Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am here at 1:00 in the morning facing an empty white board on my computer hoping that facing this board will help me to sleep. I have insomnia. Thankfully, it does not strike every night but tonight it is here brought on by the rambling thoughts running around my brain. I thought possibly if I could capture those thoughts and spit them out into my blog then possibly....hopefully....sleep might come! As I lay there in my bed trying to force sleep to come I was thinking about choices and consequences and parenting. I believe these thoughts were brought on by my husband. His school year is over but instead of feelings of relief and satisfaction he is facing feelings of frustration and discouragement because of choices students made and consequences they don't want to deal with. Many years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Mark Bailey. He is a wonderful Bible teacher from Dallas Theological Seminary. During that time he taught many great truths but there is one thing that he said that not only has stayed with me but that I have used over and over again in my life and in my parenting. I have repeated his words to anyone who would listen because I beleve they are powerful words of truth. They are these words:

"You can choose your actions, or you can choose your consequences but you cannot choose both!"

Such a simple idea but so profoundly true and applicable to all of life! These are the words I want to yell out to these students and parents who want to have it both ways. They want to choose the actions they feel like taking in the moment....not showing up to class, partying instead of studying, not turning in work but then they want to choose the consequence as well....passing....getting the A. They don't get it! To add to it when they cannot have the consequence they desire they want to throw the responsibility onto someone other than themselves or their kids. Now....I am a mom and I get it. It is hard to see my kids go through a rough time. It is hard to see them disappointed. It is hard to see them have to walk through the consequences of their actions...but I do them a huge disservice when I try to manipulate the consequences of their actions to help them get out of it or when I cast the responsibility for their choices onto someone else. How will any of us learn if we never have to face the consequences of our choices?

God in His infinite wisdom gave us this very concept in His Word:

"See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and you descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deut. 30: 15-20

What is the consequence I want in my life? If I truly want it then I must choose today to take the actions that will lead me there. If I can instill this truth into the hearts and minds of my kids what an amazing tool for life they will have! If they can see their choices today in light of their consequences tomorrow it will give them a huge advantage in making those choices in the moment. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in them they can choose life and set out on a path to victory!

Will we fail and make poor choices as we walk down this road? Yes...absolutely but Praise be to God that even in the failures....even in the poor choices....even in the wrong actions there is forgiveness and grace! But He in His eternal wisdom has us face the consequences of those actions and poor choices knowing that it is in facing the consequences that we will find growth and maturity. As a parent I too need to allow my children to walk through the consequences of their poor help them to take the responsibility for their actions for in doing that I help them walk down a road to maturity and growth.

That is my vent for this late night...or early morning. That is the rambling in my brain that has kept me from sleep on this night.

As I read through what I wrote I want to shake myself and yell at myself..."Do you not hear what you are saying? When are you going to start living this for yourself??" If I truly want the consequence of weight loss and health in my life then I have to start taking the actions that will lead me there! I can't have it both ways! I can't eat whatever I want and live without moving and expect for the weight to just fall off. Isn't it funny how God works at times? These midnight ramblings were not about me! They were about other people and the changes they needed to make but at the end of the day I am the only one I can do anything about. What will I choose? That is the real question!

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