Friday, May 23, 2008

Being a Merciful Mom

I promised in my last post that Luke would soon write about his India trip and post pictures. I know he will get around to that eventually, but he has not had time to do it yet. He spent the first few days at home in a zombie-like state as he recovered from almost 30 hours of travelling and the 10 1/2 hour time difference. He was feeling better by last night, but leaves today for the Men's Retreat with our church. He will only be gone two nights, and maybe when he gets back he will finally have time to share a little about his trip. Until then, I thought I'd share something from another blog that has really convicted me and given me a lot to think about in regards to parenting.

I love reading blogs. I have found so many awesome Christian women out there who have an abundance of wisdom on topics such as mothering, homemaking, organization, marriage, etc. I have come across several that I have bookmarked and read faithfully. One of my favorite blogs is titled, "Ordinary Mother." I don't remember how I came across this blog, but it is one I check frequently. She posted something recently that I have been meditating on...

What she wrote really hit home with something I have been struggling with lately. With Luke being gone so much this month, I have been bearing the full load of discipline around our house. I can't say that I have fulfilled this task perfectly, or even close to perfectly. In fact, some days I was the picture of everything you shouldn't do. I have really struggled this month with keeping my patience and not getting angry when they act like....children. I have had to ask the boys' forgiveness many times for losing my temper and yelling, and have had to ask God's forgiveness many times for the way I acted. I want so badly to be a godly, Christian mom that exudes patience and peace, and have been so frustrated lately when I find myself doing exactly the opposite. It is something I have been praying about, and was so touched when I read this blog about showing our children mercy.

The quote from this blog "...mercy looks especially upon the miserable consequences of sin" is something I am going to try and remember as I go throughout my day with my boys. I have been guilty lately of focusing too much on myself and my needs instead of their spiritual needs. I need to have the focus of my discipline be showing them their sin and the cross of Christ, not just managing behavior. The biggest reason why I get angry with their behavior is because it is an inconvenience to me. When I am trying to cook dinner, it is very inconvenient to have to stop what I am doing and teach someone again about sharing. When I am on the phone, it is an inconvenience to me if they are fighting and I can't hear the person I am trying to have a conversation with. I have to remember that my boys are sinners... just like every other child around them. They are not Christians, and they need to be taught about God's grace for sinners and how God shows us mercy. I need to have an unselfish heart as I go throughout my day, focusing more on their spiritual condition than my to-do list. This is such a challenge, and one that I need to be in prayer about constantly.

If anyone has any words of wisdom to add to this, I am always open to hearing advice on Biblical parenting. Feel free to add any to the comments section...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two more "sleeps!"

With all that has gone on over the last few weeks, I have really neglected this blog. The last few weeks have been exceptionally busy for us. Two days after my brother's funeral Luke left for a 15-day trip to India. He has never been away from us for this long so it was a very difficult good-bye. The boys and I have been counting down the "sleeps" until Daddy comes home, and we're down to two more sleeps! We are very excited to see him, and I know Luke is ready to come home.

The boys and I have kept very busy over the last two weeks while Daddy has been away. I am so thankful for the good weather we've had while Luke has been gone. Being able to play outside and go on day trips to parks and the petting zoo has really helped us stay busy. I would have pictures to share of all our outings but Luke took the camera with him! I'll be sure to have him write the next post and share pics and stories from his trip.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for and supported our family during the time after Mike passed away. We were all very encouraged by the friends, family and church family that brought meals, sent flowers, baby-sat our kids, and most importantly, prayed for us. The timing of Luke's trip was wonderful, because it allowed me lots of extra time to spend with my parents. The boys and I spent many hours with them the first week he was gone, and I think that helped them a lot.
Please keep praying for my parents. Even though they seem to be doing okay, losing a child isn't something you just "get over" real quickly.

We've had no news on the adoption while Luke's been gone which is actually an answer to prayer. When we found out he was going on this long trip, we immediately thought "What if we get matched with a baby either while he's gone or right before he leaves?" We prayed that God would prevent this from happening until Luke got back, and He seems to have answered that prayer. We'll update the blog if we hear anything from our agency. We're very excited about bringing home another baby!

Luke hasn't sent many pictures from India because his "high-speed" Internet in his hotel room leaves a lot to be desired. He said it is like working with a dial-up modem. But he did manage to send us a few pics from a cricket game he had one morning before work with some of his Indian friends.

I'm so excited to have my husband back! Two more sleeps!