Kim Harms

Life Reconstructed


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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 23:22 – Parent and Friend

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Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

I had a friend years ago whose relationship with her mother was strained. They talked regularly. And though they honestly loved each other, it was not uncommon for their conversations to end in utter frustration. You see, they loved each other, but they didn’t really like each other.

One expected too much, the other couldn’t let go of the past.

I have lost touch with that friend and don’t know where her relationship with her mother stands today, but I do know that I don’t want that kind of relationship with my kids.

Right now I am my boys’s mom first and their friend second. We can enjoy some benefits of friendship, but my primary role is to guide them into adulthood. Sometimes that will tick them off because my decisions are not what they would choose. And sometimes it will tick them off because the decisions I make are wrong. I’m not infallible, and of the millions of decisions I will make throughout their childhood years, I will surely make some stupid ones.

My hope for my boys is that they will see my mistakes with forgiving eyes, and that when they test their childhood in my home on a scale they will see it was heavily weighed down by love. And that that love will lead to a mama/son friendship.

Prayer

Lord, I know I will screw up in the parenting years. I will make mistakes that will hurt my boys. I don’t want to, but I know I will. I pray that as they cross from childhood to adulthood they will dwell on my love for them, and be able to forgive or overlook the offenses. I pray also that as they pass from childhood to adulthood our parent-child relationship will develop into a true friendship. Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 22:6 – Direction

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Proverbs 22:6 Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old he will not part from it.

Whew! That verse puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us if we read it to mean that if we raise our kids right, they will become followers of Christ. Putting the full responsibility of our children’s faith on our own shoulders will surely lead to feelings of failure when one of them strays.

I love the following explanation of Proverbs 22:6 from Captivating by John and Stasi Elderidge.

This verse is not a promise about faith. It is not speaking of training a child to follow Christ or promising that if you do, the grown child will continue to follow him. Sorry. The proverb is about raising a child to know who he is and to guide him in becoming ever more himself. In the way he should go. Not in the way you would like him to go in order to validate you as a mother and a woman. It speaks of teaching a child to live from his heart, attuned to it, awake to it, aware of it, and when that child is grown he will continue to live a life from the heart. It is about seeing who a person really is and calling him out to be that person.

Though it is important for us to direct our sons toward Christ, it is ultimately their own choice to follow or turn away.

But if while we raise them in the faith, we also focus on their gifts, talents and passions, we can guide them toward the life God intended them to have on this earth. We can help our kids become aware of who God made them to be. We can find those little seeds of talent and be our kids’ biggest cheerleaders and advocates.

And maybe it will be in the development of their God-given gifts that they will see the Savior most clearly.

Prayer

Lord, Help me to be aware of the gifts, talents and passions you have built into my boys. Give me the wisdom to best encourage them in the way they should go. Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 19:2 – ZEAL

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Proverbs 19:2 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.

Zeal is a good thing. To be enthusiastic and passionate about a goal is a great first step. But if zeal is all we have, we won’t get far.

After I watched Florence Griffith Joyner break world track records in Seoul in 1988, my 12-year-old self was going to follow in her footsteps. I would be a runner, and I would run in the Olympics (forget that those Olympics sprinters are not white girls.)

So I went out of for track in seventh grade. I did zero conditioning beforehand, and realized that running fast is hard. I didn’t run track in 8th grade. But something in me still wanted to run, so I joined the team again in 9th grade and ran throughout high school. And I loved it.

But I learned that I had to add some hard work and knowledge to that zeal I had back in junior high. I ran all year long, not just in season. I worked out before school in the weight room and I got together with my relay teammates to work on hand-offs outside of practice.

I wasn’t the fastest girl on my team, but my zeal + knowledge + effort did earn me a place at the state track meet a couple times. I look back on my track experiences as my best high school memories, and though I’m no speed demon, I still enjoy a good run.

My hope for my boys is that they too will learn to match their zeal with knowledge and effort so they can accomplish the desires of their hearts.

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for giving us each zeal for different things. I pray that those passions that are in my boys’ hearts will lead them to desire to learn and grow and reach their goals and that they will not become lazy and give up because something is too hard physically or mentally. Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 18:4 Deep Waters

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Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

 

“He’s 14, and he’s taken to grunting.”

Yep, those words came out of my husband’s mouth on a recent double-date, and they are oh so accurate.

It is amazing how much can be said in a grunt. There’s the “yes” grunt, the “no” grunt, the “I’m so tired” grunt, the “I don’t care” grunt. I could go on, but you moms out there with teen boys probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Grunting is not my preferred form of communication, and I often push my child to use real words with multiple syllables and clear annunciation. But sometimes I just accept the language of the grunt.

As my teen boys grow into men though, I want to see that grunting turn into deep waters. Bible commentator Matthew Henry describes deeps waters this way:

The well-spring of wisdom is as deep waters. An intelligent knowing man has in him a good treasure of useful things, which furnishes him with something to say upon all occasions that is pertinent and profitable. This is as deep waters, which make no noise, but never run dry.

