If you read our "ABOUT" page, you know I referred to God's goodness as we committed to raise our children to love the Lord and give up full time ministry for a time. To be honest, we struggled long and hard when our hearts desire to serve was removed. But God is gracious and continues to bless even when we aren't as grateful as we should be.
Here is just a bit of the blessings, He showered upon our kids during the lean years: One son was a Presidential Classroom scholar, a United States Senate Youth Program scholar, University of Virginia grad, worked for Congress, now a leader of the Metro Denver Young Republicans (He was on CNN just last week), and is now headed out to JAG school for the Army Reserves. Another son received a national scholarship to go to the college of his choice totally free. There he was a part of Theatron, a traveling troupe for dramatic skits and sharing of God's word. Now a web design developer for a major company, he generously is donating his skills and time to creating the 'new' site. In addition, he is helping build the teen ministry here from 1 to 16 in the last few weeks. He is also flipping our old house using his creative abilities and prayerfully provide another source of income to share with others. Our oldest daughter is a talented Kindergarten teacher. Her husband is a gifted Middle school math and technology teacher in an inner city school. Together they coach swimming and teach the 3 yrs - 2nd graders at church. Her brother was a State High School Basketball player, Harding University Senior Class President, and with the support of his wife, is attending graduate school pursuing a European history masters. She is running a medical clinic in Arkansas. They host a small Bible study group in their home for young couples and work in developing a mens' spiritual mentoring group at their local body of believers. And last, but definitely not the least, our youngest, like her siblings, was a National Honor Society member, student government president, editor of the school paper for unprecedented three years, a Varsity basketball player, and much more. She is now a junior at Kansas University pursuing a degree in journalism while working at the Boys' and Girls' club.
Living in this small community allowed them to hone their leadership skills and develop solid values of faith and service to others. God is so GOOD, we thank Him for caring for us through out our parenting years despite our personal struggles in accepting His path for us.
I now believe God was preparing us to deal with ourselves and removing our need for anything but Him to have our significance. As type A personalities, there were childhood hurts that had never been healed and forgiveness that needed to be in our hearts to release the pain. Those hurts made 'success' so important whatever we did. And when we were serving God why was our marriage such hard work? Fortunately we learned to stop discipling each other and just love and respect one another and let God do the rest in His own time.
During those three years, we can say God still performs miracles to those who believe. The time allowed me to release my Dad from childhood expectations and get to know him deeply. Plus I had the joy of attending his baptism as he gave his life to Jesus. As he demonstrated his love to me, I began to see my childhood with new eyes and can truly say I felt so loved and precious as his daughter. When I lost him earlier this year, I am so grateful for the time we had. I can't wait for one of his 'heavenly' hugs when I arrive at Heaven's gate.
All this said, may this encourage you to write down all the blessings in your life and practice:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
So, lift your eyes to heaven, wait for your miracle. Refuse to get bitter, trust God has good in store, for He has a plan:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13