Molding and Shaping Lives

Dear Fellow Moms,

These three articles just had a great impact on me. Some of it made me want to throw my quilt over my head in conviction. These are the things I battle with, and although I've made great improvements in the areas of time/priorities/distractions, it's a daily fight isn't it? So let's put on the full armor of God and stand firm (Ephesians 6:10-11). Our time with our young children is so brief...

Pay Attention
A Question of Priorities
First Things First

P.S. These are short and take only a minute to read. Please do! :)

Kid Quotes

Dear Rachel,

Here are some of the recent funny things you've said. The last one melted my heart.

Rachel:I don't like hot chocolate. It's so... hot. And I don't like the hotness.

Rachel (while watching Chronicles of Narnia): Do beavers talk?
Daddy: Not in real life.
Rachel: Oh. Not in real life, but in fake life.

Rachel (after water dripped on her from her cup): I got rain on me. Cup rain.

Rachel: I don't ever want to get old. I want to stay this size forever.
Mommy: Why?
Rachel: Because when I get older, you can't hold me anymore.


Remembering Little Miracles to Strengthen our Faith

Dear Rachel,

We have a God who still works miracles and makes His presence known to us if we have eyes to see it. So often we act like the Israelites. God works in our lives so clearly, but we either forget, attribute it to something or someone else, or assume that the thing was just a coincidence.

We need to remember the times we've seen God's hand in our lives. There is a memory etched in my mind that I want us to always remember.

Do you remember our butterflies? We received them as tiny caterpillars in the mail. You loved them instantly and I have pictures of you kissing the container they were in. Day by day we watched them grow, and before we knew it they had spun chrysalises. We were amazed at the transformation! Mommy taught you words like metamorphosis as we continued to wait and watch. The day they emerged as butterflies was a day of celebration. They had truly become a new creation. What could be a more beautifully spiritual analogy? When we believe in Jesus, we also become a new creation. In Christ, the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

The next morning, you decided to give them names: Daisy, Waffle, Butter, Syrup, and Fighter. (Could you tell that it was breakfast time when you named them?) Mommy and Daddy chose Fighter's name because of the way he fought and struggled to get out of his chrysalis. It took the others no time at all to emerge, but a day and a half later, he was still caught and struggling. Mommy and Daddy decided to intervene and we gently tugged at his shell to let him free. It worked, but his wings remained damaged and he never recovered enough to fly. We loved him despite his "flaw" and he quickly became the favorite. He needed us more than the others did. He required extra care, and twice a day we scooped him up in a plastic spoon and put him on top of the orange slices and sugar water so he could eat. All you talked about was Fighter (actually you called him Firefighter).

The extra love we felt for Fighter reminded me of a short time in your life when Mommy and Daddy thought there could be something really wrong with you. Your muscles were so weak and your motor skills so delayed that we weren't sure if you would ever walk. You needed a lot of extra help and care because you didn't walk until you were almost 2. It sounds strange, but I think I loved you more because of it. You needed me, and I wanted to do anything and everything possible to help you. I never really knew how I would feel if God gave me a child with special needs. Now I know. Though you are completely healed now (praise God for that) I know that if God ever blesses us with a special needs child in the future, we'll be ok. He'll carry us through it because He is more than faithful. God has a special place in His heart for the weak and humble things of this world. (1 Corinthians 1:27, James 1:27)

The day came to release your butterflies. We told you how wonderful they would feel to finally fly and "go find their families". We prayed that God would watch after them and that they would visit us one day soon. Fighter never quite made it to Release Day. Instead, he was given a special place in our garden to rest.

A week later, you and Mommy were sitting in the hammock on a beautiful afternoon. You were crying because you missed your butterflies so. We began to pray that Jesus would send us a butterfly. It was a risky thing to pray for. If one didn't come, would it bruise your fragile faith? I prayed hard, and as I was praying, a peace came over me and I was so sure that we would see one.

When 15 uneventful minutes passed, I had to make the tough decision to go inside (it was way past nap time). You were disappointed, and so was I. As we walked toward the house, I saw something brown on your sweater.

"Come here honey. Let Mommy shake that leaf off of you."

You came closer and to my amazement, it wasn't a leaf at all. It was a little brown butterfly clinging to you! You looked down at it and that little butterfly walked right up your sweater and onto your cheek. You started to get nervous, but after I said, "A butterfly kiss!" you were thrilled. Our little butterfly friend climbed onto your hand and stayed on you for a very long time. In fact, he never flew away. After about 15 minutes (nap time was really late now), we finally placed him on the grass so we could go inside. I have never seen anything like it. Butterflies just don't do that. And so, Little Bear, I want you to remember that Jesus sent you that butterfly.

You have a God who literally upholds the universe by the power of His word (Hebrews 1:3). Even so, He is not too busy to care for a brokenhearted 2 year old and to give your budding faith (and mine) a pair of wings.


Leading our Family

Dear Matt,

It's really amazing that you chose to marry me. No, really! I was just reflecting on how spiritually immature I was while we were dating, the things I used to talk about, and the unbiblical things I embraced and believed. And though I still have a long way to go, I can look back at my life 10 years ago and think, "What in the world was I doing?"

Do you remember the conversations we had?

There was no way I was going to be a stay at home Mom. I worked hard to get an education so that I could enjoy a career and accomplish something with my life.

Oh the many joys and blessings I would have missed

I only want one child. You want a large family? That's crazy!

What would I do without my sweet Abby and the others who have yet to come? (Psalm 127:3-5)

Ok, wait. You mean the Bible says I have to submit to your leadership in marriage? Buahahaha!

I mocked it because I didn't understand it. I hated it because it meant I might not get my way. I see the beauty of it now that I understand God's design and how it reflects Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

I'm sure you've seen the Leadership in the Home Series on Challies, but I wanted to post it here just in case. Even though its intended audience is for Christian men who are engaged or married, it's important for wives to read as well.

Thank you for leading our family. I'm so proud of the growth I've seen in you in this area. It gives me a glimpse of the One who designed it this way.

Let's pray for continued growth in this area on both our parts. Here's to hoping that 10 years from now, we'll look back on this time and think, "What in the world were we doing?"