Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
“On the most basic levels, I desire fullness, and fleshly lusts seduce me by attaching themselves to this basic desire. They exploit the empty spaces in me, and they promise that fulness will be mine if I give in to their demands. When my soul sits empty and is aching for something to fill it, such deceptive promises are extremely difficult to resist.
Consequently, the key to mortifying fleshly lusts is to eliminate the emptiness within me and replace it with fullness; and I accomplish this by feasting on the gospel. Indeed, it is in the gospel that I experience a God who glorifies Himself by filling me with His fullness. . . . This is the God of the gospel, a God who is satisfied with nothing less than my experience of fullness in Him! . . .
Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for sin diminishes and the lies of lust simply lose their appeal. Hence, to the degree that I am full, I am free. Eyes do not rove, nor do fleshly lusts rule, when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus!”
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In case your wondering, John said Brady was just rolling around in the floor and hit the corner of the TV cabinet. He just got it the right way and it split his eye open. He is doing ok now. It is already blue and swollen but he is asleep in his daddy's arm still wrapped in his burrito.
No I am not pregnant!!! This year I am babysitting a friends little boy. Yes we love that he's a little boy - it's all I know:) Friday was our first day keeping him and it was so fun. Brady adores him and was extremely helpful and loving. Jackson loves Brady too. This was the first time Brady had seen him for the day. He crawled up beside him and Jackson started cooing and smiling and Brady loved it. Seems he will be a great big brother but for now I am getting my weekly baby fix.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Evening Routine: (about 10 min for boys and 20 for me)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So Jake started school last week and I have devoted time over the past year to training Jake in various manner skills. One of them we work on most everyday is listening skills. He can spout it off to you if you ask him. Something like this Jake what do you do when another person is talking to you. His response will be (either with words or he will show me) stop what you are doing, find their eyes and look at them, hands beside you or in your lap, and respond when they finish so they know you heard them. This helps Jake practice self control and it is respectful. He has known is since he was about 2.5 (not completely of course but we started then). When I get to the parent night this Tuesday, his teacher ask me if he gets dizzy when he looks at you. (she knows about his vision problem) John and I smiled and said no because that is all he has known and ask why she ask. She said "When I talk to him he does not look at me." "I have been working with the children on listening skills but I was afraid it made him dizzy so I didn't make him do it." Well immediately my heart sank because in that moment I felt as though I had failed as a parent and I got frustrated with Jake. There were a few other things that he did that made me feel the same way but for lengths sake I will spare you. Needless to say, I came home and really had to remind myself of what God was teaching me. I am being faithful in what I know to do with Jake but that will not make him a child that always gets it right and it will not make him good and holy. So we did need to have some conversations with Jake but I had to get my heart right before the Lord. My confidence and significance will not be determined (any longer) by my children's actions. I will press on to take hold of the prize which God has in store for me and I will keep my eyes on him and his glory, having faith that he will start and finish a work in their hearts.
But it is so hard!!! I often wonder if God knew it would be this hard. To invest so much time and energy and heart into these children who ultimately are not mine and each day that becomes closer to a reality. How easy to wrap my significance up in who they are and how they are doing. It has taken God almost 5 years and lots of worry and disgust but I am so thankful he is showing me the bigger picture. I am not sure that this one makes any sense. It is in my head and makes complete sense to me but for some reason I can't seem to say it just right. Anyway, its my heart and I put it out there. Hope it is encouraging to someone!!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
So this morning I spent some time in prayer and the word (using the book For Instruction in Righteousness as my guide) specifically regarding this issue and here are the things that I found:
-Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18)
-Do not say "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you. (Prov 20:22)
-Do not say "I'll do to him as he has done to me..." (Prov 24:29
-others are Rom 12:17-21, 1 Pe 2:23, 1 Pe 3:11 and Luke 6:35-36
Basically, I can't find anywhere in Scripture that even alludes to it being ok for Jake to just hit him back to give him a dose of his on medicine. Kim Foster (writer of for instruction in righteousness) suggest that there are times when a parent needs to discipline in the same way that the child hurt another (bite, pushing, hitting your brother with a drum stick or hammer in the head). She says that it needs to be in a controlled environment with control and calmed emotions. Then to talk with the child about how it felt and such.
This seems to be the correct approach and to me it makes sense but I have a few "cultural concerns" and I would love feedback with your thoughts on it.
So are we going to make Jake a wimp if we don't let him fight back? Is he going to know how to take up for himself at school and other places? What does this look like for a family trying to trust God's word and method in our cultural? Am I looking at this wrong because it seems to me that scripture is clear about it so I would love to see it from a different perspective if any of you have any.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I knew that day was coming very soon but for me the knowing did not prepare me for what I would feel in my heart. I wrote the following in his journal that night: "I must admit, as I cheered outwardly, inside my heart sunk and a very large knot filled my throat. As you "toddled" across the floor tonight you walked away from being my baby and passed into the toddler stage. Though I was thrilled at your accomplishment my heart was sad at what we left behind."
