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Every Nation Kids

Every Nation Kids

Children are a special gift from God – each one uniquely created by Him. We consider it our privilege to be able to build relationships with the children that join us on Sundays and share with them the love of their Creator each week. We aim to do this while having as much fun as possible!

If you’re new, check out our Parent Portal to read more about us. ENCS Parents, the individual class pages below have info about your child’s class and what we’re learning!

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Honoring My God-Given Identity

Audra Juraska, November 2018

When I was 18, I made a terrible decision. Like many of us at that age, I had NO idea who I was or what I wanted to do. I felt that the things I enjoyed doing were far too frivolous and risky to actually study in college. What solution did I find? Obviously, I looked around to find an adult whose life I thought looked good, and I decided to copy all of her choices and attempt to set myself on the same course. First off: choosing a major. I ended up spending four years studying something I did not enjoy in the slightest, and which later stressed me out to the point of developing health issues, all because it worked for another one of God’s children.  

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in life by trying to be someone else. I’ve wasted a lot of time and even chose a college major that was clearly a poor fit, all because I hadn’t yet faced the music (and fear) of who God made ME to really be. I spent a few years, for all intents and purposes, pretending to live someone else’s life before I could really hear Jesus’ call to live through my true identity as a beloved daughter. Ultimately, I didn’t know any better. And, of course, it took a ‘rock-bottom’ moment to get through to me.

Fast forward to motherhood. Actually, it was motherhood that finally brought me to my knees and led me to true repentance and healing just a few short years ago, when I found that my rickety old house of cards that had held my life up for years just wasn’t going to cut it. Still, I face the temptation to “act” my way through the whole thing every day. It’s so much easier for me to conjure up a picture of a perfect mom in my head (often my own mom, or some of you rockstar moms at church) and just decide to act like her every day. What would she do in this discipline situation? How would she schedule her morning? Make for dinner? Wear today?

Future Oscar winner right here. Call my personal stylist, quick!

At the end of the day, it is the greatest act of courage for me to have faith that it’s better to honor my true identity in Christ as a beloved, saved, accepted daughter. That it’s not actually good to pretend to be someone else, even if that someone seems like a WAY better mom. Not to mention that the father himself decided that I was the best mom for my kids. Some of my favorite verses in scripture help me stay honest:

“For you formed my inward parts;

   you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

   my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

   the days that were formed for me,

   when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16

Digging deep into my intimacy with Christ is the first step- he made me, knows me, accepts me, saves me, loves me. Counseling and reading helped me fill in the blanks. Last year I was also inspired by this idea: https://www.mightymoms.club/better-mom/. You may or may not be familiar with the idea of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis from a corporate setting, but applying it to my daily mom grind has been extremely helpful. It’s encouraging to see the strengths God gave me, and it’s relieving to face the weaknesses without procrastination or shame.

What might it look like for you to lean into some of the strengths God gave you? Do you know what they are? Do you feel much more in touch with the weaknesses, but, like me, drowning in guilt and shame at the same time? Would a loving look at the weaknesses be just as refreshing as focusing on the good stuff? Carve out a moment to prayerfully do a personal/parenting SWOT analysis. I’d honestly love to hear how it goes- feel free to reach out audrajuraska@gmail.com. Keep in mind that God gave you to your kids for a reason.