This fall, I hit an uncomfortable, inevitable milestone: for the first time in our marriage (barring the gap of our own making), our baby is two and a half years old, and there’s no little brother or sister already in my arms or waiting to make an appearance.
I know that as parents we’re not ultimately responsible for whether our children choose to follow Christ. I know that as they grow up, their relationship with God is just that—it’s theirs.
But I do believe that as parents, we are called to create an environment that makes the choice of following the Lord so much easier.
Sometimes we have to stay focused. Sometimes we need to think bigger, and to forget the small things for a season.
I remember the moment I realized that parenting wasn’t something that came with guaranteed results. My husband had just returned to work, leaving me alone for the first time with our week-old daughter. I had bathed her, fed her, and, in a flurry of optimism, placed her in her crib so that I might shower.
Within ten minutes, the entire exercise culminated with me crying, covered in delightfully fluid newborn poo, and my baby screaming as if someone was holding her finger in an electric socket.
About six years ago, I realized I had fallen into a trap. I had become an avid consumer of devotional materials… and a very poor patron of my Bible.
I spent a decent amount of time pondering theology and thinking on the meaning of God’s Word. But there wasn’t a whole lot of real reflection taking place because, to be honest, I wasn’t reading more than a verse or two at a time— and those verses had already been chewed for me.
This morning, Mary Hannah will walk into a classroom and assume her place as an elementary education major.
It’s not what she dreamed she’d be doing. By her reckoning, she should be sitting for her board exams next spring, proving her competency in catching babies, not slogging through pre-requisites in the quest for a teaching certificate.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. —Francis of Assisi
Links may direct to affiliate sites. Purchases made through these links support our family’s work in spreading the Gospel to unreached areas.
The high school years follow their own space-time continuum. The four years from kindergarten to grade three are achingly slow at points, despite being chock full of hours spent learning to read, to count, to spell, to multiply, to stay on task. But high school… high school flies past you at the speed of sound, broken up only by pesky questions like, “Do you have enough math credits to graduate?” “Are you ready for your driver’s exam?” and “Are you applying to college, trade school, something else altogether?”
The two lines weren’t supposed to be there. You took the test on a whim. If anything, you thought, Murphy’s Law would come into play and you’d start your period as you were waiting for the seconds to tick by on the timer.