Friday, December 21, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

From our family, to yours! We wish you nothing but love and peace this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Grace Based Parents.

*please understand that jonathan and i in no way have this parenting thing figured out. we are sinners and we need our Savior just like everyone else. we fall short every single day... and that's where grace comes in. 

this past weekend i spent two days listening to Dr. Tim Kimmel and the people of Family Matters speak of God, love, children, home, and grace. i walked away completely inspired, so much so, that i long with every beat of my motherly heart to get this message out to parents. 

so, why grace based parenting? well for one, after studying God's Word, we agree that there is really no other option. it is to parent with grace or leave our children with a massive misunderstanding of who God really even is. 

first, i'll tell you what grace based parenting is not. it is not letting your children get away with everything. it is not making excuses. it is not manipulative. it is not shame. it is not jamming Jesus down the throats of our kids. 

i'll go a step further. to fully understand grace based parenting you must first understand grace. grace stoops down, it bends low, it reaches out. grace is the climate of your relationship. it's accepting your children regardless of merit. secure love, significant purpose, and a strong hope, every word, every action, every purpose should reflect these three points when dealing with our children. 

"in our desire to have them right with God, we must be careful to let God draw our children to Himself on His time table." 

let's not get so wrapped up in trying to clean up our children's world that they are not allowed to flex their faith when they are young. it is one thing to have our children memorize bible verses (that is great) or have them at a christian school, or have them at church every Sunday, or joining christian activities, all those things are great. but it can hinder our children's ability to learn God in a personal way if it is left to only that. to have it move from their head understanding to their hearts understanding is essential! 

and there is absolutely no better way for a child to grow to be a truly great person than to see with their eyes what integrity, character, and poise look like. they will learn this most by watching YOU. i really see this in Graycen. it's one thing for me to open the bible, read the words of Jesus to Graycen, have her go to school and they teach her compassion, come home, talk about it over dinner, and tuck her into her safe comfortable bed that night. only to wake up the next morning preoccupied with our schedules, our appointments, our image. it's another thing to be walking with my little girl, see someone who looks hungry, hand them a bag of pretzels, and ask if i can lay hands on them and pray. for her to see this is much more of an impact than any sermon she could hear at church with her new dress on, snack time, and plans for a fun day when church is over. all of those things are great, but they don't stand alone. let's not be afraid to get our hands dirty when teaching our children about grace and love and God. and let's NOT be afraid when our children get their hands dirty. we can not sterilize their world for them and expect them to know Jesus, really know Him, at the same time. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I encourage you! i know this is hard. this is soooo hard. and i believe that if you parent well, then it will be the single most difficult job of your life. but it does not have to be the scariest, or overwhelming, or fearful. remember, God wants a personal walk with your children. He has His own plans for their greatness. He gave them to you, because He trusts that with His help you can do this job, and He promises that you never have to do it alone. 

Let's have a vision for the next generation... that they "love big, work hard, laugh often, forgive freely, think abundantly, act humbly, receive thankfully, give generously, and serve gladly."

"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1a

you can find information about Family Matters, Dr. Tim Kimmel, and all of his books, including Grace Based Parenting right here

Monday, December 3, 2012

christmas spirit.

december 1st.
these pictures are not that great. and there may have even been times when we were a leeeetle bit miserable, and that's because it was just so dang cold. Brrrr! but none the less we were able to make some memories that night, kick off the season with a tree lighting at a near by town, and listen to christmas music the whole way home in the car as the kids all fell asleep. it's here, it's here! the christmas season is here! 
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