Monday, September 22, 2014

When 2 or 3 are Gathered in His Name, the Holy Spirit is Fierce: The dotMOM Conference

I had the pleasure of attending the #dotmom14 conference this year.  The dotMOM Conference is a gathering of Christian woman around the US seeking ways to deepen our approaches to life, motherhood, parenting, teaching and learning in concert with Christian teachings.  It was an awesome event filled with laughter, tears, smiles, friendships, song, dance, learning and Chick fil A!  We were graced by the presence of some awesome speakers.  Each day we were lifted up by the guidance of some true greats such as Angie Smith, Jeannie Allen, David Thomas, Rebekah Lyons, Steve and Debbie Wilson and many others.

I came back with my prayer to be filled.  It was answered.  I have been filled with joy, love and the knowledge that I am not alone in my belief that I have been saved.  My life is not ordinary because God fills me with the extraordinary.  My life was irrevocably changed once I committed to my relationship with God.  It was a turning point.

I digress.  The mountain top will do that to you.  To breakdown the mountain top to the people in the valley below (thank you Amy Grant), these were my takeaways for sharing from the conference:

On Parenting:
When we parent out of fear; kids get the worst of us.  When we parent out of love, our kids get the best of us.  David Thomas.

Matthew 11: 28-30: Come to me all you who are wear and burdened, and I will give you rest.....God will rest us from the storms of parenthood.

Children, especially boys are wild things.  Parent in tandem with the way God made your children.  Give them freedom where they need it, love them greatly, praise them, let them make mistakes.  Talk with them. Make time for children to be active and move.  Especially after school.  Let them explore.  Don't be a hover parent. Give them opportunities to be creative, read, take on responsibilities, take risks and feel adventure.  Give them opportunities to find their purpose.

Use Media Contracts with children.

Use Signs in Rooms on what you expect your children to do to remind them of chores, behaviors and responsibilities.

If you are driven by fear and a false belief that your children will be messed up by anything you do, you are not giving credit to God for the hand God has in your children's lives. You are doing a disservice to God, not to acknowledge that you are not in control of your children, God is. Trust God with the life of your child.

Don't sterilize God for your children.  Let your kids see every day what God is to you and what God does for your life.  It's ok to let your kids see you at your worst moments.  Even those moments when you are crying in the arms of God.    Success with your children is when they grow up to love God and serve God.  Why would kids think they need Jesus, if you have have made them the center of the universe?  Make Jesus the center of the universe and they will know where they need to gravitate.  Angie Smith.

On Marriage:
Unspoken expectations will lead to discouragement.  Put your pride down; hints don't work--speak up for what you want, need, or believe that will make your marriage stronger.  Be specific.  Remember the qualities you fell in love with in your spouse.  They are still there.  There is NEVER an excuse to have an affair.  Give "wins" to your spouse.  Sometimes, it's more important to make things right that to be right all the time. Unrealistic expectations will lead to defeat in your marriage.  We are here to be what God created us to be, not what society tells to be.

Temper People: It's time to grow up.  irritability and temper do not work or help a relationship.  Your temper is the result of something else.  Get to the root of it and deal with it.  Irritability comes from constantly trying to be perfect.

Your earthly marriage relationship is a reflection of your relationship with God. Be Jesus to one another in a marriage.  When someone hands you their heart, handle it well. God puts you in a marriage to be better together.

The most intimate thing that you and your spouse will do together is not sex.  It is to pray for each other by name, out loud together. Steve and Debbie Wilson.

On Life:
God called you by your name.
It's not funny when you try to control faith. Control is the action of fear.  Fear not.  Stand firm, the Lord will fight for you.
Be obedient to God's word.  Even when it makes you nervous. 
Live out acts of scripture everyday.  Each day you act out scripture you have read, you remember the scripture.
Mend fences quickly.  The gospel is a gospel of forgiveness.
Touch is healing.
Give your gracious heart to others.
Our job every day is to build our faith for our children to see it.  Show them that faith holds you together through every storm.

The only thing that was missing from dotMom14 was a discussion on Fitness for Moms and developing Health and Spiritual Fitness.  Call me, I'll take this breakout session for you with a
discussion on Christ Walk for 2015.  :)