Are you weary? The holiday season can bring out the best… and the worst in all of us. Today, I’ll be answering your questions and offering some encouragement from the Bible for your weary heart. God understands!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Psalm 32:1-7
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Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you guys are here. We’re getting close to Christmas. Today is Wednesday, December 11th. This is episode number 855. We’ve got a lot to talk about today. And you know what I think? I think you’re going to be encouraged. Stick around.
A couple of things going on today. I am really excited that you guys are here. Well, for lots of different reasons. First of all, we’re getting close to Christmas. I hope you guys are doing good. Are you? Moment of silence. Anybody listening? Yes you are. Breathe, mama, breathe. You don’t actually have to do all those things. There’s a lot of great things that we can be thankful for. And I want to tell you guys first about one of our sponsors here at the podcast. The Kingdom Code is a comprehensive financial stewardship program that equips children with valuable tools for money management, and encourages them to be entrepreneurs. You guys know that I’m passionate about this. We have been raising a whole house full of entrepreneurs.
So, why teach entrepreneurship? Well, because entrepreneurship provides first-hand experiences that build confidence, they develop life skills, and a positive work ethic. The life lessons experienced by creating and building a business, can contribute tremendously to future success in life. If you guys want more information, visit thekingdomcode.com/heidi and they’ll give you a coupon for free samples and 10% off the entire purchase. So, remember you guys, it’s the thekingdomcode.com/heidi. I want to thank you guys for visiting our sponsors. The sponsors are a huge part of what helps us bring this podcast to you. I don’t know if you guys are aware of this, but we’re in the middle of Christmas, and keep your Christmas cards coming. I’m loving that here at Firmly Planted.
I’m going to start putting pictures up of the Christmas cards that we’re getting here. So I’d love to see a picture of your family. We would love it if you guys would include a year-end donation if you’re able, to support the work of Firmly Planted Family. That is the nonprofit that this podcast functions underneath. We appreciate that. But our sponsors are a huge reason why we have been able to expand the reach of the podcast. It’s the reason why we’ve been able to hire people to help get this podcast out to you in the form of a transcript every single time at airs, it’s what helps us advertise. So, we really appreciate it if you guys would visit the sponsors here. Today’s sponsor, again, is thekingdomcode.com, and if you want their coupon, thekingdomcode.com/heidi.
All right. You guys know that Wednesdays I have been trying to just encourage you, a little bit more of a devotional aspect of it. I used to be teaching from MomStrong International from the Bible study, but that became difficult because we have so many people who are now over at the Facebook page. If you haven’t joined me at MomStrong International, we’re doing a study this month called Sanctuary. I think it’s really going to encourage and bless you. You can get that Bible Study by simply going to momstronginternational.com and then you can subscribe. It’s about $8 a month, and that $8 goes a whole long way to helping us get the podcast on the air also. And you’re going to get a fantastic Bible study to boot. So, every Wednesday I do a live teaching over at the Facebook group and then we post that teaching at the member’s only page.
Also, if you haven’t joined us for the Scripture Writing Challenge, I told you guys last time, this is a really great opportunity for you to help get your children used to, and yourself, being in God’s word every day. This month, all of the Bible studies that we do have a corresponding Scripture Writing Challenge. This month is Sanctuary. Check it out. Get your kids up early, you guys, 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Maybe sit around the kitchen table with some hot chocolate and open your Bibles and write out the scripture writing challenge. I’ve been telling you guys this for a long time. Just a few minutes in God’s word every day will change your life, it really well, because God is in the business of changing lives.
You guys know that I am in the business of writing books and I have been writing for a little while now, I guess maybe 10 years or so. I have been so blessed and encouraged. I wanted to just take a second and tell you how encouraging it is for me to read your reviews over at Amazon. I read every single one of them. We love to hear from you. We love it when you guys leave reviews for the podcast over at iTunes when you share it with your friends. I want to hear what’s working for you, and what’s encouraging you. As an author and a speaker, I’m always asking the Lord to help me keep my finger on the pulse of what you are struggling with and the kinds of conversations that will bring encouragement to you and build you up in your relationship with the Lord. And the best way to get ahold of me is to go to heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. You can leave your comments there, you can give me show ideas, you can ask questions, and we really love to hear from you. I want to encourage you to do that.
If you’re here in the Portland, Vancouver area, we want to encourage you to come on by the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center. The Raft, which is our coffee house, has awesome Christmas gift ideas. We have locally roasted coffee, handmade candies, our very own honey that we have harvested right here at the center, and gift certificates for your favorite student. I mean, your favorite parents. That coffee shop is run by homeschool graduates. They oversee it and they’re doing a great job. So, come on by, and get a cup of what I think is the best coffee anywhere in the Portland, Vancouver area.
