My blessed husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in January. It was a joyous celebration, we smiled at each other, gave sweet kisses in the morning and then went on with life. We did go out to dinner a few days later. It was a good reminder that in this age and phase of life - I am being matured and all forms of selfishness are being drained from my body! As a new bride I imagined a 2 week trip to Rome or Italy or Australia - instead I celebrated my life as I do everyday - amongst the living!
I am blessed - I have a man who loves the Lord, loves his job and loves the life we've built together.
I am blessed - I am a mother of 3 incredible kids who make me laugh and keep me humble. I get to work from home and yet spend most of my days amongst the chaos of my children and love just being in their presence. It hasn't always been this way, thanks to the Mom Heart conferences and Sally's books, I've been blessed with a conviction and love for the Bible and my children. I've seen a woman go before me who has done it well - the sacrifices, training, convictions, ideals, and ministry. She grew weary and yet persevered. Somehow just seeing her sweet smile and the blessing her children are makes me persevere. I can just hear the Lord whisper in my ear - "... you too can do this, I've prepared you for such a time as this and you can train these little children how to love and obey me in a peaceful and joyful home. You can also civilize them in the process!
To do mothering well it takes sacrifice and selflessness - I whisper a faint "goodbye" to the glorious trip to Rome, instead to be home amongst my children, to have a roof over our heads with a little extra spending money for Lego creations, lots of tea, great books and a candle supply that rivals Hobby Lobby. I sacrifice because I love my Jesus and He sacrificed so much for my salvation.
There is a reward when children are friends and there is an overarching peace throughout the home.
There are blessings in deep seeded relationships with my children - I smiled as I watched our middle son help his sister into her car seat or our oldest reading to his siblings. Our our sweet girl who asked her brother to play dolls with her. I get giddy when they ask me to read them a book or tell me a "secret!" Our sweet Drew is growing and has random ungodly thoughts "fly threw the barn" of his brain - as we call it in our home. He came and ask me why he thinks this or that and we talk about the power of thoughts and how God wants us to take every thought captive and line it up with the Word of God. He smiles and then thanks me for just listening even though he was embarrassed to ask..... I love it that they trust me with their hearts!
If I didn't posses their hearts, earned through time and smiling eyes and sensitive words, they wouldn't come to me with their deepest and darkest of thoughts. If my Father didn't own my heart - I wouldn't run to Him with my deepest and darkest of sins.
The ultimate blessing is to watch ones children come to repentance and ask the Lord for His story and plan for their broken hearts. On February 19th I received the ultimate reward when my son Drew pulled me aside and asked to pray with him to accept Jesus into his heart. He prayed a sweet little prayer that ended with "Lord, I pray you like it in there!" I cried.... blessings..... yes blessings.... for following the sometimes lonely and difficult path of righteous mothering.
I wish I could bottle up all I learned in a mere 36 hours and apply every word to my life - I wish I could read every word of God's Word and apply every ounce of it perfectly. Alas, I step into the power of the Holy Spirit and walk in grace - that wonderful grace that will allow me to ask my children for forgiveness one more time or that grace that will be sought when I speak words unpleasing to my husband. Then I will press on and continue praying for mastery and wisdom as I tirelessly journey down the blessed path of motherhood. I may not be headed to Italy but I'm headed to the Promise land with a whole lot of promises trailing behind me.
May it culminate wrapped in the arms of my Savior and the words I long to hear " My child, well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord..." and be greeted by my husband, children and the blessings of the ones I've touched while here on this journey I call life.
This place here on Earth is not my destination, its preparation for my final address, where I will walk and talk with my Jesus in the garden. A garden more breathtaking than the blue waters of Venice or the pink coral along the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. There in that awe covered garden I will eat hidden manna, sit and talk with Jesus while eating from the tree of life, I will hear my new name and truly worship the King. I will become a ruler of nations after ruling my sweet little home in Texas and become a pillar in the temple of God because I will overcome this world - may I overcome well to these little eyes and hearts that look to me for an image of Jesus.