2016 ~ Year In Review

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear Family and Friends,

This year, much like every year, was full of joys and trials. But, through it all, Lord has given us many reasons to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks!

January – Jason continued a tradition that he started a couple of years ago at our church. At the beginning of each year, he preaches a special series of sermons for the purpose of “Strengthening Grace.” This year, he taught on some of the key elements of the church. It fit in so well with his ongoing series in the book of Acts. He has also been teaching a Sunday School class on the Doctrine of God, and leading our church’s monthly men’s study. In addition to his preaching and teaching responsibilities, counseling, discipling, performing weddings, and developing new ministries and leadership have kept him more than a little busy! In order to keep up with everything (between church and a young, growing family), we had to make the hard decision to eliminate our midweek service this year. But, we are eagerly looking forward to its return this coming year…along with a new children’s program!

img_9030cfm-copyFebruary – Titus turned 4 on February 7th! We celebrated with a Monster Truck-themed party with a few of his friends from church. Superheroes, Transformers, and monster trucks are his newest obsessions. He often tells me that he wants to be a monster truck driver when he grows up. And, he has already promised us all a ride! He is in Kindergarten this year! He is still young, so, I know I should say that our plan is to go slow and keep it simple…but, it’s not. He is not having any of that. He loves school! I thought some of his first-day enthusiasm would have worn off by now, but he continues to amaze me with his eagerness and hard work each day. He asks for more work than I have planned. He is disappointed when his schoolwork is completed for the day. And he has been known to cry when I tell him that we don’t do school on Saturdays. Reading is his favorite subject, and he loves practicing his new skill by sounding out everything he can get his hands (and eyes!) on! He has become very responsible, remembering and diligently doing his chores each morning. He loves his sisters, even if he does show it by alternating between terrorizing them and being their best buddy. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how young he really is, because he is growing up so fast!

img_9015cfm-copyMarch – We celebrated Rachel’s first birthday on March 23rd! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a one-year-old so into opening presents! She thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of her party…just like she does everything. This girl has brought so much joy to our family this year with her sweet smiles and silly antics. She started walking shortly before her first birthday, and has recently mastered climbing the stairs! (Going down is still a bit of a work in progress!) She rarely sits still, but, when she does, she is a cuddle-bug. And, she gives the best hugs! She loves being outside, coloring, play dough, all things Minnie Mouse, and playing dolls with Hannah. She shares a room with her big sister, Rebekah, and it is so sweet to hear them talking and singing together before they go to sleep. Her vocabulary seems to grow each day. And, even after 4 kids, I still treasure each new each new word and sentence. She greets me each morning with a big smile and a loud “Peek-boo!” She rarely says yes. Instead, she always responds in the affirmative with an enthusiastic “Sure!” But, I think my favorite is hearing her sweet prayers before bed and mealtimes. We look forward to seeing these simple prayers grow into a true faith and obedience in the years to come.

April – At the beginning of the month, we had the privilege of having John and Janie Street out to speak at our church’s annual Bible Conference. They taught on “Parenting for the Long Run.” As always, it was wonderful to see them, and sit under their wise, biblical teaching again.

img_9035cfm-copyAlthough we had to delay the celebration a few times, due to illness, we celebrated Hannah’s 11th birthday this year! Of course, she handled the delays graciously, with a maturity far beyond her 11 years. She is our sweet, creative, dreamer. She loves to write stories, draw pictures, and make cards for her friends and siblings. She is in 6th grade this year, which I am told is considered “middle school” here in Texas (but, that just sounds a little too much like junior high). Her favorite subject continues to be science (Zoology), because, in her words, “we are finally studying land animals!” Her favorite land animals are horses…which we will begin studying shortly after the new year. But, she has already checked out every book our library has on the topic of horse care and training, dreaming of someday getting one of her own! Her grandparents gave her a day of “horse camp” for her birthday. She spent a Saturday at a local stable, where she got to ride and groom a real horse! Even cleaning the stalls could not make her enormous smile disappear! I think it was the highlight, not only of her year, but of her life! She has also joined a homeschool band, and is learning to play the flute. She seems to be a natural, and absolutely loves it! She is currently preparing for her first concert, which is coming up this week! She is a wonderful big sister, and continues to be a capable and willing helper. She cares for her siblings, and works hard at the many things she is asked to do around the house. But, her favorite place right now seems to be in the kitchen. She loves learning how to cook and bake! And, we all got to enjoy the results of her hard work when she made a delicious chocolate chip-pecan pie for Thanksgiving – all on her own.

