Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We've been busy!

Last year when Bryan's parents came to visit, it rained 9 out of the 10 days they were here. We were praying that their trip out this time would look a bit different and God has graciously given us several sunny days!!!

We kicked off their trip with a visit to the garden center.:) Mom P. helped me pick out (and plant) some flowers and transplant some of what was there to make the front of our house look just beautiful!!!

We took in some more vitamin D at White Rock Beach with a game of whiffle ball and a walk along the beach.

And we have even been miniature golfing TWICE! We went yesterday and happened to notice on our way out that they were offering a free round of golf to anyone who came in sporting a Canuck's shirt...so we headed back today for round two (all decked out, of course!).
Speaking of the Canucks...what a series it has been!!!! We have had so much fun watching the Canucks make their way to the Stanley Cup and we are rooting for the Bruins to join them! Oh...and I am talking about hockey in case you are wondering.:)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guess who came to town?

Nanny and Gramps, that's who!

The kids and I drove into Vancouver today to get them from the airport! It was a beautiful ride. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and the snow covered mountains were "out" everywhere! Boy, have we missed the sun! We've also missed Bryan's parents and we are so excited about spending the next 10 days with them!

What could be better than waiting with a mouth full of Timbits? :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just a thought...

I have been tremendously blessed over the past 8 years (or so) of reading through the Bible each year! A person just can't get enough of God's Word!:) His Word truly is LIVING and ACTIVE!!

But, there is a new habit that the Pichura Family has sought to create in the last few months that has been a huge blessing in my own life, as well. Each morning (okay...most mornings!) we read one Psalm and one Proverb. The Proverb corresponds to the date of the month and we just keep plugging along in the Psalms.

In my Bible reading plan I read a part of a Psalm and a Proverb but rarely is there a full chapter on any given day...and what a treasure it has been to read a chapter in it's totality. The Psalms lift my heart to praise the Lord...no matter how difficult the day may seem and Proverbs...I wish I could cram it all into my brain so I would make wise choices the first time around in all I say and do! I am so thankful for the "hands-on" wisdom that shoots out like a geyser in each verse of every chapter!

...it's been a gift to my heart...thought it might be to yours as well!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I want to get away...

"On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on Him to hear the Word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret...getting into one of the boats...He sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:1-3

As moms, I think we can all relate to being "pressed into". Sometimes, it can seem downright overwhelming when our kids seem to need us even to breath or when they are, quite literally, grabbing onto us and pressing into us. Those are the moments when all I can think is "I want to get away" or, if I am being perfectly honest, the thought in my head might be more along the lines of "GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!".:)

What is just so beautiful to me is that Jesus knows exactly how we feel...AND He responded without sinning!!! He is our perfect example. His response to the crowd humbles me. He didn't flee...He sat down at taught them. His focus was not on being served but serving and giving them what their hearts so desperately needed...Words of life!

May we, as moms, follow Jesus' lead and may our heart's cry for and to our children be that of Samuels in 1 Samuel 12:23-24:

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Better than a Sunday comic

Kevin DeYoung wrote a blog post that had me laughing out loud and left me pondering. Before reading his post, Bryan and I had just been talking about the role God has given us as parents...how easy it is to lose sight of our kids hearts and, at the same time, to forget about our own sinful hearts. Debates rage on the many different ways parents should "raise" their kids...Oh, that all debates would be silenced by remembering that "all the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit"(Proverbs 16:2).

Happy Lord's Day!

Parenting 001

Does it seem like parenting has gotten more complicated? I mean, as far as I can tell, back in the day parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs (no wait, their tummies; no never mind, their backs), while listening to Baby Mozart surrounded by scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about five foot six.

It’s all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Kids can’t even eat sugar anymore. My parents were solid as a rock but we still had a cupboard populated with cereal royalty like Captain Crunch and Count Chocula. In our house the pebbles were fruity and the charms were lucky. The breakfast bowl was a place for marshmallows, not dried camping fruit. Our milk was 2%. And sometimes, if we needed to take the edge off a rough morning, we’d tempt fate and chug a little Vitamin D.

