the first week of June.........

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yesterday, we went to the farmer's market and my mom treated me to these beautiful peonies. I cannot even tell you how fantastic they smell...........
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and speaking of my mom, she is here visiting with us and it has been so wonderful. Graeme will most definitely be going through withdrawals when Granna leaves. He loves to knock on her door in the morning and greet her. He also likes to call for her when he knows he is in trouble or when he does not want to take a nap or go to sleep at night or when he thinks one more book should be read. And, she doesn't really mind

Speaking of reading, I have started Elyse Fitzpatrick's newest book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. It has not disappointed and I am thoroughly enjoying reading it via Steve's Kindle. I will be ordering myself a paper copy, though, since I find myself annoyed at how long it takes me to figure out hi-lighting/underlining on the Kindle, wink wink.

I've noticed that over the past few years, it seems that God brings along certain books that are absolutely life-changing, or maybe I should say, life-challenging, for me. I am sometimes jealous of those who seem to read books with wild abandon. For me, I find that I am not able to absorb as much as I would like to unless I take the slow route. That being said, I am thankful for two books over the course of the last two years that have tremendously aided me in my pursuit of Christ. Paul Miller's book, A Praying Life, and the Ricucci's book, Love that Lasts. So, it would seem that my book for this year--or for these current months--will be Fitzpatrick's. I'll share one, quite lengthy quote that really stood out to me in a recent chapter........
We are always to do our best, striving to be obedient and to love, nurture, and discipline them. But we are to do it with faith in the Lord's ability to transform hearts, not in our ability to be consistent or faithful. Seeking to be faithfully obedient parents is our responsibility; granting faith to our children is his. Freedom to love and enjoy our children flows out of the knowledge that God saves them in spite of our best efforts, not because of them. Salvation is of the Lord. So then, you might ask yourself, Well, if that's the truth, why on earth am I working so hard at this? We understand. When confronted with God's merciful sovereignty, a sovereignty that will use both faithful and wicked parenting as the means to draw children to himself, the propensity to give up in apathy is very strong. We pride ourselves in being self-reliant. We want to work and get paid a guaranteed wage. So when we're not promised a guaranteed wage, we think we shouldn't work. This thinking is fallacious, because the relationship we have with God isn't one between a master and slave or employer and employee. It's a relationship between a loving Father and his dearly loved sons and daughters. We're not working because we want to earn a wage. We don't work to earn God's blessing. We work because we already have it (Rom.4:4-8).

We work because we love him and all he's done for us. We work because he's commanded us to work. And we work because he may use our efforts at parenting as the means to draw our children to him. But we are never to work because we think our work will ultimately transform our children. Our works are never good enough or powerful enough to transform any human heart.

How can we tell whether our efforts at parenting are motivated by reliance on God's grace or on self-trust? How can we know whether we're trying to obligate God or serve him in gratitude? One way to judge is to consider your reaction when your children fail. If you are angry, frustrated, or despairing because you work so hard and they aren't responding, then you're working (at least in part) for the wrong reasons. Conversely, if you're proud when your children obey and you get those desired kudos--Oh! your kids are so good!--you should suspect your motives. Both pride and despair grow in the self-reliant heart.


  1. What a blessing to have your mom there!

  2. I've got that on my list to read, so I was excited to see a bit. I was all "yada yada" until the last paragraph haha--then she nailed me!=) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, that is so good. I've got to get that book! Thanks for posting.

  4. Laura--definitely!

    Annalisa-- ;-) I would love to hear what you think of the book after reading it. Of course, I think you could have written this book yourself, but anyway. . . . . Will look forward to your thoughts!

    L- yes! Hey, I thought I would tell you that we are definitely going to go ahead with this book--so I hope you can join us! For the first meeting, we are just discussing the Desiring God interview.

  5. great thoughts! I definitely will be getting this book soon - thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Very good thoughts...some things that I've been thinking about in the last several years. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Peonies are my springtime FAVORITE! I love to bury my face in them and breathe...breathe...breathe their bountiful sweetness. And thanks for the writeup on this book which sounds wonderful. Going to put it on my booklist.


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