Lead Me On Level Ground

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 Photo Credit: Felicia Sundgren

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” (Psalm 143:10) This petition to God is very heartfelt. The author (David) wrote this verse as an appeal to God, asking Him to be taught how to be led by God as well as have a safe and ordered passage in which to be led. Why did he use the term, on level ground?” To be on level ground can be compared to land, such as a far reaching plain, with no valleys or crevices. Level ground would be peaceful and without obstacles to hinder the journey.

How can you teach your children to seek God’s will? First and foremost approach seeking God’s will as something modeled in your home through daily reading God’s word. Second, receive God’s word as truth and obediently seek to honor him in how you parent your child. As you carry out daily routines and chores find teachable moments where you can share the will of God in everyday life.

My family recently visited the gulf shores of Texas, as we walked along the beach I began collecting trash in a small bag I found on our path. As I picked up various items found along the beach I explained to my child that this world and everything in it belongs to God and that we should take care of his creation. The tide rolled in we noticed a green plastic wrapper in the water. Without missing a step she began towards the water to retrieve the item, she told me that the ocean also belonged to the animals, which God created, so we had to do our part to keep them healthy as well. My heart was full, knowing that I had taught her a simple lesson with a lifelong impact.

Our children are looking to us to lead them on level ground; we must do our part and know God’s will so that we can model it for our children. Their mindset and desires are deeply rooted in the culture in which we raise our children; they will likely never seek the will of God if it is not taught at home, it will simply seem unnatural and unimportant to them.

So pray the Psalm 143:10 prayer. Petition God’s will within your life and your home. Seek level ground and peaceable moments in which the Spirit of the Lord can move greatly within you and your children.

Psalm 103 Proclamation

Psalms 103! Wow what an amazing word to start off a new year! As you read every single word of this chapter know the Lord provides, forgives, and blesses.  Know that He models goodness and He is goodness, He is compassionate, and will transform you through His grace, forgiveness, selfless sacrifice and mercy.

Live out 2017 knowing that this is a new beginning for you and that Jesus loves you! 

-Christina Calk-

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Psalm 103 New Living Translation (NLT)
A psalm of David.

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Welcome 2017

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Welcome 2017!
“Let your light shine for all to see the love of Christ shine through you!”
Matthew 5:16

Praying that you have a blessed new year!
#PerseverantParenting
#https://christinacalk.com

Photo credit by Carol Hinojosa

Finding Your tribe & Finding Yourself, by Christina Calk

Parents who are raising children with special needs, including those with physical, learning or emotional challenges, may find themselves feeling overwhelmed. The importance of pairing up with other families who are facing the same difficulties cannot be understated. No one understands the stressors better than someone who is going through the same or similar experiences. Schedule play dates, meet up for lunch or plan dinners together. Your children will benefit from social interaction and your family can develop a bond through sharing trials or what you have overcome through difficulties you each have faced. Another important aspect of parenting special needs children is taking time out for you. Far too often parents feel guilty for participating in hobbies or outing without their children, yet planning time for yourself is a very healthy choice and can reduce stress. Additionally caregivers need to make time for themselves in order to keep their self-identity as an individual strong. Building your identity through your hobbies, such as playing an instrument, writing, painting, running, making crafts, volunteering at a church or community organization, etc. can help you pass on a legacy of strength through trial. Not giving up on your passions can even show your children that you are an individual who is not only their parent but a healthy person.

Christina Calk is the Author of Perseverant Parenting, and Board certified Biblical Counselor.

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Untold Stories Unfold Into Beautiful Testimonies

I was an unwanted, unexpected pregnancy and also an innocent baby who many told my birth mom that I should be aborted. However, God had another “untold” plan. I was not a mistake, in fact, Gods plan for the child carried within my mother’s womb had a plan for my life greater than the sin of the circumstances of my conception. God unfolded a plan to raise up a warrior, because of Him and for Him! I have ministered to thousands over my lifetime and will continue to do so until the breath leaves my body, and my soul arrives in heaven.
If you are facing a situation where you feel unloved, scared and unsure of your future, be brave enough to let God hold your hand and guide you!! You will see an untold story unfold for His glory!
– Christina Calk-
#PerseverantParenting

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https://youtu.be/_kZHwqqh4Ugbible-coffee-blue-mug

Finding a Miracle in the Hard Places

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I love Biblical stories about Jesus, especially when there is a miracle.

