We were super blessed this weekend to be able to attend the "Raising Kids to Do Hard Things" seminar in Portland, OR, thanks to Stephen's mentor and his wife. They are a great example of a Christian family and we really respect them a lot and are grateful they are in our lives.
There was so much good stuff, I don't know where to start.... how about with the Vikings...
Apparently, back in the Vikings time, the warriors went to battle by means of a boat. Most had "Galley Slaves" that were under the deck to do all the rowing. While the slaves were rowing, the warriors were just resting on deck, gambling, drinking, just wasting time. So, obviously the boat had to be twice and big and twice as heavy with all the extra men. BUT the vikings took a new approach to this. They had NO galley slaves, the warriors were the ones who did the rowing to battle and the boats had to be half the size. Subsequently, the Vikings began to defeat everyone. But the time they rowed over to fight, they were twice as strong as the other warriors who had galley slaves and began winning battles with very little effort because of their increases strength.
Time to take a lesson from the Vikings: Don't outsource your responsibilities to your family. It may seem efficient, but it is detrimental in the long run.
As a culture, we have outsourced our responsibilities of :
-Birthing, Care & Training of Children (now Maternity Wards and Day Cares)
-Religious Education & Vocational Training (now Schools, Colleges)
-Food Production & Meal Preparation ( now Pre-cooked foods and fast food restaurants)
-Guest room & Meal time Hospitality ( now Hotels and fine restaurants)
So, we can take a lesson from the Vikings and bring it back home... do it ourselves and we become stronger and smart and become victorious. Row ourselves to battle... Homeschool, home birth, hospitality, etc
On the topic of raising children
Psalm 127:3-5 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
1- The Bullet Point (or Arrowhead) is the smarts and what contains the fire. It is what brings the fire that spreads.
2- The Shaft - the childs shaping and character... whether made out of twig or steel. It is what keeps them strong in the air and when they land.
3- Fletching is what keeps them straight and going on the right path.
4- The Nock - the relationship with their family (the bow)... snug but not clinging
As parents, it is our job to aim them perfectly and let them fly. Our children our like rockets and we are their launching pad. But once that rocket takes off, no one is standing around looking at the launching pad.
WISDOM BUILDS THE HOUSE
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting , for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Pastor Harris gave the analogy of the kid on the bike ramp. Who is the kid that always falls? The one that is timid and half hearted about it. The kid that is scared usually falls flap on his face but the confident, daredevil always lands. So, God is telling us to believe and just give it our all and KNOW that He is behind us.
And I think my favorite part what about God's Embassy being in our home. I am have a huge interest in homes, obviously and not having one makes it hard. I want to make a home for my family, it is my purpose as a woman to create a safe refuge and learning environment for my family. (It's like a computer programmer (Stephen) being without a computer). So, I didn't realize how many times God mentions a house in the Bible. I was beginning to feel selfish and guilty for wanting a house for my family and that I needed to be grateful for having a place to live at all, not that I'm not grateful, but you know what I mean.
Jeremiah 29: 4-7 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says... "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters, find wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number, do not decrease. Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
Prov 10:15 The rich man's wealth is his fortress... But if we use our home to make friends for God, it is functioning as HIS embassy.
We are given things to use... we need to use what we are given.
"Money is like manure. It's only real use is to spread it around to help make good things grow, and if you let it pile up too much, it begins to stink." -John Kennedy Galbraith
God is GOOD.... and we are certain because of this because of STRAWBERRIES, LOL. A fun anaology that Pastor Harris used everytime something came up with "Why did God do this"... "because He is good"
He could have made only quinoa, and that would have been enough. We would have been fed but He didn't stop there. He made strawberries and all the other amazing fruits and vegetables just because HE is good and HE wanted us to have what is good.
And that applies to everything and I really took that to heart. I think it was the BEST thing I came home with. I have really been struggling with my need for a house, really been struggling, feeling greedy and like a spoiled brat for wanting more than quinoa (our current "living with the in-law" situation). Living here is great, I love my in-laws and really have everything I need. Living here has been such a blessing, it has brought Stephen and I closer and really strengthened our marriage and my in-laws are a DREAM, seriously, so amazing.... but God made strawberries and He wants us to eat them, not think "those strawberries are nice and I'm glad other people get to eat them, but I'm fine with my quinoa". Strawberries are just as easy for God to give us as the quinoa and He wants the best for His children, like any parent. HE wants us to launch... FINALLY, LOL.
So, although we aren't living in our huge embassy quite yet (pictured above), I am excited to be able to get a house for my family. The mortgage kind of frightens me (not that it's big or anything, just that it is a BIG DEBT) but God says "Ask in faith with no doubting and it will be given". So here we fly off the ramp, 100% certain that God will land us successfully and lead us to a much bigger ramp to jump.