So I vowed to get back on track with my blogging this year and so far have failed. Such is life, huh?!
Each year I do a family yearbook that includes pictures and short stories of what we did each month of that year. My kids love them, they want to look at it all the time and for me it makes me feel better about never printing pictures as a keepsake for my kids. Instead I print a book for us at home and one for each of them for their memory box to take with them as they move out of our home.
For some reason I've been thinking a lot about that time lately. That time when they will be old enough to move out of our home, continue their education, start their careers, and start their own families. How is that actually possible?! Sometimes it seems like those days will never come because the days can be so slow. And then I think about how quickly it will come, whether we're ready or not.
Each night we pray over our kids. Every night I pray a similar prayer. I always ask the Lord to bless them with kindness and love for others. That they will be patient and find true love. That they will follow their dreams and be whoever and do whatever they want to do. That they will love Jesus. And that God will be with us as we parent through the tough parts.
When I think about those desires and those requests I continually get stuck on one part "God be with us as we parent through the tough parts" I can get somewhat excited about those adult years to come. To think of my kids loving someone else like I love Jimmy, and like I love them is fantastic - of course I want that for them. And I look forward to those years with Jimmy when the stress of jobs, kids, and life clouds our time together is no longer. But when I think about parenting through the tough times, that's hard. It's hard to think of your children being disobedient in bigger ways than not picking up their room. It's hard to think of your children make poor choices. It's hard to think of your children giving into peer pressure. It's hard to think of your children not loving Jesus. It's hard to think of your children having sex or doing drugs. It's hard to think of your children being mean to others. Those things about break my heart. But then I think about God. I think about the difference that it makes for those of us parents that love God and make Jesus a part of our home, a part of our marriage, and a part of how we parent. That's a huge difference, a difference of eternal life or not really.
So when I pray those prayers over my children every night I need to be assured that Jesus hears them. I need to be assured that Jesus is preparing our hearts now for the trials ahead for our children and for us. I need to be assured that He will hold our hands as we navigate through those tough years. God assures us that this life will bring us hard times. So instead of praying for them not to happen I hope that I pray for the strength, guidance, and peace that I can endure them hand and hand with Jesus.
This is the verse we selected when Lily was dedicated and that we have prayed over both of our children every night since:
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."