Monday, July 25, 2011

Running Out Of Time

My baby girl turned seven on Saturday. While she hasn't been a baby for a long time, the number seven seems so big girl. My middle daughter will turn nine next month, and my first born is eleven. I've been out of the baby stage for a long time, yet it seems like it was just yesterday that I was changing diapers, washing bottles and cutting the paci.

Reality forced itself into my brain this weekend about where we are as a family, and where I thought we'd be by now.

I remember a conversation Mark and I had a few days after finding out we were pregnant for the first time. We talked about how important it was for us to raise our family in a Godly home. That picture today looks a lot different than it did back then.

Looking back over the past eleven years, right up until today, I'd say we've failed even though we've done a lot of the "right" things. Oh, we take them to church almost every Sunday; we pray before dinner {if we happen to all sit down together}; we say bedtime prayers on a hit-and-miss basis; we go through spurts of memorizing Bible verses; and we talk about why we believe what we believe.

But I can't say with certainty that we're raising our girls in a Godly home. I think we've focused so much on the do this, don't do that that we've missed teaching them the heart of it all: loving Jesus and loving others.

I'm suddenly frightened that our teachable time with them is running out. It won't be long before they're asking for car keys and preparing for college admission tests.

Today I'm putting the list of do this, don't do that on the back-burner. Instead, we'll focus on loving Jesus and loving others. We'll not worry so much about a list of rules that satisfies a religious quota I had on my brain twelve years ago.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.
(I Corinthians 13: 1-8a, The Message)


  1. Know that you are doing good.
    From a mom who raised her 'young ones' it is awesome to look back and see two leaders who are not afraid to be part of society who take on responsibility in a grand way, who are good parents and even though they make mistakes they are willing to listen and learn through the process. You are doing good just by the very thought that you are concerned about the issue means you are doing good. Continue on and do well God will bless you in the process.

  2. I think I read this somewhere:
    Rules without relationship breeds rebellion.

    And I think it's so true. At least it has been in my life.