May – Just before Rachel’s birthday, we were thrilled to learn that we were expecting another little one to join our family in November, around Thanksgiving Day. But, sadly, we miscarried just before Mother’s Day. My mom was very sweet to fly out here to help us as I recovered. And despite the circumstances, it was a special blessing to spend Mother’s Day with her. At the end of May, some complications landed me in the emergency room. Although it was a difficult time, both physically and emotionally, and my recovery was slow, through it, the Lord used it to allow us to address some other health issues, and I am feeling better than I have in years!

June – In addition to my health issues, we all spent about 2 months fighting what seemed like a never-ending cycle of illnesses. There were too many sleepless nights to count, mountains of laundry, multiple prescriptions, and several visits to the doctor’s office and urgent care. It did end…eventually. And, we were even able to enjoy a visit with Veronica’s parents, sister, and our nephew/cousin. But, this time definitely made us all very thankful for our normally good health, and for the help and care of our church and family! People brought meals, cleaned our house, and watched sick children while we took others to the doctor. Jason’s dad even rescued Titus and me after we got stranded in a downpour and flooded streets on our way to (yet another) doctor’s appointment!

July – Everyone recovered in time to enjoy our first real vacation! Well, I guess it was really more of a “stay-cation,” since we didn’t go anywhere. But, we rested, and visited the park and splash pad, and took care of a few projects around the house. It was perfect!

img_9056cfm-copyAugust – Jason and I celebrated our 15th anniversary. The celebration really was quite simple. More than anything, it was an opportunity to reflect on, and thank the Lord for the life, the children, and the ministry that the Lord has given us so far.

September – We started our 7th year of homeschooling! It has been quite the puzzle trying to figuimg_5812wmre out how to fit in all we want, and need to do each day. This year, I am teaching 6th grade, Kindergarten, and Pre-School…while simultaneously trying to keep a 1-year-old (constructively!) entertained. At the same time, I am also trying to get everyone to weekly band practice (during naptime!), grocery shopping, keeping track of the giant stacks of library books we check out each week, potty training, feeding growing children 3 (or more!) times a day, and attempting to keep the resulting piles of laundry and dishes under control! My days, and hands, are definitely full! Some days, it miraculously all gets done. Other days are a little (or, a lot!) crazy. The good days are sweet reminders of graciously answered prayers. The chaotic ones are too, but, they are also vivid reminders of God’s patience with His children, and opportunities to rely on His grace and strength when my own is severely lacking.

img_9022cfm-copyOctober – We celebrated Rebekah’s 3rd birthday! I think her favorite present was the bouquet of balloons from her party. She sang about them for a week! This little girl loves music! She loves to sing, dance, and pretend to play all sorts of instruments (but especially the flute, like her big sister!). Rebekah is equal parts sweetness and spunk. She is very compassionate, and it just breaks her little heart to see anyone sad or hurt. She is always the first to offer a hug when one of her friends or siblings is upset. And, she is our family cheerleader, and can often be heard encouraging her brother or sisters (or mom and dad!) with a hearty “Good job!” when they finish a chore, or project. She has joined us for pre-school this year, and is having fun with her own lessons, as well as listening in on a few her brother’s and sister’s. But, since she doesn’t like to sit still for too long, we are keeping things simple and fun for her this year. She would much rather be outside, “fwinging” (swinging), climbing up the slide, going to the park, riding her scooter or tricycle, and catching lizards or butterflies.

November – On Thanksgiving, we got to enjoy a visit with Jason’s aunt, uncle, and grandmother. And, Rachel got to meet her Great-Grammy! The 3 older kids helped make our Thanksgiving desserts! It was so fun to work alongside them, and to see their excitement to share the pies that they helped to make.

December – This month has already been busy with school, band and choir practices, fellowship with friends, and fun preparations for Christmas – at church and at home!

At times, this year has looked very different than what we would have liked. But, as we reflect on all that took place – the sweet and happy moments, as well as the sad times – it was a year marked by the grace, the mercy, and the providence of a sovereign, loving God. And, as a new year lies before us, we continue to rest and rejoice in the steadfast goodness and faithfulness of our Lord.

