A Verse Hid in Our Hearts…G 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).
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.
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.
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!