Trial by Error

I don’t consider myself a particularly good parent. I was asked to speak a few years ago at some church’s conference. They wanted me to talk about parenting. I said I didn’t have much to say so they should ask someone else (which they did). My kids are probably not as crazy as they seem to me (at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway), but if I ever write a book on parenting I’m going to call it The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

There are already scores of books on parenting, many of them quite good. I’ve read several of them and have learned much. I really do believe in gospel-powered parenting and shepherding my child’s heart. I want conversations like this:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: Because it will be fun to play with.
Me: Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: Yes.
Me: Would it make him sad to take the toy away?
Child: I guess so.
Me: And do you like to make your brother sad?
Child: No.
Me: You know, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means loving your brother the way he would want to be loved. Since Jesus loves us so much, we have every reason to love others–even your brother. Would you like to love him by letting him play with the toy for awhile?
Child: Yes I would daddy.

I try that. Really I do. But here’s what actually happens:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What’s going on in your heart when you desire that toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Think about it son. Use your brain. Don’t you know something?
Child: I guess I just want the toy.
Me: Obviously. But why?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Fine. [Mental note: abandon "why" questions and skip straight to leading questions.] Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: No.
Me: Really?! He’s not having fun? Then why does he want that toy in the first place?
Child: Because he’s mean.
Me: Have you ever considered that maybe you are being mean by trying to rip the toy from his quivering little hands?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What do you know?
Child: I don’t know!
Me: Nevermind. [I wonder how my brilliant child can know absolutely nothing at this moment.] Well, I think taking the toy from him will make your brother sad. Do you like to make him sad?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: [Audible sigh.]
Child: He makes me sad all the time!
Me: Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, think, what would Paul Tripp do? Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] You know, Jesus wants us to love each other.
Child: I don’t know.
Me: I didn’t ask you a question!
Child: [Pause.] Can I have some fruit snacks?
Me: No, you can’t have fruit snacks. We are talking about the gospel. Jesus loves us and died for us. He wants you to love your brother too.
Child: So?
Me: So give him the toy back!

Then I lunge for the toy and the child runs away. I tell him to come back here this instant and threaten to throw the toy in the trash. I recommit myself to turning down speaking engagements on parenting.

Growing What You Can

I want to grow as a parent–in patience and wisdom and consistency. But I also know that I can’t change my kids’ hearts. I am responsible for my heart and must be responsible to teach them the way of the Lord. But nothin’ guarantees nothin’. I’m just trying to be faithful, and then repent for all the times I’m not.

I have four kids and besides the Lord’s grace, I’m banking on the fact that there really are just a few non-negotiables in parenting. There are plenty of ways to screw up our kids, but whether they color during church, for example, is not one of them. There is not a straight line from doodling in the service as a toddler to doing meth as a teenager. Could it be that beyond the basics of godly parenting, that most of the other techniques and convictions are nibbling around the edges? Certainly, there are lots of ways that good parents make parenting a saner, more enjoyable experience, but even the kid addicted to Angry Birds who just downed a pack of Fun Dip and is now watching his third Pixar movie of the week (day?) still has a decent shot at not being a sociopath.

I remember years ago hearing a line from Alistair Begg, quoting another man, that went like this: “When I was young I had six theories and no kids. Now I have six kids and no theories.” I must be smart. It only took me four kids to run out of theories.

Getting a Few Things Right

I look back at my childhood and think, “What did my parents do right?” I watched too many Growing Pains reruns and played a lot of Super Techmo Bowl (LT could block every extra point and Christian Okoye was a stud). I never learned to like granola or my vegetables (kids, stop reading this post immediately!). But yet, I always knew they loved me. They made me go to church every Wednesday and twice on every Sunday. They made us do our homework. They laid down obvious rules–the kinds that keep kids from killing each other. They wouldn’t accept any bad language, and I didn’t hear any from them. Mom took care of us when we were sick. Dad told us he loved us. I never found porn around the house or booze or dirty secrets. We read the Bible. We got in trouble when we broke the rules. I don’t remember a lot of powerful heart-to-heart conversations. But we knew who we were, where we stood, and what to expect. I’d be thrilled to give my kids the same.

I worry that many young parents are a) too adamant about the particulars of their parenting or b) too sure that every decision will set their kids on an unalterable trajectory to heaven or hell. It’s like my secretary at the church once told me: “Most moms and dads think they are either the best or the worst parents in the world, and both are wrong.” Could it be we’ve made parenting too complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we are as parents? They will see our character before they remember our exact rules regarding television and twinkies.