We pray that He would be the source of your joy and hope this Christmas, and in the year to come.

By His Grace,

img_9039cfm-copyJason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Rachel Whitley

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Politics and Religion

“…the power to bring righteousness to this country does not now and will never reside in public office.” –John MacArthur, Why Government Can’t Save You (pg. vii)

I have always said that it is a good thing that God saved me, or I probably would have become some sort of feminist political activist. I actually love politics. I love a good debate. And, I love this country.

But, more than that, I love the Lord. My ultimate allegiance is not to an earthly kingdom (or republic, if we’re being technical). It is to Christ, and His kingdom.

And, my behavior, both during this election cycle, and beyond, in the wake of its results, has to reflect that.

I was a Cruz for President supporter before Ted Cruz was officially running for President. And, to be honest, I still am. I wish with everything in me that I could cast my vote for him tomorrow.

I have been asked a number of times, how I respond to Ted Cruz’s ultimate endorsement of Donald Trump. This is how I have answered:

I fully agree with Cruz’s exhortation, at the Republican Convention, to “vote your conscience.” And, especially as it concerns Christians, I still believe that is the best choice. (Even if “voting your conscience” means that the person you choose to cast your vote for is a write-in, or third party candidate.)

Because, I firmly believe that if more Christians had voted according to their consciences, and Christian convictions, we would not be in the mess that we currently find ourselves.

In all honesty, I do not like that Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump. But, I greatly respect him for doing so.

Wait. What?

Yes. I respect him for endorsing Donald Trump.

He gave his word that he would support the eventual Republican nominee. And, he did. That is integrity. That is a man who keeps his word. And that I respect.

However, just because I respect him, does not mean that I agree with him. Frankly, there are a number of people that I greatly respect, that I strongly disagree with right now.

“It is very surprising, and sad to hear so many Christ-followers talking like we have a “line item veto” in the voting booth. Does anyone really believe you can vote for something about the person, but not the person? Can we really believe we can vote for a candidate’s stand on one issue, but cross out that candidate’s character, behavior, past views, or immoral behavior? Nowhere does the ballot give that option. And frankly, nowhere does Scripture allow us to separate behavior and beliefs from the person. Biblically we are whole beings. Being partly right doesn’t equate to being right. When you vote for a person you are siding with all they are, like it or not. To think otherwise is to rationalize your support based on their hypocrisy.” –David Hegg

I have not kept my concerns about Donald Trump a secret. Like many, I have, what I believe, are very real, very serious concerns, about him, about his character, about his integrity, and about a future presidency with him at the helm.

As Christians, we can, and evidently do disagree about this. But, we should (according to Scripture) be able to do so lovingly, kindly, and respectfully. And, we absolutely must do so without giving the watching, unbelieving world an opportunity to speak ill of Christ.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” –Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)

You will not hear me questioning your salvation for voting for Trump. Who I cast my vote for does not equate, or invalidate, my salvation.

You will not hear me gleefully saying “I told you so” after the election if he does not keep his word. (Or, should Hillary win, I will not say “I told you so” when she does exactly what she has said she will do.) In fact, if Trump should win, I desperately hope I am wrong about him. I hope that you will be able to say to me “I told you so.”

You will not hear me mocking your choice, or your convictions. Whether you vote for Trump, Johnson, McMullin, Castle, or Hoefling. Believe it or not, while I may disagree, I genuinely understand why you might think this is your only choice. I even understand if you feel the need to sit out the top ticket race. (But, please, please, be informed, and vote in every other race on your ballot!)

I will not “unfriend” anyone (online or in real life) for voting differently than I do. I dare say, the majority of my friends are voting differently than I am. For my part, I still consider them friends, and fellow believers.

But, I have to say, I have lost a great amount of respect for the way some Christians have handled each other in this.

principlesThis cartoon. Oh, this cartoon. The mocking, insulting tone of this one, little cartoon has quite possibly made me angrier than almost anything else I’ve seen this election season. Why? Because, it has been posted by a number of people, many of whom want others (especially other Christians) to respect their decisions on a host of issues, based solely on the fact that their choice was made on the basis of their “principles” and “convictions”: Homeschooling. Birth control. Family size. Entertainment. Vaccination.