Also, the book store here, Headwaters, has been under the wonderful direction of my friend Joe Valenti, and she has transformed that fledgling bookstore into a wonderfully organized full-service resource for families. Come by and check it out. Books make great gifts. We have Bibles, awesome new books and used books. We’re open Monday through Thursday from about 10:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon. So come on by and check it out.
I know some of you are listening to this today and it’s the 11th of December and you’re feeling kind of worn out. You’re worn out by what we’re watching on the news. It feels like the nation is being pulled apart right now because of talk of impeachment and all the things that are happening. And the Bible has a lot to say about being worn out. God understands your worn-outness. Psalm 119:81 says, “I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word.” And if you’re worn out right now and you’re feeling like you’re waiting for rescue, I want to just encourage you. You’re right where God wants to minister to you. And I think about lots of times in the last 31 years of Christmases that my husband and I have been building a home together and raising a family. And I’m thinking back today to a time when it was like, I want to say … So, for me, the most unmagical hour of the day is 4:00 PM. Yep. 4:00 PM.
I can remember a 4:00 PM on a Tuesday when I decided that I was no longer interested in what any of my children had to say. Anybody? My newly minted chore chart wasn’t working, the dishes were piling up on the sink and the countertop, and even the laundry hamper in the house was full to overflowing. At least two of my children had been what my mama would have called mouthy to me in the space of two hours. Our schoolwork was sitting unfinished on the kitchen table. And speaking of the kitchen table, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a plan for dinner. That’s why the 4:00 PM hour for me. If I don’t have a plan for dinner, it’s why I love my crockpot. It’s why I love my pressure cooker. I didn’t have a plan for dinner, and I hate it when 4:00 PM rolls around and I don’t have a plan for dinner.
And come to think of it, that’s probably what did it, provoked my screaming fit, that is. It wasn’t my best mom moment, if you guys know what I mean. I mean, I was yelling at my kids. You guys ever done that? Have you just been so weary and so worn out and just, you open your mouth and words came out that you were just like, “Where did that even come from? I didn’t know that I could get this upset and this angry.” And I remember yelling at my kids, “Get down here, every single one of you.” And one by one, six of our seven children gingerly made their way down the stairs. They looked worried, and with good reason. Because for the next several minutes and maybe longer, I pretty sure I outlined my grievances. I’m fairly certain I addressed every single one of them from the toddlers to the teenagers, and I don’t think I was kind. And in fact, I said things I wished I hadn’t said, that day. My frustration, like many of you listening to this, had reached a boiling point.
What boiled over that day wasn’t pretty because I was at the end of my rope. I was worn out. And if you’re listening to this right now and you’re worn out, lean in because I want to encourage you. I needed to hit the reset button. And after my rant, or lecture, or whatever you guys want to call it, was over, I gave the kids their marching orders and I retreated to my bedroom. I felt like a total failure as a mother. Why was I so angry? Why was my soul so weary? And as I sat down on the floor in my room, just tears running down my face, I wondered why I had gotten to this point. You guys ever wonder why? And as I reached for a blanket, I remember just trying to pull a blanket. I wanted to just lay down on my bed and pull a blanket over my head, and I caught a glimpse of my dust-covered Bible just sitting there on the nightstand.
In a moment I knew that a nap was not what I needed. I needed living water. Here’s the thing. In the business of our lives, in the day to day of mothering and the homemaking, carpooling, cooking, I had allowed pride to sneak into my life. I want you to listen really closely with me for a moment because I think pride is a sneak. He says, “I don’t need to spend time with the Lord today.” Pride says, “Heidi, you’ve got this thing figured out. You don’t need the Lord.” And before I knew it, you guys, a day had turned into a week, and a week turned into a month of me trying to do everything on my own. And suddenly I realized how absolutely in need of God’s help I really was. My spirit was desperate for a touch from the savior.
See, here’s the thing. Without living water, our spiritual lives grow dim. Our perspective is skewed. Our resistance to what would normally we might have tolerance for we don’t have tolerance for anymore. We start yelling at our kids or being unkind to our husband or slamming doors. I am so glad that God understands, aren’t you? And I came to him in prayer and his grace washed over me. And I remember just crying out to him, “Lord, I’m so sorry for thinking I could do this without you.” And I asked him to help me see my children with fresh eyes, and to help me see my husband and the blessing of marriage with fresh eyes. And I’m so thankful because that day ended better than it began because it ended with grace. Grace is what the Lord gives us. And when God gives us grace, that grace translates into grace for our children.
