**Update** Several of you have asked me for the link to the sermon I referenced, so here it is! It's called, "Christianity's Greatest Threat." Hope it's a blessing to you!
So occasionally it hits me, that along with the pregnancy and the eminent arrival of this baby, we're about to embark upon one of the hardest journeys in the world: Parenting. We sat through one of the best sermons today on that very topic and while it was incredibly inspiring and dead-on in truth, it was a little sobering. Good sobering, but sobering none the less. I sat there soaking up the teaching from Deuteronomy 6, taking notes faster than I could write, and I kept thinking, "are we ready for this?" Now I realize that like most things, you're never totally "ready" for anything, but I found myself making a mental list of things I need to work on, so that one day my little one can look back on his/her childhood the same way I look back on mine. I seriously don't think I've heard a better sermon on being a parent. I say that because rather than a list of "7 ways to do this" or "10 things you should never do", this was a verse by verse exposition on exactly what God has to say about it. And you know what, His standards are high! We left very challenged to start thinking about how we are going to raise this baby to love and know Jesus. We can make a plan and come up with a "program" but ultimately, they will model what we model and they will get a passion for what we have a passion for. We are going to be the only parents they'll have and no one else will share that responsibility but us! Not the Church, not their teachers, not the school system, not the government. We'll stand accountable for how we raised them. Whew! That's a big job. Praise be to the Lord that He has not left us alone to do it! There is nothing He's asked of us that He won't equip us for. As much as this whole parenting thing sometimes freaks me out, I love that I can rest in the knowledge that He will walk us through each season and every stage and He will provide all the help we need. Even now. So, let me challenge you to get out Deuteronomy 6 and read it again for a little refresher! Our kids and their futures mean too much not to.
Now, speaking of parents, let me tell you just how great mine are! Yesterday, while my Travy was gone on a 100 mile bike ride, (yes I did say 100 miles), I had a little breakdown. I was home, feeling gross, looking at the disaster that is my house right now, and I couldn't take it. I was hungry, so incapable of cooking or even going to the grocery store, and finally tired of spaghetti o's, so I did the only thing I knew to do. I called my Mom and begged her to come over! Now she lives in Iowa and we live in Minnesota, so I knew that probably wasn't going to happen that afternoon, but I asked her anyway. I told her how I longed for her to make me some food and help me put this house back together and as only a good Mother would, she caved and said she'd come! Next weekend. Then she asked me what I wanted to eat, and I started listing all my favorite things! YEAHH!! Both she and my Dad are coming to stay with Ryley while we're at JH Fall retreat, and they're going to fill my fridge and probably do other things around my house that I haven't had the energy to get to. And we're all thrilled, even Ryley! Because they're the best. I'll get to come home a day early from the retreat so I can see them for awhile and so I can start diving in to my favorite home cooked meals!! On my way home from Church today, my Mom called and she told me that she made her menus and they went to the grocery store yesterday and already bought way too many groceries so that she can start cooking the minute they get here! Of course I felt a little bad about asking her to come "work" for me, but then I thought about what a blessing she's about to give me, and I thanked her. And then I made a mental note, "Cook for my kids someday when they are pregnant!" Then I'll tell them how much I loved it when their Grandma did that for me! So, in honor of our great parenting sermon today, Mom and Dad, thanks for being the best parents I could ever ask for...both in childhood and adulthood. You've left us a legacy to aspire to and Your daughter, son-in-law, grand-dog, and future grandchild thank you!! Our stomachs are rumbling in anticipation!!