reflect jesus to them

paigeknudsen 5648

“i effing hate you. you mean nothing to me. you’re not my real mama. i want to tear up the adoption papers.”

it was 2009.

my friend is a modern day saint. she is. she advocates for the orphan. she travels world wide & encourages adoptive families. she works in a very high ranking government position as well. but her highest calling is truly that of a mama.

her friendship is a gift to me is so many ways. earlier this week i reached out to her and gave her a few specific prayer requests. she called me almost immediately and gave me so much to ponder. so much good to ponder. from a woman who has been on the front lines of battle with rebellious kids, angry kids, broken relationships…she’s seen it all. she’s giving me life lessons that she’s learned herself. not just fluff and well wishes sent my way.

one of the powerful things she told me sounds simple.

reflect jesus to them.

sounds simple most days? maybe even at many ages? but think about it. i know for me when my girls and i are in a heated conversation, when there is confrontation or disagreement i am probably guilty of seldom reflecting jesus. in fact, i betcha if they were reading this they’d be like, umm. yeah right mom.

reflect jesus to them.

it sure is easy to reflect them back to them. teenagers view of their reality is not always…well…reality. but it’s reality to them & to their hearts. let’s face it. these years can sometimes ( it may never happen in your home -high five–but otherwise….) be a time of hyper-focusing on the failures and weaknesses of the parents. it just happens sometimes ya’ll. it does.

this morning my friend called & told me after a recent dinner table conversation where she asked a couple of her grown kiddos who they most want to copy. after years of rebellion that very daughter told my friend  “mom, you are the person I try to copy!”

5 years between the two statements.

5 years–or actually many many more—of reflecting jesus.

reflecting jesus when anger is much easier. reflecting jesus when bitterness would much prefer to take root. reflect jesus when the need to be right seems stronger. reflect jesus when your world is already filled to the brim with stress.

reflect jesus back to them.

‘you mom.  you’re the person i want to copy.”

2014

that my friends is the redeeming  power that reflecting jesus to them can have. it gives hope if you’re in a place of not really knowing what to do in a situation that seems larger than life. hope & power.

~~~

i love the above image of dan & caroline taken a few years ago. that look of trust and adoration. the smiling out loud & hands held. loyalty. love. he reflects jesus in our home. slow to anger. quick to forgive. silence instead of over-reacting. quiet instead of needing to be right. loving through service. loyal.

reflect jesus to them. i can’t do this in my own strength. the natural paige isn’t jesus at all. but i have His spirit within me. if your heart believes in Him, you have it too. His strength made perfect through our weakness. feeling weak today but relying fully on Him. thankful that each morning He gives new mercies. i sure do love Him.

 

March 14, 2014 - 9:42 am

Deborah - Wonderful words Paige. 

March 14, 2014 - 10:36 am

KC - I second it. Your words are always so inspiring. God bless.

March 14, 2014 - 10:43 am

JuliaW - Beautiful post. Thank you.

March 14, 2014 - 11:05 am

Sophie - Such a beautifully written post Paige. Praise Jesus for His redeeming love,

March 14, 2014 - 11:34 am

Brittney - I value your insight and encouragement so much. As a momma with little kids, you help me not be afraid of what the future and life with teens will be. Very redemptive.

March 14, 2014 - 1:36 pm

taylor - Beautiful and timely. Thanks Paige

March 14, 2014 - 1:58 pm

chrissi - something so simple and yet so perfect. i am going to try this. everyday. everywhere. at least i know that when i fail, He won’t give up on me. thank you paige for sharing this♥

March 14, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Paige Wright - ahhhhhh….I so needed that today my friend, thank you very much!

March 14, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Juliette Mariano-Carlson - Thank you so much for the reminder to “reflect Jesus back to them.” Also, your loving hubby reminds me of my mine. We are blessed.

March 14, 2014 - 9:37 pm

JoyG - Hit the nail on the head again, Paige. As a mom to an eleven year old, you help to remind what’s important, and how we shape our children.

March 14, 2014 - 9:41 pm

Jackie - Your Dan sounds so much like my Kevin. We are blessed women, for sure.
And thank you for these words, Paige. They are timely and true. xoxo

March 14, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Donna - Nice reminder & great post! That pic of your hubby & daughter really is adorable…you can see their fondness for one another so clearly!

March 15, 2014 - 8:10 am

Donna - You are truly an inspiration. Have a wonderful weekend.

March 16, 2014 - 11:08 am

Jen@thecottagenest - Oh Paige. I really empathize with what you are going through. I remember feeling like I was the only one having a hard time with their teenager when I was struggling with Maddie’s hard teen years. Since our oldest girls are the same age I even remember being envious of your experience with a teenager which seemed so much better than mine. Mostly I felt like a failure. It seemed nothing I did was right and as a Mom I of course blamed myself. These hard years culminated into a huge fight half way through her senior year when she had failed two classes that she needed to graduate and when she informed us she didn’t care at all about her future and there was nothing we could do to make her care. Oh and she packed her bags and informed us she was moving in with her boyfriend. Ouch. Fast forward three years and she is a junior in college getting a degree in psychology and looking forward to getting her master’s next. She works two jobs, lives on her own and pays most of her own expenses. This is not what I would have predicted three years ago but it gives me hope for all Mom’s who are feeling like they screwed it up. We can’t compare our experiences to other parents or even to other children living in our home. We are individuals. I know you have given your girls the tools they need, taught them right from wrong and now you have to have some faith. And that’s hard. I’m sending you strength and hugs friend.

March 17, 2014 - 10:09 am

Jennifer - I putting that somewhere in my house as a reminder. “reflect them to Jesus…”
Thank you for sharing!

March 17, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Lynsey Braggs - This speaks so much to me right now. My middle schooler is testing me in a way I’ve never been tested before. Most days I let myself react negativly. What a great reminder to reflect Jesus. He knew I needed to read this today! Thank you, Paige! I really admire you!