Well, here we are at the end of this month's class, Teach Them Diligently. (If you want to see the whole series, all the posts are listed here.) As I have mentioned yesterday, this theme is the driving force behind all that I do. As parents, we are the link between generations past and generations future. What we pass on will shape and define the world our children live in.
To wrap up this theme, I wanted to put things back into the bigger picture. It perfectly coincides with this month's Gabby Moms review too! A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a personal retreat. It was sorely needed, and the Lord blessed me with a wonderful time. I was feeling a bit weary, tired and longing to be out of our temporary home and settled back into my own home again.
During my retreat, I had a chance to spend some time listening to this month's review product, The Colorado Power Pack. I printed up the accompanying listening guides, and grabbed my pen.
One session in particular really ministered to my heart. As a parent, I often wonder, "Am I doing enough for my kids?" Do you ever wonder that too? So out of fear, I keep adding more and more onto my plate as I try to free myself from that nagging worry that I'm not doing enough. I worry that I am not teaching the right subjects in school. I worry that my kids are getting shortchanged because they don't have art or computers or enough field trips. I think, "We've got time to squeeze that in!" Multiply that by three kids and I then find myself over my head. Do you relate?
Lorrie reminded me that as a mother, if my focus is on my life, my circumstances, or even my children, I will wear myself out. Guaranteed. When I try to do everything on my own, I will be at the mercy of my own fears...and it will wear us out. And wouldn't Satan be doing the happy dance!
When I am bound up with fear and worry, I will not live by faith. And without faith, I can do nothing to please Him (Heb. 11:6). Parenting is an act of faith, from beginning to end, despite our efforts to control the outcome.
I wish I could say I parent in perfect faith. But that would not be honest. Instead, I take it on myself to ensure that my kids will have the best in this life, packing every square inch of their lives with the best academics, the best programs, and the best training. But instead of being faith-driven, I am being fear-driven. Along the way, I start to miss out on what is really the most important.
In the audio "Doing Enough and Fortifying the Foundation," Lorrie challenged me to think about what is really important in the light of eternity. One story that she shared in particular struck me. During the Boxer Rebellion in China, American missionaries were given 2 days to evacuate their homes. They were allowed to bring 200 lbs. of their most valuable possessions. Some considered their extensive collection of books (that would be me!). Some thought about grandma's heirlooms.
Finally, when the time came and the soldiers arrived to escort them out, they reiterated one more time the 200-lb. rule. The missionaries said, "Oh yes! We only have two hundred pounds." The soldiers then asked them again, "Does that include your children?"
All of a sudden, that changes the whole scenario, doesn't it? It made me think: First of all, collectively, my kids are over 200 pounds! Second, it reminded me that when in that situation, this is a no-brainer decision.
Through this story, Lorrie reminded me that all the things that I cherish and value in this world will be destroyed one day. Have you thought of that? My precious books, my home, even the clothes on my back are not destined for eternity.
But my children are.
How often I waste my time and energy worrying about things that are not going to last! Raising disciples, raising children for Jesus is one of those things that will. So when we:
- teach our kids to love the Word and treasure it in their hearts,
- create a positive home atmosphere,
- consistently discipline and train their hearts, not just their behavior,
- model a godly life and marriage,
- spend time interacting with and speaking into their lives,
even if I have not done the things everyone else is doing, I can say with confidence that I am doing enough. All these things will build into my children in eternal ways, in ways that we can not imagine. These things will last. No rust or moth can destroy it. No fire can burn it.
I love how God wove this month's blog theme with my review product. The message in this one audio seemed to wrap up this month. Moms (and dads too, if you're reading!), we must periodically take a step back and look at what is most important in light of eternity. As Lorrie reminded me in several of the audios, how we raise our children today will affect our reward tomorrow---not just here on earth, but ultimately in heaven.
Our children are our inheritance! What will yours be?
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Disclaimer: I received the Colorado Bundle at no cost to me in exchange for my honest opinion.
There are eight mp3 sessions, each about an hour or so, on a variety of topics. They ranged from chores to ways to welcome Daddy home at the end of the day to attitude to homemaking to dealing with kids who dawdle. Each one was full of insight, ideas and wisdom.
Lorrie does talk a bit fast and though there are handouts, she doesn't always follow them. I would suggest just taking notes on a blank piece of paper. I was sometimes frustrated trying to fill in the blanks! The plus side: even if I don't get it the first time, I can listen to it again and again!