Monday, July 11, 2011

Life these days.

The kids and I are staying busy this summer. The boys have been to Aquarium Camp, VBS, and the beach. I have been in full-time decorating/nesting mode. Poor, poor Tim has painted and hung so much lately. There is no way he would do this so joyfully without God's agape love. We painted the new baby's room navy blue. It looks really great. I agonized over doing an all cream and white room vs. navy and white but everybody told me cream and white was too sterile.  We can't find all the pieces to our extra crib that has been stored in our attic for a few years. I have been sweating and sweating looking for the hardware that could be buried under baby clothes and toys and Christmas decorations. If anybody has a wood or cream crib they want to sell, let me know. Otherwise, Tim is going to have to get really creative to put this crib together without all of it's parts.
I moved our homeschool room because it was in a bedroom that we needed for the baby. I love it too! Tim made me a beautiful new chalk board up there.  The boys are plugging away this summer so we can stay ahead when the baby comes.  I just passed the 6 month mark in pregnancy. I am definitely "bumpalicious". I started working out with my trainer again THIS MORNING. I stopped going when I got pregnant because I felt so yucky. I wanted to start back because I really think it helps with delivery and recovery to be strong and healthy.  I can DEFINITELY tell I am older and that this is my 5th pregnancy. My body is tired. What an honor though that God has given us another precious child! I can't wait to meet him. I am due a red head. I can't believe we haven't had one yet!
I spend a lot of my time thinking and preparing for the upcoming girl's conference. It is a supernatural feat to pull these conferences off.  God always does really cool stuff during the preparation stage. It is so awesome to see His love for these girls and how He puts everything together because He wants them to know how much He loves them.  If you know any single girls, send them to this conference. It may be the last one for a while.  I go into hiding for a few months after I have my baby. The newborn stage is really, really hard for me. I don't do well with no sleep.  I can't think and get overwhelmed very easily.  But, God's grace is sufficient and His mercies are new every morning. Even the mornings when you are up all night.
Parenting is HARD WORK. I don't just want to raise my kids and keep them alive. I want to disciple them and pour my life into them teaching them the Word of God.  The boys and I have a blast studying Scripture together. We recite Scripture for an hour every day (the 2 older ones) and LOVE doing the Kay Arthur Precept for Kids books. I am watching the Word of God come alive in them.  I feel like the farmer who has worked and worked and worked with no sign of a crop... until then,
a tiny green sprout pops its little head up symbolizing what is happening beneath the surface!
I know God's Word will produce fruit in their lives. It has nothing to do with me. It is the power of His Word. It simply will NOT return void.
The other day, we were sitting in my bedroom with the doors open watching a storm blow in. I loved talking to them about God's storehouses where He keeps His "storm supplies". :)
"When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses" Jer 10:13
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail," Job 38:22
As we sat there in awe of the power of the God we serve, the sirens on the golf course began to go off to warn the golfers to get off the golf course.  Bubba said, "He's here! He's coming!". He was so serious. And, he was so READY.  We have memorized 1 Thessalonians 4. They love the part that talks about the trumpet sound at the rapture.  He thought the sirens were the trumpet call of God. :) It was the most precious thing.  Reece, his older brother, said "Bubba, I think the trumpet is going to be louder than that". I was so challenged by my child's pure faith and HIS readiness.  They know this isn't our home. They know we are waiting for the trumpet sound so that faith can become sight. I pray they always have such a simple child-like faith.
"And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." 1 John 2:28
I have just started teaching my 4 year old to memorize God's Word. He is getting a later start than his brothers and it is HARD WORK. It was funny because Tim and I were teaching him the "Love is patient. Love is kind........" passage. I am not kidding, it must have taken an hour to get him to remember "love is patient". We were about to beat our heads against the wall, when we both realized God was teaching us-
"Love is patient". :) Lake is so full of joy and is always hanging on to my leg and singing old Sunday School songs or hymns. Like, "Holy, Holy, Holy" or "B I B L E, yes, that's the book for me!". He is an absolute joy. He has had to deal with severe allergies and asthma and had the hardest life of my children- yet he is the most joyful.
Hope is WILD. She is a bully. It looks painful when she nods her head yes because it's natural bent is NO.
She wants nothing to do with baby dolls. She loves animals (dogs mainly) and balls. She is finally getting a tiny bit of hair but pulls a bow out faster than I can take a picture. She loves her brothers.
Reece is getting huge. He is very solid. Not many surprises from him. He struggles with greed and wanting more and more toys. Don't we all? But, he has an amazing walk with God.  He was at aquarium camp where they showed a 3D Imax movie about tidal waves that included "evil gods of the oceans". He said they looked like floating heads over the ocean that caused tidal waves and tsunamis.  My children aren't afraid of hardly anything except when it comes to things like this- the spiritual realm that they know is real.  Their spirits can sense things that are evil. There was a ride at Sea World that had evil spirits in it that disturbed them both.  They didn't flinch on the biggest roller coasters in the world.  Reece told me that during the IMAX movie he closed his eyes and said "God, I am so sorry I wanted to watch this movie." And, then he said, "Momma, I kept my eyes closed and said 'I will keep my heart pure, God'." Now, this is evidence of God in him. True fruit. True life apart from me! I have never been so proud of him. He had read David's prayer in his quiet time that morning...
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Ps 51:10
It is these little tiny sprouts in the field that make me keep laboring. To see what GOD IS DOING in my children is awesome. It increases MY faith. And, it is what keeps me going after days of feeling like a failure and that nothing is working.  I have gone to Tim multiple times before and said, "I am not good at this. I am pouring everything I have into the children and IT ISN'T WORKING".  That is when I realize I'M NOT GOOD AT THIS and nothing in my strength will ever work. But, as GOD begins to work in them and as His Word begins to take root, beautiful things begin to happen.
Don't give up! Don't grow weary in discipling your children! We can't do this! We WILL fail. But it is by HIS Spirit and His power that we can give our children a hunger for the Word and a love for Jesus Christ.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Gal 6:9
"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." Zec 4:6

I hope you have a great day! I am going to try and take some pictures of our new school room and the baby's empty navy blue room. Love to you all!
Be Blessed~


Anonymous said...

Exactly what I needed this morning! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I loved this update. as ever, you and your sweet family are encouraging and INSPIRING ~


Erin Southwell said...

thank you for taking the time to post this steph. your updates on parenting are so encouraging to me. i love your honesty. it helps to know that it isn't easy for you (although i wish for your sake that it was). you make it look easy. galations 6:9 is one of my life verses. i don't know which is more inspiring, Bubba's response to the siren or Reece's comment after the Imax thing. both are just amazing. thanks so much for posting. more parenting posts, please! love 'em!

jen said...

AMEN, Stephanie. I was so encouraged by your mentioning that you teach your children Bible memory one hour every day. I have seen a change in my boys this last year. Although they have been in a Christian school all their school years (5 years for my eldest), I have noticed them struggling in their heart for God. My husband has given me permission to homeschool this year. I am looking forward to Bible being the main subject with the others added in. Instead of the other way around. I would appreciate any prayers you would send on our behalf.

Becky said...

I wish I lived closer because I have a beautiful wood crib to give away! :(

Great update, but you didn't say anything about plans for another natural birth. I know you SO enjoyed the last one - ha ha!

Thanks for all the encouragement and sharing frustrations, too. I can't believe I'm going to actually make the leap and homeschool my kids this year. Wish me luck!