No. That, my friends is hypocrisy. Plain and simple. Principle and conviction is either a valid reason for making a choice or it isn’t.

Please, do not mock and belittle a fellow believer for truly seeking to honor their biblically informed conscience in this matter.

And then there is the mentality that says (in response to someone using a third-party vote to say “I told you so.” to Trump supporters),

“Of course if Hillary wins and our freedom to preach the Word is taken away, we can say ‘I told you so’ to the traditional Republican voter other who wrote in someone or voted 3rd party.”

Really? Really?!?!

This medium cannot accurately convey the incredulity that I feel at this statement. Should Hillary Clinton win, and effectively abolish our personal and religious freedoms your concern is going to be saying “I told you so.” to someone – a fellow brother or sister in Christ – who chose to vote differently than you did?

Again, I ask, really?

Christian, please, use the privilege and the voice that we have been given in this country. But, do so in love. Please, do not use your voice, or your vote to guilt, mock, or belittle others into your way of thinking. Use it to speak for those who cannot – for the vulnerable, the weak, the unborn. Vote for your children, or your grandchildren. Vote your (biblically informed) conscience.

But, do not believe for a minute that the ultimate hope and change for our nation hinges on your vote. It doesn’t.

 …for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” –Daniel 4:34b-35 (ESV)

 Regardless of who I vote for, who wins, and who loses tomorrow, God is still on His throne, still in control. It is not a cliché. It is not a platitude. It is the truth.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”Job 42:2 (ESV)

Christian, now is the time use that faith you are so proud of.

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First Day of School!

I spent the majority of August planning and praying over our new school year. And, ready or not, we started on Tuesday! Since Jason is off on Monday’s we don’t “officially” do school. We occasionally use it as a make up day, but mostly, we try to keep it free for family time…and the occasional field trip.

img_5812wmI have some very eager learners this year! (Rachel is included in the picture because, while she may not have an official “grade” designation, but she is learning so much every day, right alongside her brother and sisters!)

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Hannah: 6th Grade

(I am told that is middle school here. But, that sounds a little too much like junior high, and this mama isn’t quite ready for that.) She is looking forward to Zoology (of course) because “we finally get to study land animals,” and learning to play the flute!

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Titus: Kindergarten

I think his excitement for the first day may have rivaled (or probably exceeded!) mine. He was so excited! He is only 4, so he is still a little bit young, but this boy is ready! I know I should say that our plan is to go slow and keep it low key…but, it’s not. He is not having any of that. He is looking forward to everything!

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Rebekah: Pre-School

In addition to doing “official” pre-school work, we will be including her in our Bible and Zoology lessons, and Tapestry of Grace art projects and read aloud times. She is looking forward to learning to read, but, mostly, she is just excited to be part of our school days!

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And, ready or not…here we go!

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A selfie was the only picture I got with all of my “students” on the first day!

 

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Momentary Light Affliction

This blog is (or, perhaps has been) my attempt to encourage and challenge primarily myself, but other women as well, to view every area and event of life through the lens of Scripture. And to be joyfully content as we recognize God’s undeserved grace, mercy, and sovereign care in the big, unexpected joys, as well as in the difficult trials, but especially in those little, often overlooked, everyday moments.

Because, most of life is lived in the simple and the ordinary.

But, in doing so, my desire is not to paint our life as one of sunshine and unicorns, untouched by reality and troubles.

Like everyone, my days are filled with joys and failures, blessings and trials, celebration and suffering. My children are sinners. Their mother is a sinner. (I know Scripture says that I married a sinner as well. But, I’m beginning to wonder about that one. He’s amazing.)

I detest the trend of airing one’s dirty laundry to the whole of the worldwide web, under the guise of “transparency.” I don’t want to complain. I don’t want to “vent.”

My desire is to focus on that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). To look for the grace and mercy that God has so richly, and undeservedly given, not in spite of the difficult times, but through, and maybe even because of them.

Amy Carmichael wrote, “A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly jarred.”

So, it is rare that I will write from a place of discouragement and weakness.

But, you want transparency? Here it is…

Life is hard.

I am not making that statement in relation to the suffering, trials, or circumstances of anyone but myself. The comparison game is futile. Comparing my situation to that of someone else is like comparing apples and oranges. No. It’s like comparing apples and turtles. You just can’t. There is always someone else going through something bigger, something worse, something harder. (And I know many who are.)