I could be wrong. My kids are still young. Maybe this no-theory is a theory of its own. I just know that the longer I parent the more I want to focus on doing a few things really well, and not get too passionate about all the rest. I want to spend time with my kids, teach them the Bible, take them to church, laugh with them, cry with them, discipline them when they disobey, say sorry when I mess up, and pray like crazy. I want them to look back and think, “I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.” Maybe it’s not that complicated after all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why Read?

I had a precious conversation with a sweet sister-in-Christ this week and we ended up on the subject of reading books....not fiction books but Christian living books (you know, the ones on marriage, parenting, spiritual disciplines, knowing God, prayer, etc...). There are a few questions worth asking when we talk about books:

-Why read?

-Am I being a poor steward of my time (God's time) if I sit down to read?

-If I am going to read, what book should I read? (there is so much out there it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start)

-What if I don't really like to read?

-Isn't God's Word enough?

So, here are some thoughts if you have asked questions like the above ones.

God's Words are the only words that are living and active and can discern the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). His Word is enough...He is enough. In Him we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). And because God's Words are the words of life...we are called to cling to them and obey them! Guess what? That means we should be reading good books! While I can't "chapter and verse" that previous sentence, I can give you a boatload of Proverbs that tell us that "there is wisdom in the council of many"(Prov.15:22) and that we are to "listen to advice and accept instruction so that we may gain wisdom" (Prov.19:20). I can take you to passages like Titus 2 where older men and women are encouraged to teach younger men and women.

While much of that council and encouragement should come from our local church...we have also been blessed with a day and age where there are many godly men and women writing godly, wisdom filled, advice-laden, God-saturated books! What a gift we have been given! What an opportunity we have...not to "waste" time...but to invest time in learning how to be an excellent wife, to shepherd our children's heart, to have everyday talk that honors the Lord, to be disciplined in our walk with Christ, and so many other issues that may be causing us confusion or we see our need to grow in. Reading good books helps us to "be careful how we walk, not as unwise but as wise"(Eph. 5).

Maybe you believe that it is a good thing to read good books...but you just don't like to read. Have you prayed about it? God can change your desires! He chose to communicate with us through the Bible...through words! Certainly, He can give you a new or renewed passion for reading words...especially His Words!

With all that said, I would be remiss if I didn't share a note of caution with you. What John MacArthur said has been a needed warning to my own heart when it comes to books. He said, "Too many Christians are content with a second-hand knowledge of Scripture. They read books about the Bible instead of studying the Bible for themselves. Books are good, but collateral reading can never replace the Bible itself." In fact, I LOVE what he shared on a blog last year about enjoying Bible Study (your own study of God's Word, that is!). It's well worth the read!

Speaking of books...I just finished our church's "Book of the Quarter" called, "When People Are Big and God is Small". It's not a new book...but boy is it good!!! It's not just that one or two chapters are good...it's worth reading because each chapter is REALLY good!!! I think we women can tend to extra struggle in the department of "fearing man" and seeking the approval of others...and this book takes you from fear to worship, from need to service, and from guilt to freedom!!! If you are reading this post and you go to CBC...I can't encourage you enough to pick up a copy at the info desk!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Motherhood is not the greatest good

I planned on spending the week sharing with you thoughts that have been marinating in my brain :)...but, instead, the Lord has brought articles across my path that have carried a weight of importance and blessing to my own heart and I can't help but think that your heart might need them just as much! So, my own thoughts can marinate a bit longer (and, as Solomon has already told us...there is nothing new under the sun...so, most likely, you've heard my thoughts from someone else who had the same thoughts in the past!:)). Thanks, Kimiko, for posting this link on your blog!

For Moms, Former Moms, and Wannabe Moms

I'm reposting my thoughts from last year's Mother's Day, mostly because I needed to reread it myself.

