Post Sibling Birthday Depression

I know you have had this syndrome before. If you have a brother or  a sister you know all about what I call Post Sibling Birthday Depression. Its symptoms include sulking, slumped shoulders, down-cast countenance, and foot sliding. At least that is how it looks at our house. The symptoms manifest in a sibling who has not had the last birthday.

Okay, how about some plain english (southern that is). Our older child had a birthday party this weekend. It was a good one. Several friends and family members came over and we had ice-cream and cake. Oh, yes, there were some presents to. I think that is what may have started the depression. Little sister felt somewhat left out. Despite getting one or two gifts for herself and having a friend over to play with during the party, she was still not happy.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We see someone getting recognition, an award, or receive a good gift and instead of feeling proud for the receipiant we are jealous. Our thoughts turn inward and we think only of ourself. You can detect this type of attitude in yourself by listening to the thoughts you tell yourself…

  • Why doesn’t anyone reward me?
  • They really did not deserve that.
  • I never get any good gifts.
  • I never win anything.
  • I wish I could have that too.
  • I am not as good as that person.
  • No one notices me.
  • I don’t have anything nice.

I am sure we could make a longer list but it does no good. This kind of thinking only makes the depression worse. I needed a quick cure for my daughter, so do you.

The cure? Taking a good look at yourself and the blessings you have. The old song “Count your Many Blessings” always comes to my mind.

When upon life’s billows You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged, Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, Name them one by one
And it will suprise you What the Lord has done.
More at Lyrics.time.

So often we just want more we are not content with what we own. A quick test, would you take one million dollars for everything you have right now? Everything? Your house, your cars, your cat, your dog. Ah, but what about your family? Your children? Your parents? There are times I wish I could teleport my family to some of the places I have visited in my life. We could zip off to a under developed country somewhere and see what it looks like to have nothing.

I am not sure the trip would mean much yet to my children. They are young. But I have no excuse. I am grown up. The author of Hebrews said it this way, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5 Not so easy to do sometimes.

How about another exercise… Visit a local nursing home. Go volunteer at a food pantry. Do something for someone who may be a little less fortunate as yourself.

How about this from Paul,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

The key to it all is thanksgiving. Be thankful for all your blessings. Count them one by one.

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Jesus Come to Me

I promised my oldest child I would post a song they wrote. The tune comes from a Backyardigan song. I wish I could remember what episode it was in. Oh, well. Not likely that most of you have seen the show.

It is interesting to watch my children teach me about God. I should probably sing this song every day. You can too if you want.

Jesus come to me, Jesus come to me, Jesus come to me

Your the best in the galaxy.

Satan don’t come to me, Satan don’t come to me, Satan don’t come to me,

your the worst in the galaxy.

I am reminded of what David wrote in Psalm 51.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

We desire to know God. It is in our most inner self to try to find out who this Jesus is. To live with him. I pray I can be more like my children and approach God open and without hang-ups.

God bless.

Lessons from a Child: But I really Want It!

If you have children I know you have heard it before. “I want it, I want it!”  This chant can be heard at most grocery stores and shopping malls across the world. We could all stop reading now and start chanting the familiar chorus together now.

Well I have realized something. My own, wanter, won’t break. I want it turned off. I have found my self getitng onto my kids about all the stuff they own, how they do not play with the toys they have, or that they just had their birthday and don’t need any more toys. (I know my parents are laughing at me now.) And I realize I am no different.

I could make you a list of things I want a mile long. I was wondering the other day how long I could go without buying myself something. But more importantly, why can’t I just rely/revel in the love and supply of God.

 Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:27-31

I believe I have no idea of how well God can supply my needs because I do not rely on Him to.  All I do is want more. It is the mantra of the world, “I want it, I want it!”

Lord, break my wanter! Help me to rely on you to meet my needs.

God bless.

Lessons from a Child: Fear

“Daddy, when the scary parts come, will you keep me safe?”

My youngest asked me that question recently while watching the latest Larry Boy video, Larry Boy & the Bad Apple. The moment she asked me I knew God had another lesson for me. I know He wishes I would listen more. (I thought I often have with my own children.)

