk. I love what Master Procter and Master Holland teach our karate students, “The best defense, is to not be there.” But when you ARE there, you need to know how to protect yourself.
The next verse that really stood out to me was verse 23. In context it is speaking to wealth and being a wise steward, but I read this verse, the Lord challenged me . The challenge was to see my children, and the children he has placed in my care as my flock.
Verse 23 says:
Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.While we want our girls to live for and radiate Jesus right now at 15 and 12 years old, our goal is for them to leave our home and be confident in who they are with Jesus. This is training time.
It is our calling as parents to train them, discipline them, and protect them. Proverbs 22:6a says, Train up a child in the way they should go. That training will not always be easy, or fun and honestly sometimes it is exhausting. But, the conclusion of Proverbs 22:6 says
even when he is old he will not depart from it.I believe God used two events last week to remind me that my guard was down a little in some areas. That I had “left the door open” so to speak. In today’s world, his reminder was that I need to resist the urge to be a “logged off” parent. I needed to be aware of what is going on with my girls!
Several years ago He gave me a lists of things to keep me from being THAT logged off parent. Maybe you need the reminder too.
1. Do I know my girl’s friends? I mean KNOW them. What are their parent’s names? What’s going on at home?
2. Do I know what my girls are doing on-line? I make no apologies for “stalking” their Facebook, Instagram and any other form of social media. And I don’t just mean what their pages look like. I look at their “followers”, “friends” and find out what they are posting as well.
3. Text messages…….we spot check these. And no, my girls don’t like it but they know right now we are not their friends. See number 4.
4. Be a parent not a friend. There will be plenty of time for friendship later…right now, I am their mom charged with their care, training and protection. Their father and I will answer to God for how we parented them.
5. Be willing to pull the plug, cancel the account.
6. (this is a hard one) Ask other adult friends/parents to TELL you, show you…contact you if they see your child doing questionable things on-line that you may have missed. This one is hard…but as iron sharpens iron….
7. Encourage girls to use on-line activity to bring glory to God. Yes, have fun…post fun pictures be silly! BUT…keep it clean. If it doesn’t pass the P4:8 check then it doesn’t need to be there.Monday morning’s discovery of the door being open was scary. Walking through the house, I made a mental list of “What If’s”. It included the stray cats wondering in my house, the coyotes we know roam the woods around us, random people walking up and down the street… my imagination was in overdrive. We had left that door open and exposed our family to who knows what.
Tuesday’s morning dream was a check asking me if I was confident of the condition of my children’s hearts. Their spiritual heart. So Tuesday morning at breakfast I made each person in my house look me in the eye and answer some questions. They kind of giggled at me, but could tell the urgency I felt.
Interestingly, this passage was in my last blog post in July. I questioned using it again, but God keeps saying USE THIS...so here is I Peter 1:13-15 (ESV)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.