Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thanks Dad!

Today I gave grace and mercy. Grace, being giving something that somebody didn't deserve. And mercy, being that certain somebody not getting what they DID deserve (a whippin'). Grace and Mercy. Big words. Even bigger in family relationships. Where would I be if I hadn't received the same undeserved loving kindness and pardons for all my shortcomings growing up in my families' home? Sure, we were rough and tumble. Lots of messes (and headaches for the adults, I'm sure). Never a dull moment raising a family! There is not much new under the sun. It still looks and feels pretty much the same as it did 30 years ago, when I was the 6 year old! Somehow, by an act of divine mercy and amazing grace, I am thrilled to be in this bit of time to love on my children and plant seeds of hope and big 'God-sized' dreams in their hearts! He created each one of us for this amazing purpose. And, God has continued to pour out his Grace and Mercy over this generation, and it's seeping into the next, praise God!
What are we doing right? Its gotta always be about Jesus! It is the Christ who holds us all together and gives us joy through our pains and hurts and worries. He give us help. He has given us each other! What a beautiful thing we have! A Family! And this is where authenticity takes off her overcoat and sits down to chat with us about the REAL DEAL. Its all about His grace! Sanctification, growing spiritually, Loving the body of Christ, pouring forth grace and mercy, and being glorified, looking forward to being competed and fully understanding the blessings of grace and mercy.
So many years ago when I was a little girl, I know that I would go about my business and feel that it was all important; I was self-focused and lost in the la-la land of finding the best guy to date in High School. Oh, and wasn't that the blessed roller coaster ride of a relationship? Awesome while it lasted, then done. And gone. No more relationship. Just pain. And I came Home to heal. Home to get help. Home to re-vamp, re-structure, re-plan, re-new. Home to be shown grace and given mercy. God uses people to give us His good stuff! Amazing God. (and Amazing Dad and Mom!!)

And then off to private Christian college, giving it one more try (Grace, mercy). Somehow I knew I could do it. I could overcome my grief and depression and come out with a passion and a share in the grace-giving and mercy-giving party of people who are bringing life to the world!!! I am here because many were praying for me. Family. Old friends. New friends. Concerned dorm leaders. Student ministry encouragement, God's grace and mercy. So now I look back and I am thankful. I am thankful for it all! Isn't that what it's supposed to be? "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will in Christ Jesus?"

There were many times when I needed to step back (in defeat, hurting, sad) and turn again to Jesus, to renew me and show me what His grace looks like in the real parameters of my life! And, you have been watching, Dad. I know you have seen it. You have had centerstage tickets, and some back-stage passes too, to see the real work of the Holy Spirit doing His transformation on my heart. I don't suppose it would be easy to let a young woman pass through the fire; no, I assume it takes amazing restraint and courage and trust, in order to wait for God's responses to her behavior and get in line with the Big Guy to know how to react, respond and relate in this relationship. I understand your Daddy role a little more every year. As I am now a mommy and I know what my life is like, I observe what it would have been like for you and I am empathetic! Raising a family is hard work. It means grace and mercy day in and day out. If it doesn't kill us first, it will sanctify us.
So, here's my clever thank you, an ode to fathers day, may you be blessed as you look this way!
Daddy said I am a princess
so I must stand pretty and tall
Daddy told me to read the good books
so I know this world and its people
Daddy told me to participate in church, youth group and young life
now I have many ministries of my own
Daddy prays for me and is still always looking for ways to bless our family (mercy).
Dad worked hard and was a wonderful example of how we ought to do our duties.
He also knew when it was down time and relaxed to the hilt!
He showed us some of the world, face to face, and put as many opportunities in front of us as we could take! Looking back, I don't think we did a lot wrong. It was just the road that we have all been on! It is strikingly fast-paced, and bombarded by other people's needs floating over into our pile of to-do lists. The daily grind, you called it. Good word for it. Just something you gotta do. Every day.
Oh, how I wanna embrace it. cherish it. savor it and eat it up! This day, today, is quickly coming upon tomorrow, and we can never get a minute back. We need to follow our fathers before us and get up and get the job done! We need to be on our mission of grace and mercy, pointing each downtrodden one to the cross.

Thank you for teaching me how to walk with Jesus. Thank you for helping me grow. Thank you for supporting and encouraging my dreams. Thank you for helping me when you can. Thank you for your kind words, and for taking pride in the work I do for the Lord. Taking pride in Jesus, thankful (and relieved, I'm sure) that He is working in me!
I can only hope as much. To have my child love me and praise me at the city gates, when I am older and have more time to sit at the city gates (hehehe), I would be beaming to hear my children rise and call me blessed. Maybe someday.
But today it's my turn! If there were a ribbon or a pin or even a trophy, I would give you bunches! Your unconditional love has been the foundation in my life that God has used to raise me up, change me, help me, make me new, and then use me for His kingdom purposes! For this, I am eternally grateful! Thanks for all of your hard work, grace, and mercy! I love you Dad! Happy Fathers Day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I found a cute work book called "A Mother's Manual for Summer Survival," by Kathy Peel and Joy Mahaffey. I am excited to use some of their ideas for planning our summer days. There are great monthly/weekly and daily organizers. My favorite is a planning sheet for 'summertime developmental objectives.' I will fill in objectives and a game plan for growth in 4 areas: intellectual, physical, spiritual and social-emotional.
I am also planning on making our own daily summer accountability record. I want to pick a few habits that we hope to establish as essentials to daily life. I am thinking of making it simple, so that it could stick! For example: devotional time, chores, reading. The summer is full of fun opportunities and possibilities, but I don't want to take advantage of all the great stuff to the detriment of the 'greater.'
Priorities. I guess they don't take a break in summertime!

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