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I’m almost done with my Resources Page! I’m so excited to share it with you, and I’m sorry it has taken me so long to put it together. With very little free time, minimal IT skills, and so many awesome resources to choose from, it has taken me a lot longer than I originally anticipated… but I’m trucking along.
If you missed my last blog post, I shared an amazing parenting resource— an online course called Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart. It will forever change how you parent and relate to your child! If you want to speak love, grace, and Biblical truths into your child’s life, and if you want to turn frustrating discipline moments into loving discipleship moments, I highly encourage you to take this course alongside with me! You can learn more about the course under the Related Resources at the end of this post.
Speaking of resources, the Bible is the ultimate resource of all resources!
Growing up, when my family would talk about a subject that we needed more information on, or maybe we had questions about something we didn’t know the answers to, our dad would make us pull out the good ‘ole Encyclopedia Britannica, back in the days before internet, before Google, Bing, and “Ask Siri.”
We had a whole stack of Encyclopedia Britannica in our little hallway library. Big, heavy books that we would turn to for research papers and every-day questions and curiosities. I was always fascinated by them and excited to see what answers I would find in that big treasure trove of books.
How often do we turn to the Bible for answers? How often do we get excited about digging into God’s Word and discovering His truths and promises?
Let me tell you a story…
When Caleb was four months old, his pediatrician noticed at his check-up that the back of his head looked a little flat. We hadn’t really noticed it as much until she pointed it out to us. At her recommendation, we took Caleb to Cranial Technologies in Austin, Texas to have him evaluated.
Sure enough, they diagnosed him with Brachycephaly and Plagiocephaly, which are medical terms that mean the back of his head was flatter and wider than normal (Brachycephaly), and one side of the back of his head was flatter than the other side (Plagiocephaly). They also said he had Torticollis, which is another medical term that means his neck muscles were stiff.
They were so stiff that his neck would usually turn downward and to the left, which would cause his head to turn in that direction when he was sleeping or lying in a bouncer or car seat, which further led to the flattening of the back-left side of his head.
The kind and friendly staff at Cranial Tech told us that if his condition was left untreated, the asymmetry of his head could become more profound; he could develop jaw and ear alignment problems; he could have difficulty finding hats or sports helmets that properly fit him; and he could develop poor self-esteem due to the shape of his head.
They recommended that Caleb wear an orthotic helmet, called a DocBand, to help mold and round out his little head, and they also recommended daily therapy exercises to help strengthen his core and neck muscles.
As brand-new parents who had never heard of these conditions before, Danny and I were a little nervous and worried about what lay ahead. But we soon learned that these conditions were becoming more and more common, and we felt the strong support of God—the Great Physician— our family, friends, and medical team.
We were determined to get our baby the treatment he needed, even if it meant weekly trips to Austin (a three-hour drive for us round-trip), daily physical therapy, and paying lots of money in out-of-pocket costs. After all, our little guy was worth it.
Caleb got his DocBand in July 2010. We painted it blue and covered it with “Finding Nemo” stickers. We also put a little turtle sticker on the front-right side to remind us to help him turn his head to the right to correct his Torticollis. Get it? Tortoise, Torticollis…
Every day we would do his stretching exercises that the Cranial Tech physical therapist had shown us. Even Caleb’s sweet daycare providers would do the exercises with him during the day while Danny and I worked.
In the beginning, Caleb would fuss during the exercises because his neck muscles were so stiff, and it was uncomfortable for him to have his neck turned in a direction he wasn’t used to turning it to. But over time, his muscles conditioned and relaxed, and it became easier and easier to get his neck to rotate 90 degrees to the right.
Once a week, we faithfully drove him to Cranial Tech in Austin, and Cranial Tech would whittle away and “shave down” his little helmet to allow his head more room to grow and round out. The DocBand was working!
We did all of this for two months. It was hard sometimes. It took patience, sacrifice, and discipline, but we persevered, and we made a commitment to stay the course. When it was all said and done, we rejoiced when it came time for Caleb to graduate from his DocBand! He even received a cute little diploma to commemorate his achievement.
From DocBand to GodBand
I now look back on that experience and think, “why can’t I put the same amount of effort and discipline into my own ‘spiritual shaping’ by studying God’s Word, allowing it to mold and shape my life?”
I often make excuses and say, “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the energy.” “I’m just not ‘feeling it’ today.” But when I don’t make time for God’s Word, I allow other things— things of this world— to start shaping my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
It takes a conscious, intentional effort to set aside a daily quiet time with God, and this is an area in my life that I have neglected time and time again.
Yes, I talk to God and pray to God every day and all throughout the day. Yes, I read and hear scripture almost every day, but it’s usually through social media scrolling or through the radio (KLOVE, KLTY, AIR1, etc.) It’s in passing. It’s not an intentional, devoted, set-aside time with God and my own Bible.
I need to take the time and effort to daily dig into God’s Word, and to use the same discipline and commitment that I showed towards my son’s treatment— even more so—and apply it to my own walk with God.
I often say I don’t have the time, but I really do. I CHOOSE how I spend my time. I CHOOSE what shapes me. I can choose to sacrifice sleep and get up earlier in the mornings to have quiet time with God. I can choose to cut my lunch hour short or change my evening schedule to make room for Him.
Are you making room for God in your daily life?
I know I need to make more room for Him. I need a “GodBand” to mold and round out my faith, and the Bible is one of the best shaping tools for that!
The Bible has all the answers we need.
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:31.
But sometimes it’s still hard.
Sometimes we fight against God’s molding. We don’t want to change. We don’t want to be pushed outside of our comfort zone.
When Caleb first wore his helmet, he fussed because it probably felt foreign and constricting to him. The therapy exercises were especially difficult for him in the beginning because he wasn’t used to his neck being turned in a certain direction. But remember, over time, it got easier and more natural for him to turn his neck in the direction we were guiding it.
And God’s law is not constricting. It gives us FREEDOM because it opens our eyes and hearts to a whole new worldview, and it helps us to see and hear and love more like Him. We are no longer enslaved to the molds of this world but are instead SET FREE when we allow God and His Word to shape us.
And just like my son who graduated from his DocBand after his treatment was over, we too will one day “graduate” when God calls us home and when we have finished the race He has set out for us.
What shape will you be in when that time comes?
I pray that God will continue to shape me, and I pray that I can commit to a daily and intentional time to dig into His Word, so He can sculpt me in His image and help me reflect His love to others. This shaping and molding will take a lifetime, and I’d love to journey with you as you let God work on your shape too. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6.
Please be sure to check out the devotional resources—and the parenting course— in the Related Resources below!
Your friend and sister in Christ,
Shape your parenting and shape your child’s heart with Connected Families’ “Discipline That Connects with Your Child’s Heart.” Registration is OPEN through midnight, October 28, 2017. REGISTER TODAY! You can also read my blog post about this course.
(from Lifeway): How to Start Reading the Bible Every Day & Stick with It
(from Hope in the Chaos) 5-Day Devotional Series (5 days of free, uplifting and inspiring devotionals to start your day off with a God-filled mindset!)
(from Deeply Rooted Life) 21-Day Spiritual Detox Devotional (21 days of free, meaningful and empowering devotionals to cleanse your soul, including special bonuses like healthy recipes and other health and wellness tips!)
(365 Devotionals for every day of the year):