Mother's Day is a tricky holiday. Like any holiday, it is sweet for some and bitter for others. For some, it’s both. I remember feeling on the outside looking in on Mother’s Day, first as a single woman and then after I miscarried our first. Our church had an entrance near the nursery called the Family Entrance. Could I use it? Were we a family? I finally just used it regardless, almost as an act of defiance. Now as the mother of a 4 and 6 year old, I can deeply appreciate someone setting aside parking near an entrance that kept me from having to walk my toddlers across a busy intersection. But at the time I was dealing with emotions that weren’t swayed by practical realities. I just wanted to be a mom. And that sign at the church entrance reminded me I wasn’t.

It is an age-old conundrum in humanity in general and Christianity in particular. How do you honor someone who has something good that you want too? How do you applaud the sacrifices of one without minimizing the suffering of the other? I don’t know exactly, but I do think there is an over arching principle that is helpful.

Motherhood is not the greatest good for the Christian woman. Whether you are a mom or not, don’t get caught up in sentimentalism that sets it up as some saintly role. The greatest good is being conformed to the image of Christ. Now, motherhood is certainly one of God’s primary tools in His arsenal for this purpose for women. But it is not the end itself. Being a mom doesn’t make you saintly. Believe me. Being a mom exposes all the ways you are a sinner, not a saint. Not being a mom and wanting to be one does too. We may long to get pregnant, looking at motherhood from afar. God sanctifies us through that longing. We may lose a pregnancy or a child, and mourn the loss of our motherhood. God conforms us to Christ through that as well. We may have a brood of children of various ages, and heaven knows God roots sin out of our hearts that way. It’s all about THE greatest good, being conformed to the image of Christ – reclaiming the image of God that He created us to bear through gospel grace. And God uses both the presence and the absence of children in the lives of His daughters as a primary tool of conforming us to Christ.

Single woman watching your biological clock tick away, I encourage you to look today at your longings through the lens of the gospel. You don’t have to deny your longing or talk yourself into a happy attitude for all the good things you can do without kids. It’s OK to mourn the loss. God said children are a blessing. But after the fall, we do not all get to experience that blessing. The gospel makes up the difference. While you are disappointed in deep ways and that disappointment is real, you will one day sit with Jesus in heaven profoundly content with His work in you through this disappointment. In heaven, you will have no longing for something you missed. You will not be disappointed. May confidence in that hope sustain you.

Married woman experiencing infertility, I encourage you with similar words. People can be callous with their words, especially in the church. But believe in confidence that God in this very moment loves you with a deep love. You may feel estranged from Him, knowing that He has the power to give you that sweet infant that He has given so many around you. It seems like He is dangling a desire in front of you, teasing you with it. But understand that unfulfilled desire is a tool He uses to give you even better things – things of Himself that you cannot know in easy ways. Believe in confidence that this time of waiting is not just a holding pattern with no discernible value, but it too is a blessing, albeit in disguise, as it increases your strength to run and not grow weary and to walk and not to faint. Wait on the Lord, dear sister, in confidence.

And mom who fails her children regularly (because that’s everyone else), preach the gospel to yourself this day. If you have any grasp on your reality, you are likely painfully aware of every failure you’ve made with your children. And maybe you are fatigued by the fears of future failure as well. It’s okay that your children expose your own sin to yourself. In fact, it’s the mom who doesn’t seem daily aware of her failures that most concerns me. Christ has made the way for you to be at peace. If you sinned against your kids, ask their forgiveness. If you are kicking yourself for your failures, preach God’s grace to yourself. Don’t learn to live with your sin – don’t embrace it with the attitude “that’s just how I am.” But don’t deny it either. Be honest about it. You sinned. You confess. God forgives. You get up and walk forward in confidence. It’s called gospel grace, and THAT is the legacy to leave your children.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When you lose a child...

The Lord saw fit to take our firstborn baby boy, Garett, home to Heaven 11 1/2 years ago. He was stillborn at 33 weeks. It was early in our marriage and, though the pain was real and weighty, it pressed us into the Lord in so many beautiful ways. We saw Jesus and so many of His attributes in ways we never had before. "His grace is sufficient" and His promises are true!

When I read the following article posted on "The Gospel Coalition Blog"I knew I had to share it here. To God be the glory, great things He has done...both in life and in death!

