Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Something to think about!

So, as I was getting ready to write a new blog about one of the adventures I've had this summer I did what I always do....look at the Facebook and peruse some of my favorite blogs that I like to stalk.  Well as I was doing the usual routine I came across an article that someone had posted and it got me thinking....this is the article:
Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)
A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”
She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”
Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.
Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.
If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.
The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).
Recent post from Rachel Jankovic

Funny enough, this article made me think of a song that has been catching my ear lately.  Every time I hear it, it makes me stop.  I love it!  Its by Steven Curtis Chapman and its called "Do Everything".  Here is my favorite part of the song:
you’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Kevin and I have recently decided that we would begin trying to become parents.  Now, I have always know that at the center of my core I wanted to be a mom.  I know that it comes with a lot of sacrifices and that it won't always be easy.  In fact I've been told that is one of the hardest things a marriage can go through (not exactly inspirational!).  Never the less, I am still VERY excited.  This artcile I think is just a great, refreshing, and new way to look at being a mother, father, parent.  Its something I don't think people take seriously a lot of times.  Having kids isn't something to do just because you're bored.  It should be treated as a privilage in my mind.  Now, I know I can't say much seeing as though I've never been kept up all night with a screaming baby; nor have I been standing in a store with a child throwing a tantrum (hmm...not sure i'm "VERY excited" about that!).  But never the less I think its a privilage!  I just loved how she took the idea of the sacrifices we make for children and comparing them to what Jesus did for us a step further and talking about the reserection and new life that we recieve after making those sacrifices.  
I would say that one of the things Kevin has been most nervous about in terms of becoming parents is the sacrifices we are going to have to make.  We have a really great life together.  We have the freedom to do whatever we want...go out to dinner if we don't feel like cooking, go to the movies, spend our Saturday afternoons doing the grocery shopping together, taking Sunday afternoon naps, even go on a quick weekend trip if we feel like it. He likes this time in our life where its just the two of us and we don't have to worry about anythings else.  (I love it too!!!)  Long story short, he's nervous about the sacrifices that come along with having kids (I am too a little).  But reading this is just so refreshing!  We don't need to be caught up in the sacrifices that were making, instead we should be look forward to the rebirth of a new, and slightly different, life!  And in that we should, "do everything to the glory of the one who made (us)".  
I really love that song because sometimes I struggle with where i'm at in life and if  I'm good enough or doing enough or if anything I do even matters.  But, its just so true and re-assuring to hear that no matter what we do as long as we do it for HIM, were doing what he created us to do and putting a smile on his face!  I love that!  Even the littlest things bring HIM joy!  
Well, those are my thoughts on this HOT summer Wednesday in WI!

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    WAY past time for a new blog post...Or so i've been told ;)

    Alright, alright, alright...time for a blog update!!!  Where to start???

    Its been, for the most part, a beautiful summer here in WI.  But there have been a few day of HOT and HUMID weather...NOT FUN!!! Fun fact: the house were renting has no air conditioning :/  So what have we been doing with the beautiful summer?  We have been continuing our weekly walks by the lake.  Its always so beautiful and nice down there!!!  I really love living close to a big body of water!  Kevin and I took a quick vacation to Boston and Vermont.  We saw a lot of family and had a really great time!!!  We also went to Strawberry Fest!  It was all about Strawberries and crafts!!!  Does it get much better?!?!  Alyssa came and visited!!!!  Fourth of July!!!!  Jelly Belly Factory tour!!!  Made a quilt!!!  Joined the iPhone nation!!!  Storm the Bastille!!!  And now we are anticipating the arrival of my MOM!!!!  And in the midst of it all I have been volunteering one day, sometimes two, at the coffee shop at church.

    God has been blessing us!  It hasn't been easy, but it is getting easier.  Some day we dash forward...and someday we fly backwards...but in the end, I think we are making progress and moving forward :)!!!

    I have pictures of most of our adventures over the last month, but not all.  I PROMISE I will post them!!!  And get better at updating!  So not a huge, long, emotional blog today, more of just and update :)

    Thanks for checking in and please continue to do so!!!