I remember going to my kids and just saying, “I’m so sorry, you guys. I need to renew my commitment to being in the Bible, and to asking the Lord for his help.” This is part of the reason why I founded MomStrong International. It is the reason why I started doing the Scripture Writing Challenge. And so many of you listening to this right now, you’re weary and you’re tired, and you’ve done what I did, and still do if I’m not careful, which is to wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is to get on Facebook, or the first thing you do is to start exercising, or first thing you do is to put the laundry from the washing machine into the dryer. And for whatever reason, we allow these things to hijack our time with the Lord and pretty soon we’re worn out and we’re weary. So, if you’re worn out right now, ask yourself this question: “Have I been drinking living water? Have I been drinking living water? Is my hope in God’s Word, or am I hoping in myself? Am I resting in the Lord? Am I asking him for His wisdom daily?”
Because I promise you, you guys, the Lord is waiting for you with open arms, and when you let your weary heart find rest in the Lord, that really is the remedy for weariness. It really is. Because you know what the Lord does when we come before him? The Lord helps us to see things from a proper perspective. And without the Lord’s help, we are prone to seeing things not from a right perspective. We are prone to seeing things from a worldly perspective, which often is just a wrong perspective.
I just want to encourage you, take some time. It’s the reason why I wrote the Scripture Writing Challenge. I hope you guys will check it out. When I started that, I don’t know, five, six years ago, I was trying to tell the women, “Listen, 10 minutes in God’s word will change your life.” And one of the reasons I like it so much is because in my own spirit, I am a teacher at heart. I know that getting in there and getting my kids to do the same, is what really motivates me to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. I hope you guys will take that to heart today. Check out the Scripture Writing Challenge. If you’re weary, the Lord understands. The remedy for weariness is to come back to the Lord. He is waiting for you, and you can rest in him, and you can find your hope in him.
All right. I’m going to answer a question because I got a … I’m trying to do it on Monday and Wednesday now. I want to answer a question, a couple of them, that came in that the same general idea. This one says, “Dear Heidi, my in-laws, some of them, are not believers. My husband and I had been praying for breakthrough for years, and we don’t see change. I’m torn between do I approach them head-on with the subject, or do I continue to live a godly life and hope that they see the difference? My heart is heavy about it, and I need advice.”
All right. A couple of things. Well, let me go to the next one, because really these are going to, it’s the same for two different problems. This one says, “Hi Heidi. I have a question about protecting my children spiritually. We have five children, ages 5 to 15. My parents come from Catholic and United church backgrounds. I also went to the United church and got saved as a teen. They would tell our kids that they are Christians, but they do not have the Bible as their authority. My dad is one of those brilliant intellectual people who is sneaky about getting his point across about such things as the same God, different ways to God, et cetera. What is our place in protecting our kids, especially in reference to 1 Corinthians Chapter 5:9-11? Thanks for considering my question.”
Okay, so let’s look at I Corinthians 5. Because remember, this is Paul telling you who you should and who you shouldn’t hang out with. He said, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. Not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy or swindlers or idolaters. Since then, you would need to go out of the world.” Paul’s like, “Listen, you’re here. Get over it. Look around you.” But now he’s saying, “Listen, what I’m trying to tell you is don’t associate with someone who bears the name of Jesus. If he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed or an adulterer or reviler, drunkard, or swindler, don’t even eat with someone like that.
Let’s talk about this passage for just a minute because it bears to the answer for both of these questions. The apostle Paul is saying there is a difference between the way we interact with Christians and the way that we interact with people who have not yet been saved, people who don’t know the Lord Jesus. I want to go back to the first question because I think this is very important. You’re seeing, sweet mama, that your husband and you have been praying for years to see your in-laws come to the Lord, but they haven’t come to the Lord yet.
You’re saying, “Do I approach them with a head-on, hardcore, here’s what it is? Or continue to live a godly life.” I would submit to you that you should not, certainly not sever your relationship with them. In fact, I’d be more inclined to love them even more. I’d be more inclined to be even more kind, even more hospitable. What we want to be careful about is the influence that people who don’t know the Lord are having on our children, and we need to be even more careful about people who claim the name of Jesus but who are not living according to His Word.
And as far as the second question goes, I’m not seeing that in your question. I don’t hear, I mean, you said your dad is a brilliant intellectual person who has a different view on God. He thinks there are several different ways to God. Which we know is not true because that’s not what the Bible teaches. But I don’t see him as sexually immoral, I don’t see him saying, “I’m a Christian, but I’m going to live an active homosexual lifestyle.” He’s not saying, “I’m a Christian, but I’m going to be cheating on my wife, and sorry you don’t like it.” It sounds to me like he comes from a denomination that’s different than yours.