It Was Not Wicked for the Lord to Take Our Son

On March 31, my husband, Ernie, and I walked into labor and delivery. I was 33 weeks pregnant, and we had come to monitor our son’s movement. We had little concern, thinking we’d be leaving within an hour or two. Perhaps I just needed to drink more fluids or get more rest. Not all babies are super active; maybe he was just so big that there wasn’t much room. These were several of my thoughts as I was just waiting. But after six or seven doctors and nurses looked over the sonogram of our son, they quickly decided they needed to do an emergency cesarean because they weren’t sure why he wasn’t responding. Our emotions could not keep up with the events. I found myself changing into in a hospital gown, wheeling around for a spinal shot. I was instantly numb and entering the first surgery of my life, completely unprepared. Haddon Brooks Blanco arrived within about 20 minutes, 6 weeks early. Through a lot of tears, confusion, and fear, Ernie and I still looked at each other with joy that our son was here, not knowing that we had entered into the darkest weekend of our lives.

Haddon struggled through severe anemia and a virus, and his sweet daddy visited him nearly every hour, loving his little son who looked almost identical to him. For 40 hours we were with him, hearing a roller coaster of good news and bad news. On April 2, the Lord took our sweet boy to be with him. Just before he passed, we were able to sing to him. Ernie sang “It Is Well” and I hummed “A Mighty Fortress” the best I could. I held him for the first time, telling him we’d see him soon. I passed him to Ernie, and when the time came to take all the machines off, Ernie quoted Numbers 6:24-26 as the last words Haddon could hear:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make his face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance on you,
And give you peace.

As our plans as parents have been thrown into confusion and sadness, we are faced with the question of what happens next. I long each morning to wake up to a crying baby to console in my arms. Ernie longs to come home from a long day of work to play with his son, and each time we walk to the garage we have to pass an empty nursery painted in blue. Through each seemingly impossible fear that rushes to our minds, the Lord has calmed us with several great truths about himself and our circumstance.

The Lord Does Not Delight in Wickedness

It was not wicked for the Lord to take our son. The Lord does not delight in wickedness or evil, his Word tells us in Psalm 5:4. His Word in Psalm 89:14 tells us that his throne is actually built on a foundation of righteousness and justice. I think this is how we can grieve well, when we long to take care and hold our son, to remember God’s foundation of righteousness in all that he does as we grieve in a world of sin and death. Somehow, in the death of our son, God will show us a greater picture of his goodness. Somehow, for our good, this is going to make us look more like his Son, Jesus.

God Is Still on Plan A

Ernie has reminded me that God is still on plan A in his plan of redemption. When Haddon died, God was not surprised or needed to start a plan B because something went wrong. 1 and 2 Peter reminded me that all the trials and suffering I will face here will result in praise and glory in the great day of Jesus Christ when he returns again. Haddon’s death has been part of God’s plan from eternity past; nothing is out of his control.

Haddon Is Now Looking Upon the Face of Mercy

There is a sweetness and gentleness of God that I’ve felt in my pain as I cry out to him, as I sit in Haddon’s nursery, and as I read my Bible. The same sweet, gentle, and kind God is the same God who took my boy to safety. He is in a place where he can see the love of God and hear the gospel of Jesus purely without the distractions of a sinful world. When you watch your son breathe his last, you have an overwhelming sense of not being able to control anything. But I don’t have to worry as his mother about his moment of passing from death to life, because he was instantly and safely ushered into the presence of Christ. Haddon was able to look upon the face of mercy and be sick no more.

Haddon Will Rise Again

This same gentle God got us through his burial with an amazing peace. I dreaded seeing his tiny casket, but when the time came the Holy Spirit quickly reminded me he is not there, but only his body, which he suffers in no longer. He reminded me that, just as Jesus rose from the grave, so too will Haddon rise again. The weight of that peace was unlike any peace I’ve experienced in my entire life. I looked around at all the baby graves, which were many, imagining all these babies one day rising to glory. I love hearing myself say it, Haddon will rise again. It’s our hope for our little boy.