Today we entered into another stage and my heart felt the same way. As I begin to climb the hill to take him to his first day of school (5 days a week) that same lump entered my throat. Tears begin to flow down my face though he never saw them. He wanted me to drop him off in the carpool line like the big kids. I told him that today I needed him to take me in and show me that he knew the way to his room so I could be sure he knew what to do when I drop him off tomorrow. He knew what to do and I knew it but today I needed my moment. So we get out of the car and walking up the hill he held my hand. We we approached the school and he saw the big kids he let go of my hand and the knot got bigger. I maintained my composure from here. I followed him into the building, straight to his room and watched him put his bag at his assigned seat. He looked at me to see how I was and in that second I saw a bit of fear and hesitation. I gave him a big smile, hug and kiss and said have a blast today. I will see you in a while. He said have a good day mommy bye. I turned and walked out the door. Once my back was to him the tears started to flow. I cried the whole way home.
He is ready, I am ready and just like his first steps I am completely thrilled on the outside but my heart aches with great sadness today.
Lately, since Brady is talking so much more, I have started asking him the same things. His first response is quite different than Jake. The funny thing is that he has never heard Jake say this nor has anyone taught him to say this. He just thinks so differently and I love it but I must also admit it is scary to think about this charming boy as a teen. The conversation went like this:
Monday, August 11, 2008
If you want to stop with the first one then so be it or you can read on to get the whole story.
Today, in church, God used the sermon to drive a stake deep into my heart. What he showed me didn't necessarily have to do with the sermon but only with a few things our Pastor said. Here is the stake: I am not called to parent my children for my children's sake but solely for the glory of God!!!!
That may sound silly to those of you who already get that but to me today it is profound and oh so freeing!!!!! There are 3 very specific instances that God has used in my life earlier this summer to create the momentum that this stake needed to land so deep in my heart like it did today. For me, sitting here writing this is such a worshipful experience because I get to rehash some serious stones that God place in my life this summer to become Stones of Remembrance that He ALONE is the Faithful One.
Stone 1: I rode with Belinda, the lady that discipled me in college, to our friends daughters funeral earlier this summer. We were talking about some struggles that I have with my personality. Bottom line is (I didn’t know this then but now I do) that I feel completely responsible for my children's holiness. What she said to me has resignated with me the entire summer. "Amy, your life and specifically your marriage alone is such a beautiful story of God's redemption. God drew you to himself later in life but look how he has returned to you the years that the locust had eaten. Don't you know that God alone is writing your story and you are just along for the ride. As you submit to his obedience you get to be apart of His redemption."
Stone 2: This week I got to spend time with another friend who played another vital role in my life in college. I don't get to see her very often because she lives overseas but oh how I treasure our time together because she is one of the very few people I know that really "get me.” Our personalities are alike is so many ways and she understands how I think and process and such. We talked about several things that were huge for me but one of the things that resonated with me was her putting words to one of my struggles. I am not a mom who struggles/worries about God protecting my children from harm - the pool, sending my 4 year old away on an airplane with his nana for 10 days, strangers taking my child, them getting hurt on the playground, etc. It is easy for me not to worry about these things. But what she put to words for me was that although this is not a struggle for me, I have a struggle just as hard as the moms who do struggle with the above. I struggle with trusting God to save my children and make them holy. I have been bearing an unhealthy burden for some time now and on this day with my friend I was able to put it into words.
Stone 3: If you read one of my recent post titled the value of my children, you read about Jake thinking it was crazy that a little boy could beat a great big giant. Well during that conversation I really believe the Lord spoke through me to myself - though in that moment I didn’t relize it. Over the last few days I have rethought about that conversation, applying to something totally different that God is doing in my life, and I was amazed again at a story of redemption. There was nothing special about David. It was God who made him special. David had faith in God and chose to be obedient and as a result he got to take part in the great story of redemption that God chose to write for his life. That same day we talked about boasting. I told Jake that God tells us we can only boast in knowing Him. THAT’S IT!!!!! Not in how good my children are, not in how much they love and serve the Lord, not in how well I applied the Scriptures to parenting them, not in how consistent I am with them - just in knowing Him.
What I realized today was this principle is true for my parenting. I am to 100% point my children toward God and holiness but He alone will save them and make them holy. So this doesn’t mean I can be lazy and just wait for him to do it. Some parents have and God still does redeem those children because it was always his plan. Those parents just miss out on being a part of God’s story of redemption in that child’s life. Today I realized that God’s plan for my children will come to fruition. I just get to be an active part in that process by being faithful to what He calls me to do as a parent (Duet 6). I don’t have to bear the burden of making that plan happen. How FREEING!!!!
My parenting is just another avenue that God has placed in my life to teach me about Himself. He uses that avenue to sharpen me, to soften me, to make me more like Him. For me this is so freeing. (did I say that already?) I feel like I can sit back and enjoy my labor because that is all I have to do. It doesn’t make what I do any different. I will still be diligent in thinking, praying and planning for my children. I will still be purposeful with them most of the time. I will still always ask God to open my eyes to teachable moments. I won’t take on the attitude of “just let this one slide.” But now those things are done for Him and not for me or my children. I will pursue holiness and He will make them holy.