Monday, February 23, 2009

Two More Things Before I Sign Off...

Meet my new niece, Alexa Jayne Walker...

And see me at 24 weeks, 4 days:

Man's Anger Does Not Produce the Righteousness that God Requires

Man's anger does not produce the righteousness that God's anger does not produce the righteousness that God requires... (James 1:20)

These words ran through my mind as I kneeled thigh-deep in Audrey's toys, clothes and who-else-knows-what in her closet--the site of much tension in our home. Audrey does many things well. She can be loving and tender with Reid. She shares well. She's very helpful in random tasks at home (like running upstairs to grab some undies for Reid or pouring a bowl of cereal for him). She breezes through her reading assignments for school. She's thoughtful of others. 

However, there is one particular area of struggle: keeping the floor of her room and closet free of clothes. 

I found myself mumbling nonsense and breathing frustrations every time I'd walk into her room and see the mound of clothes at my feet. In my exasperation I was exasperating Audrey. I knew this was a faulty plan. 

I recently picked up a book that I had previously failed to finish a few years ago: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.  Such good wisdom that spoke directly into my frustration and misguided objectives in parenting. 

I want obedience from my children but for the wrong reasons. I want obedience so that I won't be humiliated, so that it will be comfortable for me, so that I won't be annoyed and just "because I said so." All of these reasons are a disservice to my children and due to a lack of understanding of my role as their mother. 

Ugh. My insufficiency is evident everywhere. 

As a parent, I am responsible for training their little hearts towards obeying God. Obeying Mommy & Daddy for them right now is obeying God. Obedience is bigger than my personal comfort. And, in my anger and frustration, I will never "produce the righteousness that God requires." 

Lord, help me lovingly train Audrey, Reid and Norah to obey--for Your glory and their ultimate joy. 

I could say so much more here but I'm going to leave it for another post. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Past Few Weeks in Pictures

Audrey turned six!!

Daddy & the birthday girl.

Audrey helping Kit pick out something from the American Girl Bistro.

Searching for the perfect American Girl doll (pictures are out of order...too tired to change them!)

Already shopping for our third--Norah.

The illustrated boy. See the tattoos on his chest and belly??

Monday, February 2, 2009

On Mothering Daughters

Last night after I gave the kids a bath, I caught a glimpse of Audrey dancing in front of her mirror, her wet hair tossing to and fro as she bounced up and down. She was singing these words in no particular order, "oh yeah...Hollywood...uh-huh..."

She ran towards me with a silly grin once she noticed my watching her. I asked her, "What's Hollywood?" Audrey answered something along the lines of "that's where famous actors live." Those words carried much more weight for me than first glance would intimate. As a little girl that's where my heart drifted. Several years ago, I found a handwriting assignment from fourth or fifth grade. We were to write about where we thought we'd be in five, ten, fifteen and twenty years. At the time I read it to Matt and laughed. My aspirations were to be a famous actress married to a rich producer with a couple of kids. Looking back, I see it more clearly.

That handwriting assignment unveiled the root of a deep struggle within me--one that has worn on for decades now--the struggle to make much of me. You see, I read the magazines, saw the movies, imagined myself in music videos because that was what "arriving" looked like--that's what the epitome of life seemed to be.

But I know it's not. I know that it is so far from it.

I think of someone like Britney Spears. My heart broke for her as I watched her overcome with emotion on her autobiographical documentary saying, "I'm so sad." Here she was, the "epitome of life" having "arrived" at such a young age, and miserable. The more gut-wrenching moment was the end, I thought. She talked about making a comeback, coming into her own, etc.--the same old package of misery wrapped in new paper and ribbon.

As young women (and even older) we are sold a sorry bill of goods. Coupled with a naturally wandering heart, it is a recipe for disaster. I want to increase the chance that Audrey and soon-to-be Norah will not be fed the same kind of fare as I. I want to war for their hearts. It will be bloody. I know my mother warred for me the best she could and I'm still battle-scarred.

The Lord so sweetly placed some beautiful wisdom before me today concerning my heart's desire for my daughters. It came by way of the Girl Talk blog. The wisdom is for teenage girls but I believe it's never too early to mother with these in view (in prayer and in daily life).

Three great "deals" for teenage girls:

1. the fear of the Lord
2. mom's godly teaching (help me, Lord!)
3. homemaker training

Contrasted with the typical teenage priorities:

1. popularity
2. independence
3. selfish pleasures

I know Audrey is not me. Her struggles won't be exactly the same but I can't imagine a better "battle plan" than to instill a godly fear of the Lord, wisdom, and a love for the home in her (and Norah's) little hearts--far from the glitz, glam and potential misery of Hollywood and making much of them.

I will be fighting to sail upstream but I have the most persuasive, grace-filled Wind at my back. May His will be done.

I love you, Audrey (and Norah), and want what is best for you. I want Christ for you. I want making much of Him to be your dream-fulfilled.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Finally Home...Momentarily

Last night was our first night back in our house. While I love the updates we've made, I am overwhelmed with the task at hand: putting everything back together! I will say that I'm glad for it. Overwhelmed, but glad. It has forced us into a head-start on spring cleaning. Lots of tossing trinkets in the trash. It feels so nice to simplify.

My incredibly gifted dad has built Reid his Big Boy Bed. Reid has been talking about it nonstop. We're moving it in today. I will have to post a picture of it just to brag about my dad!

All of these changes and updates have only birthed a greater desire in me to make more changes and more updates. What is up with that? I want everything to look how it should look right now. It is so hard to wait! I can't help but think how this mirrors my walk with the Lord. I want to see changes now. Sometimes, He's gracious in bringing almost instant change. Other times, He's gracious in bringing slow, progressive change. He particularly likes the "slow, progressive" path with me. A little growth here, a little change there. I endure the waiting so that "Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16)."

Thank you for your patience, Lord.

Tomorrow Matt and I leave for Minneapolis. Please pray for Matt. He will be speaking to the pastors at Desiring God's Pastors Conference. Also pray that our Texan bodies can adjust to the frigid clime of Minneapolis. The high is 11 tomorrow! I can't fathom that...much less the low of -3! Seriously, the coldest I've ever been was skiing on a mountaintop in Colorado where the temperature was a balmy 20!

I will hopefully return with digital photography to download. Until then, enjoy your week!

p.s. Matt will be blogging daily (or almost daily) from the conference. You can catch it here.