Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, January 19, 2015

Intentional Living

Many years ago, I came to the realization that one doesn't have to follow the cultural trends in how you live or raise your family.  There are many, many things we chose to opt out of, for the sake of family life.

We wanted to live with intention, having life goals in mind for our children, and we wanted to have time to build these things into them.  Now, our life goals for our children had nothing to do with their life's work, but more the goal that our children would be taught about the Lord in our everyday lives.  You know, as Deuteronomy 6:6 says.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
 Tim and I both wanted our children to not feel as if God was only someone we talked about on Sundays or at church, but ONE who was involved with every aspect of our lives.  This meant we had to be in the word together, and to talk together, and to point out God's hand in our daily lives, so that they could see it for themselves.

We wanted our kids to love family - they all do - they are always happy when we are together for some event - grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins - the more the merrier!

We wanted our kids to care about others and to practice hospitality, so we live that out in front of them, imperfectly at best and yet wanting to practice hospitality.

This doesn't mean that because we chose to do it, that everything goes smoothly.  Sometimes we are selfish, and sometimes our expectations of others or their expectations of us don't match up!  But our kids benefit from seeing us work through challenges with the goal of not 'being right' but of wanting God to be glorified by our choices and behaviors. 

The challenge in this is that it requires time and intention.  If we intend to practice hospitality, that means that we fore go afternoon naps on Sundays, and make dozens of pancakes for dinner.  If I want my kids to know about self control, then I need to practice self control.

We will never get these years of their childhoods back.  These are the training years, the ones that require self sacrifice on our parts.  Having raised a few to adulthood, we know that these years go by so quickly.  We are enjoying our young adults, and seeing them thrive in their lives, working hard, loving their families and others.  Being involved in the lives of those the Lord brings their way.  Each one does this in a different way, as each one is different from their siblings.  

This reminds me of a Steve Green song from years ago:

"Oh may all who come behind us, find us faithful.May the fire of our devotion light their way.May the footsteps that we leave,lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful."

Young Mamas, Grandmas, friends, I hope you'll be encouraged that your work is not in vain.  You are encouraging others by your lives, leading little ones closer to the Lord, bearing each others burdens.  Choose good things, to model in front of your children.

I'm thankful for each one who is on this journey with me, and the faithful, praying friends, who encourage me!  I'm thankful for each of you who visit here, too!  Your friendship is precious to me!


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

For Christmas this year, we ended up giving Steph and her family a "fun day out", they used the money to see Paddington and eat at Chilis.

It may seem quite odd for us on a limited budget to give them the money for a day out, we usually give them an iTune gift card to download some movies for the kids. But they are saving up for an opportunity to travel (will share that when it is over) so they had no movie and a dinner on the budget.

Steph and I were talking that the kids are growing up so fast, you really do have to think about making memories or they won't happen!

Cheryl said...

Do you hear me saying a very firm and heartfelt "amen"?
"Amen" to thinking about what you want to teach your children. (And, like you, I am not talking about academics here.)
"Amen" to modeling the lifestyle to the best of your ability.
"Amen" to all of the hard work and difficult choices being worth it.
"Amen" to grace.

(And that is a favorite song of mine! The words and the message are life-changing!)

Rebecca said...

Keep it up - and the encouragement, too! I can't imagine ANYthing you'll regret about this kind of intentional living!

Vee said...

Wise, wise words. I am, however, still very grateful for a Sunday afternoon nap. ; >

podso said...

Yes, wise words. And I think having people over on Sunday, while convenient in many ways, is also the most challenging. You do give up your nap and have to prepare a lot ahead, but such good times. And how I am enjoying teaching my grandchildren now! (not homeschooling, but I find myself falling back into that mode when we learn stuff together).


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