“Oh, Harley!”

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

My husband, I and our children just finished a 3-week sabbatical. It was a decision that we felt God was not only leading us to, but totally supported by our church and board. What a blessing! Multiple times, through different ways, God brought to our attention that the priority of this sabbatical was to be family – our kids.

We had a great three weeks of nothing overly planned, just spending time together, and investing into our kids with our time. It was great and much needed.

So this morning, my husband is getting ready to head back to the church and he was calling the dogs in from the back yard. Now I must tell you, that we just moved into this house back in September, and our little poodle has gotten out more times than I care to talk about! It didn’t take long before I could tell I needed to put a hoodie and some slippers on, and once again go on a drive to find our dog, Harley. So frustrating! Why can’t he just stay in the yard? Why does he have to pull tricks like this? Who left the gate open? We have never had this much of a problem with any dog we’ve ever had, and just in the time we’ve been at this new house it’s probably happened like eight or more times! (Does this remind you of raising kids??)

So, I’m out driving around looking for him, and I sense the Holy Spirit speak to my heart and say, “just go home and wait for him.” I’m thinking in my head and saying, “I am really freaked out about the animal control people finding him first, and I don’t want to pay them for picking up my dog!” Well, a bit later I went out with my kids in the vehicle and I again sense the Spirit say, “just go home and wait for him.”

I go home, look around, read a Bible verse, and let our other dog out of the kennel to take her with us. And as I’m opening the back of the truck, I am telling the Holy Spirit that I just want to drive around to give me something to…. and there he is! Harley! He came back home all by himself!

Have you ever had God make an application to your life from the craziest circumstances?? Well, He did for me in that moment. The dogs were walking to the back yard, and God dropped this verse into my heart; “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It totally spoke to my heart for my kids! That this is the season to be training them up, making their training and right growth the priority! This is the time to show them not just spiritual truths, but moral, physical, financial, relational truths as well! Not to despise this season of life in our kids’ life, wishing it was over and despising the repetition, but taking advantage of the times I have now to make memories and show them the way they should go. And just like Harley, the dog, I might get nervous about some of their decisions and choices, but in the end they will come back!

Lord, I ask that You would give each of us guidance on raising our children in Your ways. In our human ways, we want to steer the direction of their paths, but we put them in Your hands and leave that to You. Give us wisdom, peace, and patience so that we can be the best moms we can be to the blessings that You have given us to cherish and raise in Your name. Thank you for trusting each of us with Your children here on earth. Amen.

Karissa Nelson

Karissa has one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear, but on top of that talent and gift God has given her, she is a mother to three beautiful children and a helpmate to her husband, Shane.  Together they raise their family and minister in Milton-Freewater, Oregon where Karissa grew up.  Her passion for worship and family surround her daily.  Isaiah 30:15, "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'Is repentance and rest in your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength'" (NIV).

Karissa has one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear, but on top of that talent and gift God has given her, she is a mother to three beautiful children and a helpmate to her husband, Shane. Together they raise their family and minister in Milton-Freewater, Oregon where Karissa grew up. Her passion for worship and family surround her daily. Isaiah 30:15, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘Is repentance and rest in your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength'” (NIV).

 

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