Our Eternal Joy Is Yet to Come

My aching heart is learning to believe that being a mother is not my ultimate happiness. I understand, in a way I never did before, that this world is not a place where we will feel eternal joy. When the people of God finally stand before Christ, who took the punishment for their sin, they will feel the fulfilling, eternal joy that they long to feel here on earth. God has not promised those who belong to him a quick and easy road to heaven, but he does get us there, he promises. Until then, he’s assured us he is “near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

My Greatest Need Is Taken Care Of

Through many tears and days of great sadness, we want people to know that the only reason we feel comfort in our grief is because Jesus has taken the punishment of our sin, has been raised from the dead, and has crushed death. For the Christian, death is not the end. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes even calls death “greater than our day of birth” (Ecc. 7:1). For those who do not lean upon Jesus Christ as the great Savior from sin, death is the great entrance to eternal punishment, and their life now is the best they will ever have, because eternity after will be torment. I pray you would know this good news today and trust in Christ, the great conquerer of death.

Lisa Blanco lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, Ernie, who is a Bible Teacher at Pusch Ridge Christian Achademy. Lisa enjoys writing in her free time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10th, 1996

15 years ago Bryan and I went on our first date. I can't remember a lot these days, but I can still remember what he was wearing...blue jeans and a white shirt...he looked mighty handsome!:) At that moment, I had no idea that that day would mark the beginning of an amazing 15 year journey that would include multiple states, the death of our firstborn, the gift of 6 more children, adoption, surgeries, youth, family and head pastorates, home school ( I said I never would!), and a move to another country!:) It's been harder than I ever imagined, more beautiful than I ever imagined, and I am more in love with Bryan than I could have ever imagined!

About a month after we first started dating, I knew I wanted to marry him (I have a journal to prove it!). And it wasn't just because of how my heart pounded the second I saw him walk into a room...it was because, above all, his heart beat for the Lord. That meant our hearts were beating to the same music...and, by the grace of God, it's the music we are still dancing to!

Monday, May 9, 2011

You Never Stop Being a Parent

That is the title of a book I just finished reading by Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick. The premise of the book is all about "thriving in relationship with your adult children". I know, I know...I don't have adult children so what am I wasting my time for with the book?!!!

But I got done feeling like I had done anything but waste my time! Truth is, I can hardly remember what it was like to have toddlers running around the house. During those days of 4 little ones all under the age of 4, I remember there were times when I felt like the season of life I was in would never end...and now, I can barely remember what those days were like. It's not an expression...time TRULY does fly by!

Before we had kids, I focused on reading books abut being a godly wife. As my belly started to expand, I read books on taking care of a baby, scheduling, and feedings. When Micah was about 9 months old, we began to see what God's Word meant about how "from the womb we go astray".:) We knew we needed to be prepared. We knew we needed to address his sinful heart. We knew we couldn't fly by the seat of our pants. We needed wisdom...lots of it! We began reading godly books on parenting young children and older children. And, of course, my need to be a godly wife was just as great that I was so thankful for all the Christ-exalting books to keep reading on that subject has well!

You can get a degree in just about any subject you fancy...yet, the very occupations we (almost) all will hold...that of a spouse and parent...we often walk into without any "training" at all! It doesn't have to be that way! One thing I have learned (and I know that I still have much to learn!) is that there is always wisdom in preparing. Nothing is worse than being caught off guard or, better yet, realizing very far into a process that you were missing key ingredients! And, boy, does that apply to parenting and marriage! There is so much wonderful, godly advice to be read and listened to in the day and age we live in! So much wisdom to be gleaned before we get there ourselves. So much amazing armor to cloth ourselves in as we daily battle for the glory of God in our marriages, our parenting, and our personal lives!!!

Before I know it, the season of life God has Bryan and I in right now will give way to a nest full of birds getting ready to fly away. Our hearts cry is that, by God's grace, we lay a foundation NOW that will yield the sweet fruit of precious relationships with our children when they are adults. We know that we cannot produce the fruit, we know that, in God's sovereign plan, our desires and dreams for our kids may not be fulfilled exactly the way we pray...but we also know that we want to be faithful to toil with all His energy that He powerfully works in us (Colossians 1:29). And, in that pursuit, books like "You Never Stop Being A Parent" are just too much of a gift to pass up!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My servants...

I remember one time a woman saying that the average, modern day woman could never be the like the Proverbs 31 woman because she was able to do all that was written about her because she had servants.

I couldn't disagree with her more. Each day I continue to strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman for the glory of God and each day I thank the Lord for the servants He has given me. As I type, my dryer, dishwasher, and bread machine are all serving me quite well!:)

Happy Monday!