The Love of a Parent

My two boys tested positive for flu B this week. UGH…will this winter of sickness EVER be over! As the sickness takes its course, I end up with two very tired, fussy boys by dinner time…and there just isn’t enough of me to go around. So I have to choose who to comfort, who to care for first. I hate that about having two kids. It seems so unfair to them. But I know one day they will love having a playmate, a constant friend, and a brother. For now, during this needy time of their life, they simply don’t understand why I am not taking care of them all the time.

Frustrated by the situation I am in every night, I reflected on God as a parent. God had one Son, but then decided to expand His family to include the WHOLE WORLD if they will have Him. That makes my nights of two fussy boys seem like a walk in the park. God has a whole world of needy, tired, weary, broken sons and daughters who are constantly in desperate need of Him.

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Thankfully, He is omnipresent (everywhere at once) and omnipotent (all knowing) so He can handle each person’s needs and brokenness at the same time perfectly.
How amazing…

I am unable to parent this way…at best I only think about myself sometimes when it comes to making decisions about how to parent. At worst, I make parenting decisions based on how I feel, what I want, and what I think I need, while sweeping my children’s needs under the rug.

This reflection has brought me hope…hope for my parenting. Because when Jesus came into my heart, He began REDEEMING all the broken parts of me-how I love others, my parenting, my thoughts, etc. That means that my parenting can and is being redeemed! My mistakes can be redeemed for His glory. My successes are because Jesus has redeemed my heart!

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. -Galatians 4:4-7

Wow…when we receive Jesus into our heart, we are adopted by God and made heirs of his kingdom! I love how Paul highlights that when we experience this change, the Spirit comes into our lives, calling out to the Father on our behalf.

How many times a day do your children call for you? How many times in a row do they say, sometimes yell, your name? Often I get frustrated when this happens, but I believe God is delighted when we call His name whether it’s the first or the hundredth time!

Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17

Jesus welcomed these little children with open arms. I imagine that they ran to Him like your kids run to you after being gone all day. That they desired His full attention and affection-and He was willing to give it to them.

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. -Eph. 2:5-7

Here is a beautiful passage. We were dead; then, through Christ, we are made alive. When we received the grace He offered, we were raised from our life of death (sin) and seated in the ‘heavenly places’ in Jesus. This is in the past tense-‘seated’-which means it has ALREADY taken place. So, where ever we are, if we are in Christ, we are in the throne room of God. We have that intimate access to the King of the world. The access a prince or princess would have to their father’s throne room. This is what our relationship with our kids is like too. They have access to our love, provision, and presence, just like we have access to God’s love, God’s provision, and God’s presence!

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Praise God for His redeeming presence and love! Relish in His lavish love today!Praying for you and your kids today!

Elise

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A Family Shaped By Grace

Have you ever spent a holiday with your family and wondered why it felt like such a chore? Do you find yourself walking on eggshells around certain family members because you aren’t sure how they might respond to you? Are there some people in your family that you avoid because being around them is too challenging?

If so, know that there is a better way, and it’s all about grace!

A Family Shaped by Grace is a new book coming out on June 6th that I have had the privilege of reading before it’s release. Gary Morland, the author, had a crumbling family. Finally, he got to the point where he wanted to do something different. His way wasn’t working. He started attending Bible study and met a man named Harold. This man would slowly, patiently love on Gary and teach him a better way to relate to and bless his family. This book is about the things he learned. They have helped him have a family shaped by grace instead of duty, anger, fear, or disappointment.

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What I love about this book is the practical ways Gary gives you to gently change how you view your family and how you relate to them. If you are at all invested in a family (which is everyone) or working with families in a professional way (teachers, pastors, counselors, social workers, etc.), this book is for you!

P.S.-Right now, the book is 40% off if you pre-order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble! Purchase your copy now if you want to get along with the people in your life who matter most!

Baby Blueberry – 12 Weeks

(Sorry this is a bit late. I was 12 weeks on Friday, June 13th)

How far along? 12 weeks. BB is approximately the size of a plum, about 2.1 in. and .495 oz. Almost all of the baby’s systems are fully formed.

Total weight gain? The scale I bought didn’t work. Whenever we would step on it, our weight would change from one time to the next, so I threw it away.

Maternity clothes? I still need pants, but I can still wear regular tops, but they are getting a little short.

Movement? Still too early for that.

Miss anything? my energy, staying up a little later when friends come over, lunch meat, white rice

Food cravings? fries

Have you started to show? I’ve started to show. You can’t see it from the front necessarily, but if I turn to the side, you can see a little bump. (though this week’s picture seems smaller than last week’s)

Sleep? I can’t get enough of it!

Looking forward to? Hearing something about our house this week. We are scheduled to close June 25th, and we’re hoping the USDA paperwork will come through by then and all the repairs will be done by then as well.

Symptoms: Fatigue, lots of extra mucus and flem, moodiness (I was emotional before pregnancy, so this isn’t helping), back pain, hungry more often, sore breasts, back pain, itchy skin (sometimes)

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but I don’t think that will last very long!

Gender? We should find out sometime in August at my 20 weeks ultrasound. (I think it’s a girl.)

Best moment this week? Taking care of my sweet husband on Thursday. He sprained his ankle (which isn’t fun), so I took him to the doctor. Then, I got medicine and another brace. We went home and ate Zaxby’s for lunch, watched Friends, and cleaned up the house a bit. These are my favorite moments in marriage-just living regular life out together.

What do I know? I know that I love my choice to go with a midwife. ‘Midwife’ means “with woman”, so the entire philosophy behind midwifery is that they remain with you for the duration of your labor and delivery. I love that I will have their constant support and expertise during those critical stages. I also know that a water birth sounds amazing!

Note to the Blueberry: Dear Blueberry, I can’t decide if you are a boy or a girl. Either way, you will be a delight. Sure, you’ll spit stuff up on me, and poop in the bath, right after I finish cleaning you. You will say ‘no’ a lot and won’t listen to what I tell you to do sometimes. You will make me angry, and sad, and happy. Sometimes all at the same time. But you are a delight. You are a gift from the Lord. I hope you will learn that quickly, and never forget it. I love you already!

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Love,

Elise (and BB)