Project 52:2

Today was our last day of vacation in Missouri. 

It truly was a gift.  

In this country we have lots of freedoms.  In the grand scheme of this world, the gift of travel and vacation is truly a luxury.  Some people work every day of their lives.  Some can only dream of times like this.  I am very grateful that our family has this opportunity, usually a few times a year, 
to get away and get refreshed.


It's the second year we have asked the Phillips, an older couple with 13 children, with some married and those with children of their own, to join us on vacation to Big Cedar in Missouri.  We enjoy their family tremendously, and it's such a fun treat for us to interact with all of them and learn from them as parents.  Only the 8 youngest kids came on this trip, which ranges from age 5 to 18 {I think}.  

We don't spend the whole time together on the trip, only lunches and dinners.  Then, they so graciously let us join their nightly family Bible study after dinner.  I say "graciously" because we are still training our kids how to sit still and listen for any length of time! 
And since ours are the three youngest, it's very interesting. :)

Mr. Randy meets with Matt weekly and disciples/teaches him lots of fun stuff in the Word.  We all know some of the best ways to learn is "hands on" and to watch the teacher in practice. So, we knew we'd be learning from them this week.  We knew before coming on vacation that we wanted to take some time to read and focus on parenting.  So, we wanted to come into this trip with open hearts.

Last year, we learned a lot from just being around all of them.  The advice that stuck with me the most {and what I needed to hear the most} was to parent BY FAITH. Everything else is sin. {Rom. 14} I know…that sounds pretty harsh. So, whatever decisions we make in our family need to be based on God's Word, His standards and His principles, and we need to be sure about them.  We all know that there's no cookie cutter way to parent because every child is different.  Yet, I think sometimes I would drive myself nuts trying to find someone doing it a way I thought would work on MY children.  While it's helpful to see how others' choices work with their kids, I still need to be prayerful about applying it to my own.  Well, obviously I just need to be prayerful about EVERY THING! And, I, myself have the Holy Spirit who is ready and willing to teach me. Gotta remember that.

One of the other things I picked up on from them last year {getting to this year in just a sec!} was the parenting applications they took from so many different aspects of the Bible.  They were passages and verses I probably wouldn't have initially thought to apply to parenting. {Have I talked about this before on here?  If so, sorry, here it is again!}  So, in the past year, this has challenged me to look into the Word differently.  If God says "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him...," {2 Pet. 1:3} then I bet He means it and I'm sure it's in His Word or through His Spirit. :)  Even practical applications from the most random stories. Even when we think "surely THAT is not in the Bible!" or "where in there could I possibly find an answer to THIS?!"  His Word has everything we need, and the Spirit can guide us into every direction we need take.  If only I could remember this all day long.  Maybe if we actually read it enough and thoroughly enough to learn as much as possible or perhaps sought to learn about seasons like parenting before we were actually in the midst of them, we'd probably see these direct correlations sooner and more often!!  We'd probably be a little more prepared and eager to seek God in all of our questions or struggles.

These probably seem like simple truths.  Because they are. For some reason though, it's these most common sense things or simple applications which I have yet to see that baffle me when I finally see them.  WHERE have I been?  What have I been doing? Or, maybe I've seen some of them, but I've never reaaallly thought about them or truly put them into practice?

OK, so that was all last year…..and it leads me into this year…another simple fact.

Foolishness is what's bound up in a child that we as parents need to get out {Prov. 22:15}. Besides training them to follow the wise road of life and to make wise decisions {Prov. 22:6….EXCELLENT sermon on this passage from our old pastor, Tim Cole here}, we spend our time correcting and disciplining our children.  So, we train them to do the right thing and correct them when they do the opposite…the foolish thing.

So, this is the simple point.  Mr. Randy told us to do a word study on "foolishness" and "folly" and "fool."  See the circumstances it refers to and correct and discipline each time those offenses are made.  Well, duh, that sounds good. Why didn't I think of that? Sorry, Anna Jaymes, you are four years old, and I'm just now learning how to really be your parent. sweet.

So, I did the study this week.  I'll save the details for now {I already feel very odd at how much I talk about parenting on here because I still have little kids and am obviously still figuring this thing out.  I'm just telling you what the wise ones tell me}, but let me just say that all the little areas I struggle with knowing if I should discipline or whatever were there…in that study.  You should try it and we can compare notes. :)

Breath of fresh air.  God's way was there all along.  His Spirit has been here all along.  If only I would just depend on His understanding rather than my own. I bet I could discern a whole lot better.

OK, so all that to say that last night as I was starting to pack up, I began to feel sad and overwhelmed at the thought of going home.  I almost felt down at the thought of everything I needed to start doing right with my family.  I was thinking of how hard things were going to be. 

Then I stopped.

WOOH!!  I stopped.  

I believed.

I recognized Satan's schemes and his lies and my bad habits of thinking the worst..or expecting failure.  I chose to believe in the power of Christ within me.  I chose to see that He is the One who just taught me and opened my eyes, and HE will be the one to strengthen me in this walk.  He will be the one to make new habits in me….to help me put all I'm learning into practice.  HE is my hope.

And just like that, I flipped the switch in my emotions.  I instantly felt better believing His Truth and His power over my emotions.  Crazy how that happens.  

Well….this has been a few days of heavy stuff on here.  Hopefully some lighter things next week…and some fun project updates from around the house.

Thanks for bearing through all that. :)


1 comment:

  1. Just send you an email--thanks for linking up this year! Happy to have you as a part of this year's project--adding you now!! :) *s