There are so many things that make us afraid. Uncertainty is my biggest. What is yours? Spiders, the dark, evil men, being alone, lost, blindness, being without God? The list could go on and on. Sometimes we become so afraid we are paralyzed.

I know when my daughter asks me to keep her safe, she wants me to hold her when she is frightened. Help her cover her eyes and tell her when the scary part is over. We know that God loves us more than we can imagine or even comprehend. We probably have no idea how much he helps us through the scary parts of life.

I think about how God protected the great men of faith, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, and David. None of them knew how God would deliver them only that he would. And did he? Yes. But only by connecting the dots throughout their lives could you see the complete hand of God. Faith. Their faith connected the dots for them when they could not see it all.

Lord, where is my faith? I need to be reminded often of these things.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:3-8

And if sons, then his children. Whom he loves and cares for. May God richly bless you His child.

God Disciplines those he Loves

It was getting late and this was the 3rd time my youngest had gotten out of bed. I had just put her back in the bed and told her, “I is time to go to bed. Do not get out of bed, if you do I am going to punish you. Do you understand me?” At the time she nodded her little head yes confirming she clearly understood the consequences of getting out of the bed again.

It did not take long before I heard her jumping around again. Well this was it, time for discipline. I took her to her bed and said, “I told you if you got out of bed I would punish you. You have left me no choice, I told you not to get out of bed or you would be punished. I want you to obey me. Your choice has consequences.” She looks at me with no remorse. She does not even cry. That will not do.

I begin to preach at her some more. I say, “I want you to obey me!” I stop cold. Stopped, I look up and smile at God.

“Your watching me aren’t you?”, I asked. I heard him reply, “You are not going to punish my daughter again, are you?” I did not move, I was stopped. I picked up my daughter, kissed her on the forehead, and put her back in bed.

I told her, “God loves you and I love you and that is the way it is going to be. Don’t get out of bed.”

But God was not done with me. He continued, “How many times have I told you not to do something and you keep doing it? I have punished you before, do you want me to punish you again? How about all the times I didn’t discipline you?” I smile. Convicted. I respond, “Don’t, I do not want your discipline. I want to obey.”

God said, “THEN OBEY ME.”

I left very convicted of the many, many times I have not obeyed God. I have been aware of his discipline in my life. I am reminded of what the Hebrew writer says of God’s discipline.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:7-11

Remember, God disciplines those he loves. God bless.

Scripture from the New International Version, Gospel of Hebrews 12:7-11

Lessons from a Child #3

Daddy, when will you stop loving me?

My youngest daughter asked me this question while we were watching Phil Collins sing Can’t Stop Loving You. While the song is not really about loving our children, I could not help get all mushy holding my little girl and thinking about all the life between now and when one day she will leave home.

Her question still echoes in my mind. “Daddy, when will you stop loving me?”

I said, “Sweet heart, I will never stop loving you.”

It absolutely blows me away when I think of God loving me. “Father, when will you stop loving me?”

His answer…

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. For neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from My love that is in Christ Jesus your Lord. I will never stop loving you.

Think about it. Be blown away by it. Believe it.

Thoughts and Scripture take from Hebrews 13:5 & Romans 8:38,39

Lessons from a Child #2

Do you know what it is like to be around a tired child? If not, let me summarize, whine, whine, whine. My youngest is a sweet heart. However, when she is tired she will ask for something over and over like a chant. She is in the habit of drinking some milk before taking a nap. So when she is tired and ready for a nap she asks for milk.

“Daddy, may I have some milk,” she asks.

I immediately think of the verse in Luke where Jesus asks, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” I am going to get her some milk. I say, “I will get you some milk in a second.”

But, she does not just ask once. She begins her whine. “Milky, Milllkkkyyyyyy!”

Today, while I was working on getting the milk, I thought of me. Do I sound like I am whining to God when I pray? When I constantly ask for something I know he knows I need, am I whining? Do I show my lack of faith by constantly asking?

Matthew records Jesus’ comments on praying:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

I know we are to pray constantly. I just wonder if I sound like I am whining at times. I am sure I am.

I do not mind my children asking me to give them things. I love to do it. I know that God loves to give us things too. What a wonderful thought, God loves to provide for me even more than I love to provide for my children!

Scripture from New International VersionGospel of Matthew 6:6-8