Saturday, August 30, 2008

Truth = Peace

It's a beautiful, crisp Saturday morning. It almost feels like fall. William has gone out for a bike ride, and the kids are sleeping in. They really need the rest. I've had to wake them up for school this week, and they are sleepy ones in the morning! Ethan loves school. I know he's going to have a great year in Mrs. Ross's class. Christian is playing football and has his first game tomorrow. As one of the running backs, he's supposed to memorize plays. Who knew they actually have plays in 3rd grade football? I don't even know what a running back is. I think it'll be a fall of football education for me. William and the boys are going to Dominic's and Connor's games all season, and then Christian has games every weekend, and Christian wants to go to a Bears game. And then there's the Fantasy Football and football on TV. For my BD, Ethan got me a Bears sweatshirt. Ethan's flag football got canceled, which is okay; he starts swim team in a few weeks. He was disappointed, but Ethan's disappointment never lasts more than 2 minutes --what a gift!

I had breakfast with another mom yesterday, and we talked about the energy and focus on kids' sports in our town. If you have a kid that doesn't play a sport, you feel the need to defend them, even if you're personally okay with them not playing something. We do live in a town with 90% type-As. It's easy to feel inferior around such driven people. You feel like your kids need to be really good at SOMETHING, preferably something very obvious to all the other families that have kids seemingly good at EVERYTHING. This mom I was chatting with is feeling the weight of the competiveness. I have felt that same feeling many a time.

I'm glad to be in the Word, God's very words that tell me that my kids have been given unique gifts for His glory. He has a plan for them. He created them to be just who they are. He loves them no matter what. He favors them because they are children of the Most High King. Ethan and Christian love Him because He first loved them. They are really cool kids, kids who have a heart for Jesus. I love seeing Ethan's heart of service and Christian's easy wit, and they both love to pick up their Bibles and read (usually something I would have considered extremely boring when I was their age). The Lord is working in their little hearts and growing them. It's a great thing to focus on to counteract the Wheaton culture. Truth sheds peace on my heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School Starts.....

School has officially started, but I'm having a hard time just getting to the start line. It's only been two days, and we've already forgotten homework assignments and Bible readings. I have yet to fully read all the necessary info, sign the forms and get the uniforms in order. Ethan is surviving on one pair of shorts. Christian's shoes are two sizes too big. We completely missed the school picnic (we thought it was Sunday, but it was Saturday), and we decided to go golfing instead of attending the open house. At the open house, we were supposed to get all that necessary paperwork, meet the teachers, get acquainted with the classrooms. Instead, we played. My kids went to school their first day not knowing where their rooms were. Oh, well. In a school with barely 60 kids, does it really matter? I'm just praying that all of this irresponsibility on my part doesn't multiply! And, to top it off, I got into a little scuffle with the Head of School on the second day. So those are the circumstances, but I am at peace with it all. I am glad to leave behind the anxiety of last year, the uncertainty of a first year at Clapham. We survived...barely. This year I think we'll thrive, despite ourselves.

Monday, August 25, 2008

True Greatness through the Cross, by Mom

Mom e-mailed me this morning about yesterday's post:
What comes to my mind is that the fillter also is the Cross of Jesus which is the Father's love for us.
The greater understanding we have of the very deep and infinite love of the Father toward us, that He delights in us no matter what, the greater our capacity to love others and extend His grace to them.
I see a Shepherd. He is looking at His sheep which He paid a very high price for. With all their peculiarities, failings, struggles with sin, He is so excited that they are His. He delights in them;He cares for them;He protects them; He wraps them in His Divine Love. Nothing can change His mind about them. He calls them by name, He desires that they follow Him and seek Him moment by moment in their day. He will teach them every good thing that has been given to them in Him. (Philemon 1:6) Nothing will separate them from His Holy Love.
They are His.
Continue to teach the children and believe ever so much more deeply in the Father's love for you.

I am very blessed to have two parents who love Jesus and who tirelessly support us in prayer. They are a beautiful picture of what it means to walk through life with Jesus, His love pouring itself out through them as they bless others and serve others (especially with yummy meals around the table!) Growing up, our home was always open to others, and I remember lots of nights spent listening to the adults fellowship around a table of spaghetti, or enchiladas or tostadas. They would talk forever. I don't remember what they talked about, only the smiles around the table and my dad's jokes. As I think about what a strong legacy of faith they are leaving to me and my children and their children's children, I am inspired and grateful for the
love and grace that God has continually poured out on our family.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

True Greatness

Some quick thoughts: I'm currently reading Raising Kids for True Greatness, by Dr. Tim Kimmel. I love how the Lord has me reading a books that aligns with Phillipians 3. Here's a quote: "True greatness is a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others." Then he tells us how we accomplish this: "The secret weapon that fuels a true heart for greatness is GRACE. The very thing that drew us to the heart of God and keeps us there is the very thing that God wants us to instill into our children. Grace is the phenomenal power behind true's the filter we look through, feel through, and reason through."

2 Cor 2:9: "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you."

In Moms in Touch this year, I think we'll deeply soak in prayer the need for our kids to have a deeper understanding of grace, which then demonstrates itself in two attitudes, which lead to two actions. Humility and gratefulness result in actions of generosity and a servant attitude.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

As school starts next week, I will once again be setting new goals and thinking all sorts of random thoughts, like wanting to be a more organized person (this has been in the works for years), achieving BALANCE between the Oh-So-Fun and the Not-So-Fun-But-Necessary stuff of life. For me, New Year's Resolutions start in the fall. But, really, as I was reading Philippians 3 this a.m., the Lord reminded me that all that matters is one thing. The rest will follow.

For my determined purpose is that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection... Philippians 3:10

So I pray for a determined purpose to know my heavenly Father more deeply and intimately as I embark on this new year.

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