Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Warming My Heart

Abby has said and done a few things recently that have really warmed my heart. She can sometimes be our more challenging child, but it is moments like the ones below that help me keep my sanity and bring me great joy.

During her prayer the other night she said, "Please give us some warm wind because it is cold outside." After the whole prayer Avery responded with, "Warm wind, huh?" The way she said it was like she was saying, "So that is really what you came up with, sis?"

Abby and her friend, Sybil, bring smiles to our whole preschool during chapel when they decide to belt out (I mean scream at the top of their lungs) "STAND UP AND SHOUT IT IF YOU LOVE MY JESUS! STAND UP AND SHOUT IT IF YOU LOVE MY LORD! I WANT TO KNOW, OH, I WANT TO KNOW, DO YOU LOVE MY LORD?" Their faces are priceless! My friend, Carrie, (Sybil's mom), and I are pretty proud of their singing/yelling. They are praising God with all they have. I am not embarrassed. We have sung several renditions of this at home, too. It really hasn't gotten old yet.

Abby, Avery, and their friend Sybil at the Teddy Bear Parade a couple months ago.

The other day Wes was walking by Abby's room and she was laying on her back on her floor with her arms and legs spread out. She was saying, "Where are you, Jesus?" Wes peaked his head in and said, "Abby, He is in your heart." She continued, "But I don't see you in my heart!" That is a tough concept to grasp for a three year old.

A group of friends from church and some of my friends from out of town (through email) and I are studying the book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, which is written by Tedd Tripp. It is a must read! It really challenges you to look to the Bible as you parent. It teaches you what your goals as a parent ought to be and how to pursue those ends practically. It teaches you how to engage your children about what really matters, how to address your child's heart by your words and actions. It has really inspired me to parent using God's words to train my girls, addressing the issues of the heart. Anyways, I highly recommend it. One of the things that Tedd Tripp challenges parents to do is to bring scripture into disciplining. Wes and I have really tried this, and I know the girls are hearing us, and I am pretty sure they are understanding. Here are some memorable moments we have had lately.

I was complimenting Abby as she was going down for her nap the other day. I was telling her what a good morning it was and how she had acted kind and sweet, and how she had obeyed me and made me happy. I was sharing that God is happy when she obeys her parents and that life is a lot easier when you obey your parents. She responded with something like this, "Yes, I didn't act yucky today. I obeyed. I didn't want to disobey like Cain when he killed his brother. I didn't want to have a hard life." I hope she truly understands those words and isn't just repeating stories we have shared with her. On another occasion right after we had disciplined Avery, she came over and said, (OK, more like bragged), "Avery is disobeying. She is disobeying God, too. That makes God sad. I am not disobeying. That makes God happy."

What a tremendous responsibility we have as parents to raise our children in a Godly way in a culture that is all about doing what is best for yourself. Some days it really overwhelms me to think about it all!

Pray! Pray! Pray!

Two Sundays ago our preacher Todd had a terrific message! As a part of his sermon series on the Holy Spirit he had several of our members share their testimonies through a method we called, "Cardboard Testimonies". We smiled, we cried, our hearts were broken. It was amazing to see how God had worked in the lives of these people. God is truly working today!!!! Check it out at Park Avenue Church of Christ's Website

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