I’m sure many of you have heard the cliche that sometimes “life catches up with you”…well what do you do when you feel like you can’t catch up with life?
That describes me for the majority of the past 8 months (which coincidently coincides with the ages of my twin daughters). For example…feeling like you don’t have enough hours in the day… days of the week… weeks in a month… and months in a year?! Don’t get me wrong…I love my children and the hours of the day that they demand, but I am constantly praying to God that he would cause me to redeem what time I do have for furthering his call on my life.
So far this year, God has been teaching me about desire. He’s teaching me to desire intimate fellowship through time in the word and prayer. He’s teaching me to desire the greater working of spiritual gifts in my own life. He’s teaching me to desire to know him.
Psalm 25:4-5 – “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation; For you I wait all the day. remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, for they have been from of old.”
It has been a really hectic last 4 1/2 months to our lives. I may have underestimated the change in time commitment it takes to go from parenting 2 young children to 4 young children (including twin infants). It truly has been a blessing to have four children (yes, you heard me right…blessing!), but it has left me with considerable less time for free time activities (such as blogging, writing, studying theology, and staring at the wall). Though it is a trade-off that really is a no-brainer. I love spending time with my children and I rarely do my free time activities while they are awake. The “problem” (I’m attempting to use that term in the right way) is that with 4 children there’s a whole lot less time when they are all asleep and my wife and I aren’t running for the bed ourselves!
The Lord has been encouraging me through various means to keep an eternal outlook on my circumstances. The terms “eternal outlook” and “eternal perspective” have been readily heard in the vocabularies of many people whom I have recently heard speak. It reminds me of my own thoughts put into words in a series of blog post about my blog’s vision, in which I thought of “eternal outlook” as “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
Even though life has been at times crazy (kids, work, stress), I have been reminded gently by the Holy Spirit that I need to continue “keeping it eternal”. Thank you Jesus for shepherding my heart!
“…But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” ~ James 1:19-20
The Lord has really brought strong conviction into my life recently (thanks Pastor Todd). I’ve been told that, ever since I was young, I’ve had to struggle to reign in my emotions. Typically, this took place in athletic events where I would get too competitive and quick-tempered and allow it to effect my performance and mental state. After losing, I would often be unbearable to be around.
Ever since I became a Christian I have become more aware of the destructiveness of anger and a short fuse. I’ve failed many times with this (ask my wife or kids) and then I must go to my wife, children, or someone else who I have hurt to apologize and plead for their forgiveness. In doing so I have found Proverbs 28:13 to be true (“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion”). I want to obey Ephesians 4:31 to put away all wrath and anger.
So, why do I share all this? To sympathize with those who may share in my weakness. To give you hope that victory over sin can be obtained. Just this evening I experience great victory in this area in the arena of training our oldest daughter. My wife had dealt with her not eating her food for lunch earlier in the day. After sitting at the table for a long time…she was given the option to take a nap with no milk or to finish her meal, with the understanding that she WOULD be finishing that food for dinner this evening. My daughter (2 years old) chose the nap without food. She awoke from her nap in a pleasant mood and proceeded to ask for some milk, but we gently explained to her the choice she made. At this point, we could tell we were setting up for the pasta and peas showdown. At dinner time, my son climbed up in his chair and proceeded to dip the food my wife prepared for dinner this evening onto his plate and my daughter prepared to do the same…but instead was given her plate of pasta and peas (actually two things she regularly eats). She was NOT accepting that…for some reason her fit of rage was amusing to me, because it was utterly silly (I wonder what my Heavenly Father thinks of me at times)! Typically, these fits of rage on her end just send me over the deep end of anger…(who are you “oh little one” to tell your daddy what you are or are not going to eat!). But for this evening I can truly claim victory over this besetting sin! I calmly instructed her to quit throwing a fit and disciplined her appropriately. I never lost my temper or responded in anger, and as a result, in my calm, gentle, training and instruction, I avoided succumbing to the anger of man and taught my daughter to obey!
Does anyone have any family fun nights that they do on a routine (weekly or bi-weekly) basis? My wife and I are trying to come up with fun ideas for how to structure nights in our Christian home. Obviously, going from two children to four children (all 3 and under) has the potential to leave someone feeling like they never have any quality family time. We are hoping to have some regular theme nights to have intentional activities and time with our children in a meaningful way.We welcome any and all suggestions. Thanks!
