G is for…

A Verse Hid in Our HeartsG is for
“God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” Genesis 1:20

A Hymn to Impart“All Things Bright”

A Sweet Little Prayer“And God Said”

A Poem to Share“Something Told the Wild Geese”

How Our Week Was Spent
G is for Gallery. We learned about John James Audubon. He was a wildlife artist. I like to draw and paint too, so I made a gallery. I sold all my pictures to Mom (by Titus, 9 1/2).

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Teacher’s Two-cents
It was Ironman weekend here in Kona, which is pretty exciting. We’ve made it our little tradition to get up early and go watch the start which is touted as being the most famous starting line in all of sports. All the condos around us are filled with athletes from all over the world so at any given time a plethora of foreign languages drifts through our windows. Of course all of those athletes were up far earlier than we were to get ready for their 2 1/2 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike-ride, and 26 mile run. Ironically, it was I who after shlepping an infant, our breakfast, and some token cowbells with my husband and 4 other boys quite a ways from our parking spot to the swim start and then up the road to the bicycle start and then back to the car, shuffling through tens of thousands of on-lookers all along the way; it was I who collapsed into the front seat of the car and exclaimed, “Whew! That was a workout!” Obviously I felt pretty silly and pathetic as soon as I said it, considering the iconic event we had just witnessed.
Ironman Kona
The Ironman Triathlon is an extraordinary test of endurance but nothing compared to the amazing feat accomplished by the tiny Arctic Tern every year as it migrates from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again. Now, that takes endurance. God has equipped these little birds perfectly with everything they need to survive such harsh extremes. Not so the Ironman athlete. God has equipped them pretty much the same way He has equipped me. But there is no way I could ever accomplish what they do in a day. Neither could these athletes if they didn’t train for it. And by train, I don’t mean going out for a jog every morning and doing a few laps in the pool. Swimming, biking, and running is their LIFE. It’s all they do. Every minute of their day, every bite on their plate, every twitch of a muscle, revolves around this race. But when they cross that finish line and hear themselves proclaimed an Ironman to the defining cheers of onlookers, it is all very much worth it.

Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern

I was thinking about Hebrews 12 in reference to parenting this week.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
No, but I’ve come very close to wanting to shed somebody else’s! Parenting is very much a test of endurance and this week I was growing quite “faint hearted” in my struggle against the childish sins in this household. At times it seemed to be a battle of Me versus Them and Their Sins. Me versus Them and Their Bickering. Me versus Them and Their Selfishness. Me versus Them and Their Refusal to Eat Tomatoes. Quite simply I had become so entangled in my own sin of impatience and weighted down by worry over how these boys were going to turn out, that I failed completely in “looking to Jesus” and not just the future joy set before me but the present joy that surrounds me. The fact is, I am not the Perfecter of my boys’ faith. Christ is. It is not my job to produce sinless kids. It’s my job to love very sinful ones and to do that in spite of myself and to do that with JOY. I don’t want to parent like an Ironman, relying on my own strength and training to endure. I want to parent like an Arctic Tern, trusting in the Lord and in His Spirit which has equipped me for this good work, to follow His leading over the unknown distance.
Oh, and I almost forgot to brag a little. This past week Ironman sponsored a mini aquathon (ocean swim and run) for kids and Nathan competed for the first time. He’s a great swimmer, just like his Dad, and has to be the cutest little Ironman ever!


17 thoughts on “G is for…

  1. The gallery was just wonderful – what a gifted drawer-er (as they are called in my house) he is.
    I also appreciated your words very much, thank you.

  2. Ok, you are too funny! Wow. I feel like you are echoing my husband in his assuring me that we parent in FAITH. We just had a discussion last night about the same verse from Hebrews, yet I often feel that I AM to produce sinless kids. And, boo hoo, I worry. Am I doing enough? Am I handling this in a way that honors Him? Why are we still struggling with the same things over and over? Here’s to yet another fresh start, right? A new day, new week… parenting in faith and with joy.
    Cute little Ironman and amazing art! 🙂

  3. “I sold all my pictures to Mom,” -Love that! So funny! And I appreciate your reminder and encouragement to rely on God’s strength instead of my own. It is funny how I have to keep learning that over and over again. My pastor said on Sunday (quoting someone I think) that the Chistian life is like de ja vu amnesia- “Haven’t I forgotten this before?” Anyway, thank you! I really enjoyed this post!

  4. I most definitely can relate to your struggles in parenting. You are absolutely right … it is not our job, nor are we even able to, produce sinless children. As parents, we sometimes want our kids to be something we know we ourselves can never be: perfect. I get frustrated over those sins from my kids that I forget those very sins are what God will use to show them how much they need a Savior. Thank you for this post!

  5. Love the artwork, Titus! If I were at your gallery, I would buy a piece or two to hang in my house.

    Nathan, that has to be the most satisfied look I have ever seen on a little boy’s face! You are one happy swimmer, aren’t you?!

    Your “workout” reminded me of how I used to feel after completing a trip to Costco with my three little ones, Julie. 🙂

    1. Ha! No kidding! I guess I’m more of an Iron-ic-man than an Ironman. Maybe I can talk Titus into bringing a couple pictures to you in December. Oh, and yeah Nate was pretty much about ready to burst his swim cap there wasn’t he? 🙂

    1. Can some wise mother out there please explain to me how boys are more than happy to consume gallons of ketchup, spaghetti and pizza sauce, even salsa, but if their salad has a few slices of tomato in it, they freak out!?!?

  6. Love the art…how beautiful! We are training for our very first 5k (just over three miles) and it’s been a rough few weeks for me! I really have no clue how those athletes manage such a great distance…I feel like a wimp in comparison. 🙂

      1. My older two kids and I are running it together. I’ve tried talking my hubby into joining us, but he’s not into running unless there’s a soccer ball in front of him, lol.

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