Thursday, March 28, 2013

Parenting Grace

So blessed to have this man in our lives, over our home, and always in or corner.  If you would have asked me years ago, I'd have easily told you it would get easier for him to be away from home.  And I believed that.  Silly girl.
We have done our duty when it comes to sippy cups, late night feedings, and potty training.  But now, the real 'parenting' begins.  Learning to ride a bike, late nights at the ball park, and early morning soccer games have become our days.  As special as it is to watch these kids grow, succeed, and master their gifts, that too is the easy part.
When I see a challenge or insecurity in their sweet eyes, I ache with understanding.  These small, innocent people are beginning to face the life lessons that I relate to even now.  Making friends, keeping good ones and protecting our hearts from those in disguise.  Learning it's okay to not be accepted by all in the world around us.  Striving to do our best, even when we don't want to. 
I pray they only learn from my good attributes and that the Lord help them not to pick up my weaknesses.  And I thank Him that I too am learning, learning from the same small hearts I try to teach daily. 
I'm learning that when I want to scream about one of these kids' behavior, that is my cue to draw them closer.  To hold them tighter and to love them harder.  Kind of the same as my savior does to me, such an unworthy me.  Grace.

The small things.  At times they just don't matter.  Other moments they bring the greatest teaching opportunities...for child and me.  Each moment an opportunity of grace, a way to let Christ shine.
Today I won't hurry, I will strive to be slow to anger and quick to love.  I will listen to that still, strong voice in place of the hurry of the world.

That same concept of drawing my children closer when I want to applies to others too.  Have I really slowed and prayed like I need to?  For my family and friends, of course.  For those I don't consider  When appalled by someones behavior, I need to stop and pull them closer too.  Not closer in touch, but closer in prayer.  I've been very good, very good at not doing this.  How sad because isn't that what we've needed in the past too?  Still probably need more often that we'd like to accept.  My answer is yes, and yes again. 

I love the Lord, I love my husband, and I love these kids.  Today, I will strive to love those I'd rather not.  To love them especially through prayer. 

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you
Matthew 5:44

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Counting Gifts

I read a book.  It changed me.  So today I give thanks.  Thanks for it all, good and what may seem a challenge.  When we close our hand tight in control, it snuff's out God's freely given joy.  So today, I open mine wide to let His grace flow. 

 1.  Her Daddy to love.  The time away he sacrifices to take such good care of us.

2.  Blue, innocent, bright eyes that love and nurture us all with simple joy.

4.  Little boy boots and the places they tread

5.  Innocence and wonder, always!
6.  A new time for us. Being so full of now that we can't miss yesterday

7.  His growing independence
8.  Another of 365 days of loving each other

9.  The smile when he woke up to find his Valentine

10.  Eyes and a smile that light up our days, hearts, and lives

11. Fun times and new experiences, watching them grow

12.  Friends and family.  Those who love us always.  The ones that want to be here but distance won't allow.  Those who choose to be here, a part of our lives.  And those whom God has allowed the choice to not be in our lives-for He knows what we don't and always what is best!
13.  Healing.  In, of, and from the body of Christ.
14.  Our dogs
15.  Answered prayers
16.  The peace of knowing there's no such thing as unanswered prayers, only better ways
17.  The gift of counting
Count with me?  The good.  The bad.  The joy.  The sorrow.  The hard.  The exciting.  The beauty.  The everything.  For all is a gift, even when wrapped in what we see as hardship and tears.  This gift of counting, this book that has changed me, this author whose heart touches mine, these words that God has used to transform, this new way of seeing God.....can be found gracefully in the following pages....