Have you ever felt like you had nothing to offer to God? Nothing to give Him to work with? I think we’ve all felt that way at some point, in life and definitely in motherhood.
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In this episode, I shared a passage from Elisabeth Elliot’s book, A Path of Loneliness and I’d like to share it here again for you.
My theme is oblation-the offering up of ourselves, all we are, have, do, and suffer. Sacrifice means something received and something offered.
But some may be wondering, HOW, exactly, do I do this? I hesitate to rpescribe a method for so solemn and vital a spiritual transaction. God knows your heart and will accept your offering in any way you can make it, I am sure, but a very simple thing has helped me. It is to kneel with open hands before the Lord. Be silent for a few minutes, putting yourself consciously in his presence. Think of Him. Then think of what you have received in the four categories mentioned (are, have, do, suffer)-the gift of a child, for example, or, years later, the empty nest; the gift of work or the inability to work; marriage or singleness; pleasures or burdens; joy or sorrow.
Next, visualize as well as you can this gift, resting there in your open hands. Thank the Lord for whatever aspect of this gift you can honestly thank Him for-if not for the thing itself, then for its transformability, for his sovereignty, His will which allows you to have this gift, His unfailing love, the promise of His presence in deep waters and hot fires, the pattern for good which you know He is at work on.
Then, quite simply, offer it up. Make God’s gift to you your oblation to Him. Lift up your hands. This is a physical act denoting your love, your acceptance, your thanksgiving, and your trust that the Lord will make of it something redemptive for the wholeness of the Body, even for the life of the world.
Do not look for dramatic effects. There may be no discernible result. As my dear friend Frank Murray, an elder brother to me in the Lord, said regarding a matter we had prayed about, “It is a mistake to measure such things by introspection. He heard and answered. That’s all there is to it. Let the answer be mainfested in his own time and way.”
I don’t know about you, but that is super encouraging to me! So, I ask you- what do you have that you need to offer up to Him and see what He wants to do with it?
In the podcast, I offer you tons of examples of things you may want to offer up if you can’t think of anything. Listen in!
banish the bad dream monster
Scripture is the first weapon
If you have a child, or children, who struggle with bad dreams, this episode offers some solid advice combined with lots of practical tips on how to help them banish the bad dream monster!
When your child is young, use Scripture to help them fall asleep easier if they struggle with fear. The very first verse that every one of my own children memorized was Psalm 4:8, which says,
“I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
We say this verse together as I tuck them in, and again if they wake me up with a bad dream. We talk through the verse and I made sure they understand it.
Call on the name of jesus
Pray to Christ to bring His peace to your child’s heart and to the room. Say Jesus’ name over and over until that peace comes and you see and feel your child begin to calm.
I always prayed this aloud so that my child could hear me, and also to scatter any demons hanging around.
Suggest other things to think about
As we work to take our thoughts captive, I help my young children think of other things. I suggest things that would bring them great joy, such as playing with a bunch of puppies, Christmas morning, their birthday, getting ice cream cones, chasing a field of butterflies, riding their bike with friends, etc.
listen to scripture before bed
One of the most helpful things we did for our young children was to have them listen to Scripture set to songs as they fell asleep. We also listened to hymns or Bible stories on CD or tape. Now, you have the whole Internet at your fingertips!
Our family favorite to listen to before bed was the Psalty the Singing Songbook CDs. I’ve linked the specific one we absolutely wore out.
Another one that we pretty much still know every single word of is the Hide “em in Your Heart series by Steve Green. (I think I accidentally said Michael W. Smith on the podcast. Sorry about that!)
When the kids grow up
Eventually, your kids start to grow up. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean bad dreams just go away. We still dealt with them for many more years for a couple of my children.
In the podcast, I share some very specific ways that we handled bad dreams with older children; ways that my now-adult children still use to this day.
I hope you’ll listen in if your children or teens struggle with nightmares. They can be defeated. You totally can bring light into the darkness for your precious ones.