Even as a young child, I was drawn to accounts regarding the profound miracles Jesus performed.

In Mark chapter 5, a woman presses her way through a crowd just to get a glimpse of Jesus. Out of faith she touches his clothing and immediately Jesus asks, “Who touched my garments?”

After discovering who it was, Jesus assured her.

Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. 

What a miracle!

In a chaotic and frenzied setting, Jesus not only acknowledges the woman’s humility and faith, but instantly performs a miraculous healing in her body.

Discovering this story strongly impacted my faith. This gracious healing assured me that the nature of Jesus in itself is miraculous.

Every effort thrown at us by the enemy was meant to destroy us, yet God was doing a work within us that was much greater! Christina Calk

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He desires to bring complete wholeness and healing.

When our world feels chaotic and turbulent, following Jesus wherever he leads — willingly carrying out whatever He asks, and expectantly awaiting whatever miracle He desires to do in or through us — remains the same as when he healed a woman who simply touched his garment.

I have personally experienced miraculous healing through Jesus, yet in ways I never expected, through one overwhelming tragedy after another.

I suffered through a difficult and complicated pregnancy, and delivered premature twins at 32 weeks gestation. One of my babies did not survive.

Doctors told me that our surviving preemie daughter would likely not walk, see and may be deaf. She remained in the NICU for months struggling to survive, yet proved to be a fighter.

A few years later my husband was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. He suffered multiple injuries requiring over 27 corrective surgeries, numerous doctor’s visits, and years of recovery.

Not long after his accident I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. I went through numerous rounds of invasive testing, procedures, and several cycles of immunosuppressive therapy.

Needless to say, we were anguished, languishing in strength and often felt hopeless.

There were two common threads that existed within each of our struggles. First, every battle we faced required extensive treatment, long stays in the intensive care unit and a fight to survive. We were individuals that the enemy wanted out of commission.

Second and most important, every battle was hard fought at the feet of Jesus.

We never wavered from calling out to the Lord asking, believing and claiming healing in Jesus name. Every effort thrown at us by the enemy was meant to destroy us, yet God was doing a work within us that was much greater!

We faced arduous circumstances and to this day still face battles, yet through Jesus we are victorious and more than conquerors!

Healing arrived in the complete physical healing of our daughter.

Healing came in the form of emotional and spiritual healing of my husband’s wounded spirit.

And in me, healing from hopelessness and restoration of joy is ever present as I minister to those who suffer.

Each of these are miracles through faith in Jesus.

Guest Blog Excerpt from Suzie Eller http://tsuzanneeller.com/2016/06/21/miracles-in-hard-places/

DFW Child Magazine, article by Christina Calk

DFW Child Magazine, Article by Christina Calk

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Parents certainly go through their share of tough times, such as illness, financial issues and other stressors. Dads and moms often lose perspective on how to encourage their children, especially when they themselves feel overwhelmed or deeply discouraged. With that said, it is completely normal for a parent to feel overwhelmed, fearful, discouraged or even inadequate during tough situations.

Acknowledging these feelings is a great place to start. As parents navigate the grueling duty of facing adversity, they should address any of their child’s concerns by openly discussing with their children what is happening. Remember, children don’t have to understand everything all at once, so use short, clear explanations when sharing details about a difficult challenge.

In essence, just give an honest, age appropriate interpretation of the situation. Sharing struggles with other parents, friends, family, clergy or counselors can provide much-needed encouragement, and parents may even consider seeking out similar sources of support for their children.

By openly expressing feelings and concerns with their children and others, parents are actually demonstrating the ability to effectively communicate, empathize and work through difficult situations.

When children realize that hardships will occur but can be worked through as a family or team, they’ll be better prepared to deal with adversity as they mature into adulthood. —Christina Calk

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