I am just stating the simple fact that, life can be hard.

And, recently, it has been.

“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33 (NIV)

In addition to multiple minor illnesses hitting every member of our family, teething toddlers, night terrors, mastitis, our recent miscarriage, migraines, and a stint in the ER, I have been living with severe anemia (and the accompanying symptoms and side effects) for at least a year…likely a lot longer. I am now on a prescription iron supplement, which I am praying might remedy some, or maybe even all of that.

Oh. And, did I mention that, as a result, we are still trying to finish up our school year? And the laundry and dishes have continued to multiply at alarming rates.

So, those simple, everyday, real life moments are still very much there, very much demanding that we keep up.

And, somehow, in the craziness of caring for, and keeping up with us, my husband still has to do his job. He still has to prepare sermons and Sunday school lessons. Some weeks, I have wondered if he isn’t writing his sermons on the back of a napkin on his way to church! (Don’t worry. He’s not!) People are still coming to him for counsel. Each one a judgment call. Is this an urgent need? Can they wait? And, meetings that have been canceled, long-postponed, and rescheduled (multiple times), have to be attended.

There are just not enough hours in the day.

“Why does our heavenly Father seem at times to be steadily shoveling suffering into the lives of those he loves so deeply, when he could easily relieve it?” (Running on Empty, pgs. 15-16)

You may thinking, “Stop complaining. That’s nothing.”

And, you’d be right.

“Suffering, even in its mildest forms – inconvenience, delay, disappointment, discomfort, or anything that is not in harmony with our whims and preferences – we will not tolerate. We even reject and deny it.” (A Path Through Suffering, pg. 13)

We do not like to suffer. We avoid it when we can…except in the cases when, as a result of our own sinful stupidity, we run headlong into it.

But, I say that all that to say this…I am just weary. Physically, mentally…and yes. Spiritually.

I love what Gloria Furman says in her new book, Missional Motherhood (I am quoting from a much larger section, and, I hope, doing justice to the original context. But, I would encourage you to read the entire section, or even the whole book, for yourself.):

“Things that are part of our design – our need for others in community, our physical limitations, being embodied in an “earthly tent,” and our lack of knowledge – are not failures. We have no need to repent of those things, for this is the way God designed us. God has no need to repent of making us this way, because he reserves the right to create in whatever way his holy will desires. Moms don’t need to be redeemed out of their God-given design. But here is another place where we have to “use our words” very carefully. We must be very, very hesitant to name something sin. If it is sin, it requires atonement. But we often place worldly blunders on the same level as unholy sins….The eternal Son of God did not go to the cross and suffer crucifixion and the wrath of God to atone for a moms inability to accomplish everything she wants to do in a day…..Before we call upon the great doctrine of justification by faith alone to redeem us out of our so-called calamity, or before we herald the massive truth that we are counted righteous in Christ by faith in him, we ought to consider the nature of our need….If that neediness is owing to your sin, that vile rebellion against your Maker, then you repent….But if your neediness is simply because you are a human being (i.e., not omniscient, not omnipresent, not omnipotent, not God), then you have reason to rejoice.” (Missional Motherhood, pgs. 124-125, bold mine)

Rejoice?

In weakness? In weariness? In suffering?

Yes.

And, more than that, we can be thankful for it.

“Who can be grateful for pain? Only those who see beyond to the ineffable mercy, tender and severe, which is silently at work.” (A Path Through Suffering, pg. 56)

It is a gift.

It is a gift because it teaches us about the character of God. As discipline, it confirms God’s love for us, and our position as His child. It tests, strengthens, and refines our faith. It produces endurance, character, and hope. And, it is a condition of discipleship.

If we are to follow Christ, we must expect to suffer.

“He accepted suffering. He willingly laid down His life. He poured out His very soul unto death. Shall not we, His servants, tread the same pathway?” Pg. 39

But, perhaps, just maybe, our troubles, our inconveniences, our sufferings are not for us.

Lilias Trotter, in her book, Parables of the Cross, wrote “God may use…the things that He has wrought in us, for the blessings of souls unknown to us….” (as quoted in Elisabeth Elliot’s A Path Through Suffering, pg. 15)

It has been unintentional (on my part), but many of the books I have been reading recently have had a providentially similar theme. Suffering.