And particularly in the United, I don’t know if you’re talking about the church United, United Methodist, I don’t see that in your question. But you need to really be very careful about teaching proper theology to your children. That is your job. I don’t see this as a reason to sever your relationship with your parents. I would be careful. The Bible tells us that we are to be careful who our children hang around with. There is a very, very good argument to be made, and it comes straight from the Bible, about the way we choose our friends and the way that we choose the friends that hang around our children. God has used friendship as an instrument all throughout His Word, for the process of making us more like Jesus. And it’s very important for Christians to carefully choose who we hang out with.
Wise Christians build us up, but bad ones lead us to sin and they encourage ungodly traits. We want to be careful in protecting the hearts of our children, but we also want to be behaving in a way that gives honor and glory to the Lord. So if you were to write to me and say, like many of you have, and I’m sure you guys have heard me address this question on the podcast before, “Hey, Heidi,.I’ve got a brother and he says that he’s a Christian and he goes to church, but he just got married to a man and they want to come over for the holiday dinner. What should I do?” Well, in that case, you’re in a very, very hard position now because the Bible says, “If any one of you claims to be a brother, claims to be a Christian, and lives in sexual immorality,” and then he goes on to list several other things. The Bible says, “Don’t even eat with such a man.”
Why did the apostle Paul say that? Because the goal was to bring that person back to restoration. The goal was to say, “Listen, you’re hurting our fellowship because you say that you’re a Christian, but your life is you are living as if you don’t believe the word of God at all.” And that sends a terribly confusing message, absolutely, to our children. There are so many different nuances to relationships. I’m always tying to tell listeners the one thing we want to do is be kind and be loving, and we need to be obedient at the same time. You need to ask God for wisdom. Lord, what do you want me to do? Who do you want me to have in my life? And who do you want me to not have in my life?
Because good parents will try to remove negative influences from their children’s lives, right? And just like that, God will remove bad influences from our lives, and he would replace them with godly friends, with good influences. Remember Luke 6:40, “When a student is fully trained, he’ll be like his teacher.” Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 13 verse 20, “Walk with the wise and become wise. Associate with fools and get into trouble.” And so we want to be asking the Lord, “Lord, how would you have us interact with these people?” And as the first question came to me, my heart, honestly, for the mom who was saying that her in-laws are not Christians, pray for them.
Oh my goodness. It sounds to me like they’re good people who don’t know the Lord. And I would just pray for him that the Lord would, that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes, that they would come to know Jesus. And that’s what you want more than anything else. And for those of you who are, I mean, the holidays are here, oh my goodness. And we end up with, all of us have family situations that are less than desirable. And for those of you who are Christians and you have people in your life that claim to be Christians and they want to live a life that God says, “Do not do that.” It’s openly defined what God says in his word. That is one of the most difficult circumstances, I think, that you’ll ever face in your life. And we have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. “God, what do you want us to do?”
All right. But be sensitive to it. And when you see, for the mom who answered the second question, if you hear your father giving your kids wrong information, you need to address it with your father. Maybe it’s your husband that needs to do that. To say, “Listen dad, I love you, but we do not believe this way and you cannot teach my children that.” I’d be straight up with him because you’re going to have to fix it anyways. You’re going to have to fix it with your kids. So, doctrine is important, theology is important. What we believe about God is absolutely important. And I think sometimes it gets run over and missed. We want to be very, very careful not to do that.
I am out of time for today. I have tried so hard to stay in my 20 minute window. Having a hard time. But I love you guys and I thank you so much for the questions that you are turning in. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the reviews you’re leaving at Amazon for Becoming Mom Strong, and all the books I’ve written. If you’re looking for great Christmas gifts, we have a variety of them at the store which I will link back to in the show notes today. My brand new t-shirt Off The Bench is in the shop, it’d make a great gift for your teenage daughter and for yourself. Anybody that you know that wants to get off the bench and onto the battlefield, and says, “Listen, I’m going to trust the Lord and my faith is going to begin to speak.” And that is God’s heart for you. I’ve got quiver necklaces, arrow necklaces, the beautiful Speak Life pendant that shows the image of an unborn baby. Beautiful, beautiful gifts that they would make wonderful Christmas gifts. And bonus, it supports the ministry.
So, I thank you guys for checking that out, and if you’ve got questions or need to reach me, please contact me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. All right, you guys. I love you much. Have a great Wednesday and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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