WOW! Has this journey been hard! Yet it is so rewarding. I don't think there has ever been a time in our lives that we have surrendered ourselves so much and trusting God to provide for so many needs. During this crazy, busy time, there are so many needs. We are trusting God to fill in so many gaps for us; for lack of time as a family, our marriage, our boys feeling secure, financial (Dave has cut back his hours at work), etc. We feel so excited about what God is doing, yet so disconnected to all that is around us. We are trusting the Lord to provide in that area as well - that our family and friends will understand the demands that are placed on us right now, and how we ache to be with them and serve the body of Christ.
But God is faithful and good, and we put our trust in Him. We still have so much to learn and we are excited about that. If we have learned anything, we have learned that it is during the tough times that we learn the most, if we choose to keep our focus on Christ. And if we ever doubt that our children are not getting the things we model for them, hear these words from our 5 year old:
We were driving home form a birthday party in Bradenton last week, and we had a family friend driving home with us. He shared with us something that Samuel told him. Samuel told Ruben, "Getting punished is a good thing", and Ruben asked, "Why", and Samuel said, "Because you learn stuff". When I asked Samuel what he learns from getting in trouble, he responded, "You learn how to be good".
If you just stop and think for a minute, you will realize how profound that is. Samuel told me the other day (after getting corrected....again) : ) that he tries to be good but it doesn't always work. I think sometimes we try to do the right things too, but unfortunately our own efforts fall short. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Sometimes I feel like my motives are good and then God shows me how selfish I am and how only His ways are pure. God has opened my eyes to see that every time there is any kind of hardship, that I need to learn something from His perspective. Without the Holy Spirit shedding light on my situation, I can only see from my own perspective. When difficulties come, that is a sign to turn to God, and say, "O.K. what am I supposed to learn here?"
Through this process already, we have learned stuff! We fall short in so many ways, and it just makes us realize how much God is in all this because He sustains us every day. So from the mouth of my 5 year old, I pray that when you face a difficult circumstance, you won't blame others, but that you will just "Learn Stuff".
May the God of Peace sanctify you through and through...