I love being a father, I love being called “daddy”. I love that my son calls me his best friend. I love the fact that my two year old daughter wants to crawl up on my lap on rock with me. I love holding my twin daughters and that they lock eyes with me and smile. I know there are many more things in store when it comes to parenting, but I love that I can confidently affirm the words of the Lord in Psalm 127:3 – “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward”. I feel so blessed that God has entrusted us with four beautiful children on this earth. I never felt worthy of the reward of our first child (let alone all four).
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
It’s been an incredibly busy past 5 1/2 weeks since the twins were born. Sometimes, I feel as if all we ever do is warm up bottles for the babies, feed babies, burp babies, change babies diapers, hold babies, get babies to sleep…and then start the cycle all over again. We’ve been running on little sleep, but the Lord is sustaining us. So, I simply do not have any deep exhortation, but a simple one: praise our creator as the psalmists do. Recently, I have found the book of psalms to be so enriching and encouraging, because the word of God is so powerful and true. It doesn’t get old or worn out (hopefully our pages do), it simply is Truth!
Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul! For He alone is Holy and has saved me!
I’m at a loss of words for where to start this blog post, so I started it with a picture. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events in our home. I am in awe of God for his protection and provision for our family (which started 4 years ago today – Happy Anniversary Angela !). I am so incredibly grateful for my wife’s health and the birth our twin girls. Isabel Hope (left arm – right in picture) and Elliana Faith (right arm – left in picture) were born on May 28, 2009. They were born via c-section weighing 3 lbs 15.8 oz and 5 lbs 10.2 oz respectively. While Elliana and mother were able to come home from the hospital on Monday, June 1st, Isabel remains in the NICU as she continues to grow and catch up from her intrauterine growth restriction due to her two-vessel cord . My heart is so grateful as I reflect on the events of the past week, months, year, etc. My joy in the Lord is as strong now as it ever has been. I can see his goodness in the midst of trial and praise him. I see His protection for His children (my wife and I) as He sees fit to answer prayers according to His will and not ours (Mark 14:36)! I see we have a God who truly answers our prayers and am thankful for the body of Christ and everyone who has committed to pray for us. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts at a later date ~ but I just wanted to give Him praise, because he is worthy and due all glory, honor, and praise (Revelation 4:11).
The blog has definitely taken a back seat to the many other “life events” that I have going on right now. God has certainly been teaching me a lot through the many trials and this journey of faith. I have been encouraged by the prayers and commitment of all of our friends and family. It has truly been an encouragement to our faith and trust in God! Please continue to pray specifically for my wife and unborn children during these next ten days.
I hope to get back to blogging and encouraging others (and myself) to have an eternal outlook on life in the near future. But for now the wife and kids take the trump card on my time!
I am so thankful for all of the friends and family who have helped my wife and I out during these past two stressful weeks (see here, here, here, and here). It been amazing to see how our family, friends and church has responded to us in our time of need.
My mind has just been reflecting on the events of the past few weeks and I realized that I am so grateful / thankful:
- that last week when we were in the hospital the “kiddos” were at my parents house
- a Pastor who cared to come visit us in the hospital (and other friends who offered)
- for the friends and neighbors who have sacrificed their time and groceries to prepare us a meal
- for Melissa for organizing to arrange for help and making a “grocery run”
- for fellow believers who have offered to pray for us on the hour during waking hours
- for our Lighthouse group at First Family Church at how we are able to encourage and humbly serve one another
- for the flexibility of my employer and the ability to work remotely (thank you technology)
- for the Lord’s financial blessing on our lives
- for friends who drop off extra carpet for our unfinished basement
- for my wife’s patience with me as I try to pick up some slack around the home
- for my wife’s mother coming to stay with us this week to help out with Angela and the kids
- for all of those who have offered to help and pray for us, so simply being the “body of Christ” to us and sharing in our joys and suffering
- for the blessing of children as a gift from the Lord
- for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and that Salvation is freely offered to all who believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
I’m sure that I’m forgetting some things, but these things that I have “listed” have given me a dose of grace in this time of need!