Archive for September 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wiping Their Faces and Helping them Share

Lately I have been quick to complain, quick to become irritated at my kids, and quick to crave rest instead of joyfully caring for Tali & Owen. Wiping their faces and helping them share, coaching them to put away toys, making meals, training them, instructing them, disciplining hasn't seemed very appealing to me lately. My body is physically tired, my brain feels a bit fried, and I don't necessarily feel like "engaging" with my kids all day. I'm not sure what I'd rather be doing (except maybe sleeping!) but I'm certainly not bursting with joy about my day. I don't want this to be the case and I know that God doesn't either.

During my devotional time I was asking the Lord to help me be grateful for the blessing of parenting. God reminded me of this helpful truth: this is my mission field. These kids that He has placed in my care for a very short time desperately need to know that they are sinners and that Jesus alone can save them. My day does matter. It matters because I can be an instrument in God's hands, speaking the truth in love to my kids that they might someday see the glorious Gospel that has rescued me. What greater purpose could I possibly have today than this?

And you know what? When I asked God to give me the grace to enjoy them, to give me the strength to seize this day as a Gospel-opportunity, He answered! We had such an enjoyable afternoon; it wasn't without challenges but I was more focused on the eternal perspective of what I'm doing. I was able to laugh at their funny words and to play with them despite fatigue.

Anyway, if you are struggling today to joyfully love your kids and to see the importance of what you're doing, can I encourage you to cry out to God and ask Him for help? He is so faithful to answer. Let's be faithful missionaries for His glory today!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Encouragement for Parenting

A couple quotes from Tedd Tripp's "Shepherding a Child's Heart" were particularly helpful for me today regarding the importance of devoting myself to parenting:

"The cost is great. It requires being available and fully engaged in parenting.

You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home. This is your calling. You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God's world. There is nothing more important. You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task. You have only one opportunity to do it. You cannot go back and do it over." pg. 97

"Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your overarching objective. You must teach your children that for them, as for all of mankind, life is found in knowing and serving the true and living God. The only worthy goal for life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." pg. 56

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Favorite 2 Year Old

Tali is one of the most enjoyable people to be around that I've ever met. She really is just so cheerful, funny, sweet, kind, thoughtful, etc. (Don't get me wrong, she has her moments like we all do, but I'm talking the overall picture here!) Here's just a small snap-shot into what it's like to live with her...

This morning the kids were playing with the Strawberry Shortcakes in Tali's room. I was sitting in the chair relaxing a bit and just enjoying their conversation with each other. Here's a bit of it:

Owen: Can I pay Stah-bayree Soe-cakes?
Tali: Oh shuh, Owen. Owen, can I play too?
Owen: No.
Mommy: Yes, Owen, you need to share with Tali.
Tali: Owen, can I please have some of the Strawberry Shortcakes?
Owen: He-uh (handing over a couple of them).
Tali: Oh Owen! Thanks so much for giving me a couple of them. That was so kind of you, Owen! Did you know that? That was kind! Thank you!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Door County Memories, pt. 1

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And We're Up!

As of this weekend, we are back upstairs again. We're freshly grateful for the blessing of our home and thanking God for our friends, the Maxims, all that God has taught us through this season.

I remember back in April when our friends moved in, having a conversation with my grandma who seemed a bit puzzled at what we were doing. "Hmm...that's interesting," she said.

So why did we do it? Let me assure you that it's not because we're super-human or the most Godly and hospitable people on the planet (we're not). It was challenging in some ways to share our home (mostly because of my sinful heart) but I'm grateful for what God's taught me through it. Why did we do this?

1. We want to live for Christ and not ourselves.
"And He died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sakes died and was raised." 2 Corinthians 5:15

"All things were created through Him and for Him..." Colossians 1:16

Our lives and our home aren't really ours anymore now that we have been "bought with a price." We want to view everything that we have as God's property to be used for His glory. In large part, this is why we chose this specific home over many others; we felt that it would position us best for the opportunity of having others live with us.

2. God loves us so lavishly, we want to reflect that same heart of love to others.
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:10,11

Many times I have heard Josh tell people, "In light of all that God has done for us in Christ, sharing our home is a small thing." Jesus gave His life for us. Loving others by sharing our home is a way of reflecting that amazing love.

3. Our lives have been transformed through our own experiences of living with different families.

I could do a whole post on what we learned when I lived with the Muziks and then the Pronovosts, or about whenJosh lived with the Trainors, as well as a host of posts about what we learned when we lived with the Marescos. Suffice it to say that God radically used those times in our lives to teach us a lot about Himself. We saw first-hand from these families what it can look like practically to live life for Christ and not ourselves, to prioritize church and fellowship, to cultivate Godly marriages, to disciple and train children, to build relationships with unbelievers, how to manage a home, and so much more. Our lives are much different because of what God taught us through those we've lived with. Honestly, I wish that everyone had the opportunity to live with another family at some point in their lives. We want to keep learning from others and love the idea of being able to bless others in the ways that we have been blessed.

A bit on what I've learned coming soon...

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