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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sacred Parenting

I'm embarking on a new journey in parenting ~ very soon my oldest will be a teen. Instead of fearing this transition, I'm taking steps to make it the best it can possibly be. And I'm preparing my heart too.

As part of this process, my oldest and I started having an Esther Year and working through an amazing book: Queen Esther's Secrets of Womanhood by Ginger Garrett.

An Esther Year is a blueprint for activities to pamper mom and daughter and for discussions to go deep into stories of the past and wisdom for the future. We've enjoyed a number of diners or coffees out, fun beauty treatments, and lots of good talks.

It's been a great preparation for this transition.

But my heart needed more. So I hinted (okay, a lot) to my hubby and kids that for Mother's Day I wanted a specific book.

They were so wonderful to get it for me.

They had no idea just how much it would change all of our lives.

This book is Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. His book Sacred Marriage, which I read last year, changed my heart and my marriage in many profound ways.

I know God will show up through the pages and prose to transform me again in my parenting.

Today, I'm mulling over some fantastic and thought provoking quotes that I wanted to share with you.

"Christian parenting is truly a sacred journey. It invites us parents to purify ourselves, to use the process of raising kids to perfect holiness, and to do this consistently, every day, out of reverence for God."

This section, from chapter one, delves into 2 Corinthians 7:1 and the question: Why Parent?

I love this next quote. It beautifully articulates words that have lived in my heart ever since my oldest was born.

"In the good and the bad they (our children) mold our hearts, shape our souls, and invite us to experience God in newer and deeper ways."

I've long known that my children are amazing teachers, even before their first words. They've taught me about God's love, His infinite forgiveness, and the joy of sacrifice. I pray daily I might teach them something too.

Here are some other phenomenal quotes. I hope you'll savor them along with me.

"It is in families we are broken and it is in families that we are healed." Carl Whittaker

"Sunshine without rain is the recipe for a desert." Arab Proverb

"Repentance, contrary to popular misconception, is not a heroic first step I make toward Christ, nor is it a feeling-sorry-for my sins. It is the divine gift of being turned toward truth." William Willimon

"There is in repentance this great mystery~ that we may fly fastest home on broken wings." William Sullivan

I'm looking forward to this journey, knowing I'll be stretched farther than I've yet been and broken in places I wasn't aware needing breaking. But I'll also be taking a step closer to my heavenly Daddy and savoring His presence as He teaches me to parent more like Him.

I plan to enjoy the journey.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Influence and power

A very close friend called me up on Wednesday to wish me an early birthday and said she’d be praying for me on my birthday (today) and thanking God all day that He made me.

I nearly cried.

What a sweet thing to say and mean.

My daughters and I have been talking about power and influence this week, and today that thought converged with the idea of thanking God for someone’s life.

I wonder if the people I’m in authority over: my children, mentorees, students, lower belts in my martial arts, thank God for me.

What about you? Who do you influence? And how can you use that influence for good, like Jesus did?

By serving. It’s an easy Sunday school answer, but I wonder if you’re like me and that isn’t an everyday thought.

Who can you influence for good by serving?

It might be a smile, a kind word, a firm but loving round of discipline, a cheer when they’re trying hard but not quite getting it.

They may never say thank you, but they will someday be thankful for you. They may even spend your birthday thanking God that He made you because you made a difference in their life.
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