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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 13. Garbage/Trash

Most households I am familiar with classify taking the trash or garbage out with a man's duty.  However, whether you take out the trash or not, you certainly add to it, and see it in your home on a regular basis.  I use the words trash and garbage interchangeably, so this post is aimed at calling it both.

Every now and then, someone in my house will throw something away that another person deems not trash - they find it to be a sort of treasure, or perhaps it was a gift that meant more to them than the rest of the household. Usually I have thrown away something that I did not think my wild, but extremely precocious, three year old would even notice missing.  Later that day or the next he may ask, "Where did my Noah's ark picture go?" (For the record- he has never seemed proud of papers he brought home, and as yet he still scribbles wildly following no real plan for staying within lines or coloring pictures with appropriate or even varying colors.  So, a Noah's ark picture that an experienced adult had modeled coloring for him by coloring in two clouds purple, and then the rest of the picture was a giant purple scribble - I did not deem that important to him.  It was on the fridge for a few days, as we referenced the Bible story, but once the one year old began pulling it off repeatedly, I had no desire to attempt keeping it.)

This is how the conversation went:
"I'm sorry, I didn't think that picture was special to you. I threw it away because Karis kept pulling it off the fridge, and it was getting dirty on the floor."
"Oh, buddy, it's way at the bottom of the trash now with yucky stuff all over it. We cannot get it out. I'm sorry. That one is gone."
"But MOOOOMMMMMYYYYY! I want my Noah's Ark picture!"
"Well, Jonah, I threw it away and it's gone now.  Do you want to color something else?"
"Noooooooo" and he walked away whining, shoulders slumped, like I had killed a beloved pet.
"Do you want a hug?"
"NO!" and he ran away to find something else to distract him.

It occurred to me then, that what he valued as a treasure, I valued as trash.
We do this to God, too.

He gives us wonderful gifts, just for our benefit, treasures to enjoy about ourselves, the people and world around us, and we often value them as trash or garbage.

So, when you notice the trash/garbage getting full, needing to be taken out, or if you throw something away you think may be a questionable treasure later on, pray for God to reveal to your family the gifts he has given each of them, and to treasure their worth.

If you need help discovering your own gifts, and that of older children, check out this website: It provides free spiritual gift tests and will give you the score, your top 3 gifts, and a detailed description of what that means, so you can start using them immediately!

Garbage/Trash - Gifts/Treasures

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving my family so many gifts we do not deserve.  Help me to call out the gifts you have given my children.  I know Jonah loves other people and is extremely social now, so we would love to see this develop into a gift later where he can serve and work with other people well. Karis is very affectionate, and likes to help pick up toys, so I would love to see that develop in her as a gift to serve others.  I know you have given John the gift of leadership and teaching so he can be an effective pastor, and I pray you would continue to reveal those gifts and help him to develop them well to glorify you and shepherd our people well. Help me to encourage and mold my children to accept and appreciate the gifts you have given them.  Help me not to desire gifts in them or my husband, or myself that you simply did not choose to give us.  Rather, lead me to treasure all the unique gifts you gave my family.  Help my kids to treasure the way you have created them to serve within the Body of Christ, and not to think of their gifts as garbage.  Help my husband to see that he is a treasure in your eyes, and helps many, and not to think of his worth as trash.  Show me how to use the gifts you have given me to be a better wife, mother, friend, and servant to others.  God give us your eyes to see the gifts you have given us as treasures, not trash.  In Jesus' name I pray,


This is post thirteen in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:

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