Saturday, December 28, 2019

Close to home

the transformation that has been happening at heritage and our home fellowship is all well and good- but if it comes at the expense of the ones in this photo- we have failed to some degree.

our first ministry is to the ones closest to us- your first ministry is to the ones closest to you. I cannot escape the mandate to love and serve my husband and my children because I am a missionary. in fact, the ways I love and serve my family can actually be a powerful testimony to the love and power of God in my life.

in my flesh I don't love them well. without dying to self I fail to serve them the way Jesus wants me to. I don't have enough patience without Him. I can't see their heart needs without Him opening my blind eyes. my love wears thin when I don't let Him fill me up-when I haven't settled into my belovedness. and as He has been working in me, I think my people would tell you that I am a bit more gentle, a little more gracious, my temper doesn't flare as often. He is transforming me and that is transforming our home.

It was a gift to witness Caleb be baptized in 2018 and Seth be baptized in 2019. Elizabeth and Rebekah have both invited Jesus into their young hearts. Josh and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage (which feels like a pretty big deal in a world where marriage is targeted by the enemy of our souls who wants to steal, kill and destroy). We certainly don't get it all right. And there are days when I wonder if the benefits outweigh the challenges of raising a family abroad. There are still wounds we are each healing from, and wounds we would love to avoid passing on to our children... but even in that there is grace and fodder for redemption and transformation.

parenting is hard. children are unique and their needs are complex. but there is freedom in knowing it's not my job to transform them. transformation is His job. I can create space for Him to work. I can die to self and allow His power and love to flow through me. I can train and disciple my kids. I can pray for them. I can ask their forgiveness when I blow it. I can love my husband well. I can live a surrendered and transformed life in front of them. and that's really all He asks.

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