Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mirror image

I have a girl in my house with two older brothers.  Two older brothers who constantly challenge Elise to math questions, free throw tournaments in our driveway, and sun flower seed contests.  She is taught by these boys the best teams in NBA, stats in MLB, and how to draft fantasy teams in NFL.
She is in a constant battle between being wrestled by Ethan and her heart being wrestled with the often reminder from me, "gentle and quiet spirit." (I Peter 3:4a)

Of course Cutie Patooties is Elise and my team :)

Tyler and Ethan are best friends to the core right now in life.

 Tyler takes Ethan everywhere he goes.  They lay in bed or on the floor watching superhero movies, Andy Griffith, or John Wayne most nights.  They love to wrestle each other.  I am not sure the wrestling is going to last much longer though, Ethan is growing fast, real fast. They camp together, grab Sonic together, and Tyler has been known to post Ethan as his #mcm (man crush Monday) on Instagram.

All three of these kids are so different, yet impact each other more than any other.  I hear Tyler stepping on Ethan's toes about choices.  Ethan will work with Elise on the proper way to catch a baseball many afternoons.  Tyler and Elise push our family to memorize scripture.  They work together, fuss together.... a lot, forgive each other, and play together. 

Not too long ago my dad (aka GT or Grandpa Texas), the kids, and I visited Lake Meredith in the Texas Panhandle.  I asked them to take a picture with GT.  This lake holds many memories for my dad.  There in front of me were 3 (almost) young adults.

 I promise it was just yesterday that they were young and I couldn't wait for them to GROW UP!

 Let me say, I didn't have to wait for that to happen.  Moments like these (and I have them quite frequently) stir up such an urgency in me. 
Am I doing all I can to teach them to walk in HIS ways? 
A crazy sense of double dose of Jesus down your throat kids starts to take over.  I feel the complete urge to pick up the gazillion parenting books I have and learn more ways to make sure they walk in HIS ways forever and ever.
My summer reading pile....

But as I read Deuteronomy 6,  God beautifully lays out a plan to raise children that walk in His ways.  It starts with our hearts.  I have read this passage probably a million times and never noticed the command for us personally.  Before we ever start the talking with our children, we have a command as parents from God.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart and with
all your soul and with
all your might.
And these words, which I am commanding you today,
shall be on your heart;"
Deuteronomy 6:5-6

It is then, when our hearts are set on HIM, we can talk about Jesus.  And it will come naturally.

It is when Jesus is our love.  Our priority.  Our reason for being.  Our purpose.  Our vision.  Our goal.

Our children will get it. 

"Know therefore that the Lord your God,
He is God,
the faithful God,
who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness
to a thousandth generation
with those who love Him and keep His commandments." Deuteronomy 7:9

We won't have to shove awkward conversations down their throats.  We won't have to wonder what to say. We won't have to depend on someone else teach our kids about Jesus.  Our kids will get it.  When we are head over heels in love with Jesus. 

I absolutely love my man.  I could talk to you all day about Warren.  You ask, I could tell you how awesome he is.  This is because I spend time with Warren, love him with all I have, desire him, and want to do everyday of life with him.  Talking to you about him would not be awkward.  You would know from my actions and words, if necessary, that he is who I am crazy about.  We text and  talk on the phone when we are apart.  I cannot even imagine going a day without some kind of communication with him. 

When we love God , like the command gives in Deuteronomy, it will be like that.  But even more so.  Talking about God will be natural.  Spending time with Him will be natural.  Knowing what His Word says will be natural.  Because we have that close relationship.  It will be something we desire.  It will be something we will talk about. 

When we love God with every aspect of our lives, that love will guide our parenting.  The choices we make for our home. 

Rules and Boundaries.

"and you shall teach them diligently to your sons
and shall talk of them when you
sit in your house and when you
walk by the way and when you
lie down and when you
rise up.
And you shall
bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall
be as frontals on your forehead.
And you shall
write them on the doorposts of your house and
on your gates."
Deuteronomy 6:7-9
My devotion and love to the Lord is directly related to my children's love for the Lord and His ways.
It's time to seek the Lord like never before.  Every time I blink, they grow a little faster.
My children, my future grandchildren and generations after are counting on me to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to keep His commandments (Deut. 7:9). 
Parents, let's set our hearts on Him!  Warren and I are cheering you on as we raise these kiddos together up in the Lord!

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