the boys are down for a nap. the washing machine is just finishing up on the sheets that have been overdue for a wash. i'm enjoying my second cup of coffee. the windows are raised and i'm wearing my favorite outfit of all time - shorts with a long sleeved shirt. it's going to be a good day. i just know it.
before i get started on editing another newborn session [yay! have i mentioned, these are my faves?] i just wanted to tell you about a sermon that i heard a few weeks ago. it has been on my to-do list to blog about it since halfway through hearing it for the first time. it was just that good. the words have stayed on my heart and on my bathroom mirror in a dry erase marker since i heard it. i can't not pass it along.
we go to a church that is phenomenal. it has been such an answer to prayer. every sunday, brian gets up there and speaks truth. that is all i can ask for. but, not only does he speak truth straight from the bible, it is also totally apparent that his first value after his relationship with Jesus is his family. no ifs, ands or buts. he loves his family. in such an intentional and passionate way. when you hear him talk about them you just know.
this sermon was right up his alley. and his words could come right out of a making things happen intensive. it was called the 7 habits for highly effective parents. here are a few things he had to say:
- our job is to believe Him and pray.it.down!
- forget childhood psychologists - the Bible is your only instruction manual (no offense to childhood psychologists :))
- build habits (weave them in) that make things great
Here were his "rules":
- Seek God daily
- highly effective parents LIVE to SEEK HIM
- not just believing but CHASING after Him
- your children need the love of God in you more than anything else
- the cry of our hearts should be "He is real!"
- we must buck this culture - it is grabbing our kids and mashing them into it's mold
- don't float down the river like an old, dead fish (he's a country boy, that's fer sure :))
- open hearts and build relationships
- you can live with less stuff - it's worth a smaller home, used car and less belongings to be present with your kids
- your kids lives are in the power of the tongue
- your lips shape your child's life ("set a guard over my lips" - psalms 141:3)
- words speak life - use your window of opportunity to speak life
- In three places:
- At the dinner table
- this is the make-it-or-break-it place
- At church
- find a church where God is moving with leaders who love Jesus and a great children's program - it is worth everything (your job, house, etc)
- At the beach, campsite, fire pit in the backyard - wherever you can make memories!
- answer situations with truth
- with your words
- and, with your actions (Philippians 3:17)
- the goal is not to just cook food, pay bills and make it through life - God is the light of the world and we are made in his image!
- set your goals high and let God reach them through you
And some final notes:
- Dad + Mom:
- we can be great models through Christ
- we can have great marriages (it will be a blessing if you can get there)
- decide - "we are going to have the greatest family on Earth", "we are going to see great things happen"
- "I don't care if my kids make minimum wage and live in my truck - they are going to shine for Jesus!"
y'all. just typing this gets me fired up! but, i know that i can't do it justice. you need to HEAR IT! so, if this sparks even the slightest bit of interest, let me know! i would love to mail you a cd of his sermon. seriously. please comment or email me (jenny.s.conklin (at) gmail (dot) com) and i will mail you one.
i so desire for my home to be the greatest place on earth. i want jordan and i to build that for our kids. i want people to walk into our home and feel Jesus. i know that somedays we have a long way to go. but, the good news is that God can reach this goal through us. we are imperfect and always will be. but God can work through us to make our home just that. a place where Jesus is near, people feel loved, our kids are nurtured and the good news is shared. this is my heart's cry. and i will work towards this with everything i've got. join me? let's do this together.
happy tuesday, friends!