Day 9/21: My Sharpeners!

I gave up social media for 21 days while PB was on vacation.  My goal (besides not logging in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and WordPress) was to find blog-worthy meaning in each day.  

On Day 9, we bid farewell to Cub 5.  She returned home to Kentucky with many new experiences and stories about her time in the DMV!

Later that evening, I had dinner with some girlfriends.  These were not just any girlfriends, but my married girlfriends.  These were not just my married girlfriends, but my married church girlfriends.  Now, I can be known to hold back on forming friendships within the church because I don’t always know the intentions of others.  Are you trying to get close to my husband?  Are you trying to get some type of inside scoop on my family?  Are you going to take what I share and turn it into your own form of gossip?  I’ve had experiences with them all unfortunately.  However, sometimes I just pray about it, take a step of faith, and end up forming God-orchestrated friendships that are so fulfilling and long-lasting.  These ladies have managed to knock down every wall I’ve tried to build up, and I’m thankful that they don’t let me stay behind my little wall.  We went to Coconut Joe’s, a great family-friendly restaurant on the water.  We talked and laughed and ate and laughed and talked until our poor waitress just stopped coming by our table!  It was exactly what we all needed!

So, here’s what I learned…

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17)  I so get that scripture now!  I left dinner that night feeling renewed and uplifted!  We spoke words of encouragement into each of our marriages.  We are holding each other responsible for keeping God first and our husbands second.  We are not perfect, nor do we have perfect marriages, but we recognize that God has blessed us with wonderful men and our marriages will continue to grow stronger!  We are better together!

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The FBCNB Marriage Ministry at “A Weekend to Remember” couples retreat.

Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be, where you are, and where you’ve been.  Sometimes you need people in your life who will encourage you and speak the truth in love.  Sometimes, you may need to be the person doing the encouraging and speaking the truth in love.  Either way, let’s all continue to sharpen each other!

Intentionally Yours!

Day 8/21: A Ministry Family

I gave up social media for 21 days while PB was on vacation.  My goal (besides not logging in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and WordPress) was to find blog-worthy meaning in each day.  So, here’s what I learned…

Day 8 was a Sunday.  We had planned to visit a church as a family, but as it goes sometimes, PB ended up doing a favor for a friend.  He preached for his friend’s pastoral anniversary.

PB spent last week preaching for a revival out of town.  Cubs 2, 3, 4, and I stayed at home so that Cub 2 could attend a week-long arts camp.  Cub 1 was with his GMB still working with his uncle.  Friday was our first day being all back together since forever!  We arrived home late Friday night after the revival.  I took this picture on Saturday morning as Cub 3 waited patiently beside our bed for the first signs of PB waking up – a twitch of an eye, turning his head…anything!  She knew that she was guaranteed to have some quality daddy-daughter time when he finally woke up.

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So, here’s what I learned…

We are a ministry family!  PB is the pastor of a church…an awesome church, by the way…however, we all play a part in the ministry.  When it comes to our family, we work really hard to protect our family time.  We also try to keep everything involving church as positive as possible.  It’s a privilege to serve, and we want our cubs to always view serving in our church as an opportunity to serve the Lord.  They are all old enough now to serve in various ministries at the church and we don’t have to make them do it.  Well, Cub 1 has had a lecture or two (or three) about commitment, but I blame that on the changes in his teen cub brain!  In addition to preaching for a friend, PB provided words of comfort at a funeral, and responded to texts and phone messages while on vacation – and that was okay!

For anyone who works in a 24/7 (always on call) type of job like PB’s, be intentional about making family time a priority.  Using the excuse that you’re working to provide for them is not good enough, and it cannot compare to spending time with your family.  Be sure to schedule time with your spouse, then schedule time with your cubs.

Intentionally Yours!

 

Day 7/21: Raised, Not Kept

I gave up social media for 21 days while PB was on vacation.  My goal (besides not logging in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and WordPress) was to find blog-worthy meaning in each day.

On this day, we took our annual summer trip to DC to visit museums and to enjoy some time on the Mall.  The museums never get old, and running around in the grass on the Mall is always fun for the cubs.

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This year, after visiting a few of the museums, we bought ice cream and sat on the lawn near the Monument while we ate it.  Cubs 2, 3, and 4 finished their ice cream and wanted to go get a closer look at the White House.  So, we said that they could run down the hill to get a closer look.  Off they went running…

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and running…

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and running.

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I watched them through the lens of my camera which could zoom in,  but when I removed the camera away from my face and saw how far they had actually gone, my heart was heading into panic mode!  They were much farther away than what we had planned!

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PB yelled Cub 2’s name and they all stopped and turned around.  We used hand motions a few times to attempt to communicate to them that they had gone far enough and to come back.  Finally, they figured it out and started running back toward us.

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Playing up close and personal was much more comfortable for me!

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So, here’s what I learned…

As scary as it was to see them so far away, I realized that we didn’t set specific parameters for them before they ventured off.  You know, like “stop at the third tree” or “don’t go past the sidewalk”.  Live and learn!  We don’t take this parenting thing lightly.  God has blessed us with four cubs that He has entrusted to us to raise with His help to the best of our ability.  I understand that they are not mine to keep.  They belong to God.  Some of the mistakes we’ve made in parenting will have lasting effects on our cubs.  ALL of our mistakes have actually made us better parents…like forgetting to set parameters in a very public place on a Saturday with lots of people moving about.  I wanted to share this prayer with you that I heard during a web conference earlier this year.  Insert your cub(s)’ names into it to make it personal:

Thank you for this treasured child of mine.  Although you have entrusted him/her to me, I know he belongs to you.  Like Hannah offered Samuel, I dedicate my child to you, Lord.  I recognize that he is always in your care and you love him more than I ever could.  Help me as a parent, Lord, with my weaknesses and imperfections.  Give me strength and godly wisdom to raise this child after your Holy word.  Please supply what I lack and fill in my gaps.  Keep my child walking on the  path that leads to eternal life.  Help him to overcome the temptations in this world and the sin that would so easily entangle him.  Dear God, send your Holy Spirit daily to lead and guide him.  Ever assist him to grow in wisdom and stature, in grace and knowledge, in kindness, compassion and love.  May he serve you faithfully with his whole heart devoted to you.  May he discover the joy of your presence through daily relationship with your son, Jesus.  Help me never to hold on too tightly to this child, nor neglect my responsibilities before you as a parent.  Lord, help me commit to raise this child for the glory of your name.  May his life forever testify of your faithfulness.  Amen.

We do not cannot parent on our own.  Ask God for his guidance on a daily basis.  He knows them best!

Intentionally Yours!