In her book, Running on Empty, Barbra Bancroft says,

“Ministry brings suffering into our lives. It is the hardest gift for us to accept from God. None of us enjoys suffering and it is one aspect of ministry we are always trying to avoid. God brings his gift of suffering and our response is to begin negotiating for a different one. We want to return this gift for one we think would better meet our needs. This is why Paul’s description of himself in Philippians 3 is so startling. We are attracted and repelled by it. We want his passion for Christ. We identify with his desire to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, but to share in the fellowship of his suffering is frightening.” (pg. 15)

Now, I don’t think for a moment that our church, or my husband’s vocation has been the source of the difficulties, trials, and yes, genuine suffering that we have faced in recent days.

Quite the opposite. Our church family has been a source of help, encouragement, strength, and comfort in all of this.

But, it is true that ministry brings suffering. It has a cost. Our family, our marriage, our children, our parenting, our faults, our sins, our quirks, our sufferings…our lives are all put on constant display. And, we are willing to live in that proverbial fishbowl for the sake of others.

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 1 Corinthians 4:15-16 (ESV)

Paul prayed three times that God would remove his “thorn in the flesh,” his “messenger from Satan.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

“God said no to Paul’s plea because He was to bring forth, for the sake of the rest of us, the beautiful flower of acceptance, a gift of grace, enough for his need. But that flower was to bloom, not in spite of, but because of the thorn…Could he know the millions who would be cheered and comforted by his example of quiet acceptance of a painful thing which he knew God could have removed? No, he couldn’t.” (A Path Through Suffering, pg. 45)

Maybe our troubles, our inconveniences, our trials, our sufferings are not for us at all. Maybe they are put in our life for the spiritual benefit of someone else.

We do not know. And, frankly, it isn’t for us to know.

“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10)

“We may take heart from the suffering of Job. Suffering was the necessary proof of the reality of his faith – to us, as to his contemporaries and his enemy Satan (his and ours). The suffering of our Savior proved the reality of His love for His Father. The world still needs to be shown that there are those who, no matter what the circumstances, will, for love of Him, do exactly what God commands. The end He has in view is a glorious one. We can fully count on that…” (A Path Through Suffering, pg. 53)

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 1 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)

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Parenting Conference

The last two months have been rather difficult in our home.  So, I am just now getting my bloggy act together, and posting a few of the more enjoyable happenings.

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On April 1st and 2nd (wow! that seems like a long time ago!), our church hosted a Parenting Conference, with Dr. John Street, and his dear wife Janie, as the speakers. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you will know that the Streets are very special to our family. Dr. Street was one of our professors at The Master’s College, and was instrumental in our understanding and embracing the truth of biblical counseling, both in our personal lives and ministry.  He was the pastor of our Sunday School class at our church in California. And, Dr. Street also did our pre-marital counseling, and performed our wedding. We also have the privilege of knowing their 4 (grown) children, and seeing the legacy of their parents’ love for the Lord continued in their lives.

So, it is a joy for us to share the Streets’ wisdom with whomever we can, whenever we get the chance!

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I had a one year old who is not a fan of the nursery, and a 2 year old who still desperately needed a nap. So, I did not get to hear as much of it as I would have liked, because I was a little too busy, well…parenting! But, I have since caught up on our church’s website. (And I would strongly recommend that you to listen to Dr. Street’s messages here too!!)

2016_04_021While the adults were busy, the kids enjoyed their own Children’s Conference. They learned about the Armor of God, sang songs, did crafts, played games, and sang more songs when a few of the adult’s sessions went a little long.

(Big, huge thank you to Fred and Kathy, Steven and Nary, Rosie, Joanna, and Erica for all their work, and for serving our parents and little ones!!!)

The children loved their time together, and the parents were challenged and blessed by the teaching.

12963542_10153404226351286_2727087751349474441_nUnfortunately, the conference ended on a bit of a low note, with, at final count, some 21 people coming down with a nasty stomach bug. Our family was among the first hit, so we never did get a picture with both Dr. and Mrs. Street.

But, we are so thankful for the time they invested in our church. And, I am excited to see how the Lord will use this conference to continue to shape the families of our church in the future!

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