Deep waters which make no noise, but never run dry. I pray that as my boys grow in their knowledge of God, they will also grow in their ability to present that knowledge to others in a way that makes the hearer feel loved and cared for even when they disagree.

I’ll give in to the grunting now and then during these growing years, but I’m praying for the deep waters to come.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray that you will develop in my boys not only a desire to know your truth, but to be able to present it in a loving way. That people will say of them, “those are some wise and kind men who are not afraid to speak truth in love.”  Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 17 – Forgiveness

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Proverbs 17:9 He who covers an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Without forgiveness friendships become superficial. They become catty. They can even fall completely apart.

When I began dating Corey, I kind of dropped the ball on a friendship with a close friend. Where I used to eat with Rachel at our kitchen table, I now would head over to Corey’s apartment or go out to eat with him. My study dates with Rach became my study dates with Corey. And all the movie nights Rach and I used to have? Well, now I was having them with Corey.

Rachel could have gotten angry with me. She could have started talking behind my back to others. She could have given up on our friendship. But instead she confronted me.

After that confrontation, I could have gotten defensive. I could have gotten angry. I could have walked out on our friendship. But I knew she was right, and I knew I had to ask her forgiveness because I didn’t want to lose one of my dearest friends.

Asking for forgiveness is tough. I’m not a big fan of admitting I am wrong. But I did ask for Rachel’s forgiveness, and she readily gave it.

That was years ago, and Rachel and I only see each other once or twice year now, but we can always pick right up where we left off. And this year our friendship has taken on a whole new depth because of breast cancer. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy about four years ago, and she has been invaluable to me as I’ve been on that road this year.

I hate to think of what I’d be missing out on if I had let my selfishness ruin our friendship, or if she had chosen not to forgive.

As my boys grow into young adults and their friendships deepen alongside their voices, I hope they leave room for forgiveness. I hope they will value their friends enough to work out their differences and understand that covering an offense does indeed promote love, but excluding forgiveness can ruin friendships.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray that you will help my boys to understand the value of forgiving their friends when they have been wronged. That they will both offer forgiveness to others and ask forgiveness when it is needed. Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 16:25 The Right Path

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Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.

Our family enjoys backpacking together. Following a trail in the woods away from regular life gives us quality uninterrupted family time, great exercise and an appreciation for all the modern conveniences we enjoy in our day-to-day. You know, like beds and toilets. 🙂

But it is important to stay on the trail. Veering off can lead to injury and/or getting lost.

A couple years ago, one of our boys decided to walk along the rocks in a river. Not a big deal. He wasn’t at risk of getting lost, and what boy doesn’t love climbing on rocks and playing in the water? What he didn’t take into account however, was that rocks are slippery when they’re wet. He took a tumble right into the river.

This did not lead him to death as our Proverbs verse says today, but it did lead to drenched clothes. Clothes we had to hang from sticks over a campfire to dry.

Our kids don’t always think clearly through the path they are going to take and find out too late that the rocks are wet. As they mature, my hope for my boys is that they will learn to discern God’s “right path” from the path that seems right to them. And that in doing so they can avoid consequences far worse than wet clothes.

Dear Lord, I pray that my kids will not be deceived by their own sometimes skewed perspective of the right path, and that they will seek you and follow your path, even when the wrong one is enticing. Amen.


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 15:31 – Rebuking

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(My Boy Mom Monday devos came to a halt in January because, well, cancer. I’m still committed to making my way through the Proverbs in prayer for my boys, and now that cancer is no longer occupying 100% of my time and energy, I’m ready to get back to it. I’d love for you to join me. Our boys need praying mamas.)

Proverbs 15:31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.

During my freshman year of college, I made a decision that I knew was contrary to what God wanted for me. I tried to ignore the voice inside of me that kept reminding me I was heading the wrong direction.

Sometimes it was easy. And sometimes it was hard.

It was easy when I hung out with people who didn’t have a problem with my choice. People who were not going to “judge me” as we are so fond of saying these days.

It was hard when I was surrounded by people who wanted to keep me accountable to scripture. Though I had given my life to Christ at a young age and mostly wanted to live according to his ways, I had this one area where I willing disobeyed, and I kind of wanted to keep it that way.

My first thought when I realized I’d be sharing a dorm floor my sophomore year with a lot of Christians was “Oh crap, I’m gonna be convicted about this sin all the time.”

And I was.

I shared living space with young women who saw my sin and weren’t afraid to call me out, and it was just what I needed. It was a tough decision, but I turned from that sin. And now, 20+ years later, I’m still extremely grateful for the friends who helped me turn around.

I thank God for putting women in my life who weren’t afraid to call a sin a sin and who loved me through a broken heart; the result of my sin.

I pray that as my kids grow and make bad choices, (and they will no doubt make some bad choices) that they will have friends who love them enough to call them out. And that they will be sensitive enough to accept the truth in the form of a loving rebuke and change their ways.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that as my kids grow, you will deepen their friendships with guys who will not stand by and let them choose sin. I ask specifically for friends who will be bold enough and loving enough to call them out when needed, and will see them through as they deal with the consequences of their bad choices. Amen