Last night we made it official and I signed a challenge to walk in Jesus' footsteps.
I thought it would be fun to share some of my experiences with you, and maybe it would even challenge you to do the same. I know that God speaks to us all individually, and all in our own time. Something God might be working with me on would be totally different for you. What I mean by challenging you is just the fact that you would be asking yourself the same question. What would Jesus do if He was in your place? Making your life decisions?
I had a week to prepare myself for taking the challenge, and I've already been given a few instances where I had to make the choice to follow God's direction.
It's amazing to me how when we step out, making a promise to God, He is faithful to give us the opportunity to honor that promise. I've had three things in the past week that God has asked of me to do, or pointed out an area that I could be better at following in His footsteps.
My kids were out of school this week on my grocery shopping day. In order to reward their good behavior for this, I like to promise a trip to the movie theater. I give them tally marks if they disobey, and they are as a group only allowed a certain amount of tally marks before the movie privilege is taken away.
Since I started this deal at the beginning of the summer, the kids have never gone over. They have worked together reminding each other to obey, and we've always received the reward, a movie at the theater!
It's a big treat to have a trip to the movie theater. We only go to the $2 movies, and we always bring our own snacks. It's cheaper that way.
As we all had picked out a box of candy while grocery shopping, I told Zech to get his backpack. Everyone packs them inside along with a special drink, and Zech carries our food inside. When I told Gabe he needed to put his candy inside, he didn't want to. He wanted to carry it in.
It got a little tricky here. I heard myself telling him to just put it in the backpack, so we could go inside. I tried to delicately explain to him why it was needed, and I couldn't get around the fact that we were "hiding" our candy so we wouldn't get in trouble.
He questioned this and was very concerned that we were doing the wrong thing. Mikaela, my niece, was with us, and put it very simply to him. It's not wrong. Everyone does it. They shouldn't charge so much for the candy there.
It wasn't until later when I was thinking more about it, and couldn't quite shake the bad feeling I had at forcing my son to "hide" his candy, that I was reminded, "What would Jesus do?"
I sure messed up there. I can't tell my kid there is a right and wrong thing to do, but sometimes there are exceptions to the rules if you don't like what they're doing, or you think it's wrong. I want to be a parent that can say there is a clear right and wrong thing to do in every situation. It's always wrong to break the rules, even if it means you need to buy an expensive box of candy, or just plain have to do without the candy. We will not be sneaking any more food into the theater. I don't believe that Jesus would do it.
On another day off of school this week, my kids were playing Monopoly. They always play by the rule that if you don't get caught on the property, you don't have to pay. Ariel is the queen of doing this. Gabe is normally a step behind in the game and doesn't realize someone is on his property until too late.
This time a fight broke out. Gabe said it wasn't fair and Ariel told him that's just the way the game is played. Tough.
I tried to get my daughter to understand the parallel of what she was doing to a real life situation.
Let's imagine she wanted to have a place to stay for the night, and found this beautiful hotel on Park Place. She sneaked inside hoping the owner wouldn't see her so she wouldn't be required to pay the bill. When I asked her if she thought Jesus would do that? She immediately was repentant and paid the price.
I know it may seem small, and it's only a game. But how do you think Jesus would play that game? Would He cheat someone all in the name of fun and games?
My last challenge was today after church. I was talking with a friend about dental issues in regards to our children. We have Healthwave insurance and are limited to where we can be seen. In fact, there is only one location near us that accepts Healthwave.
Gabriel has a cavity right now that needs to be repaired again. This is the third time in less than a year. I do NOT want to go back to that dentist. I know of other kids who have had similar issues with the same office. It's really sad, but the only dentist we're allowed to be seen by isn't providing quality care. I need to find somewhere else for him to go even if it means driving to Lawrence, a city about 30 minutes away from us.
I don't remember how it came up in the conversation, but I was telling my friend that we aren't even supposed to have Medicaid anymore. My husband got a very good raise at the beginning of this year, and we no longer are eligible. However, Medicaid has been very behind in their enrollment process and they haven't sent us new paperwork for almost 2 years. We should have re-enrolled in February, but we've been waiting it out until they deny us.
It was as I was explaining it that the phrase again popped into my head, "What Would Jesus Do?" Would He really be waiting to be denied, or would He make things right on His own accord? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
It hurts me to think about the extra money we're going to be paying for health insurance, but in all actuality it's a blessing. God has blessed our family so much we no longer can receive government help. That's really a good thing. We're going to make things right, and have our children added on to my husband's job insurance. I believe it's what Jesus would do.
It's been a busy week of God working. I know the future holds even more for me, if I'm willing to look and ask. I challenge you too, to try to follow in Jesus' footsteps. Step out and take a chance... ask yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?"