My Arrow

Too many times I have written or spoken about those “hard” moments of parenting my 5 year old. They truly are few and far between. It’s just in those moments though it feels so heavy and all consuming. But the majority of the time she is kind, compassionate, sensitive, hilarious, witty, and fun to be around. She is a gift and a precious soul and child of God. It is a privilege to be her mama. I wanted to share some things that happened this week with my sweet Sophie that have bolstered my spirit and encouraged me greatly.

Sophie and I were sitting outside while MK was napping. I was doing my bible study and she was coloring. We weren’t talking about anything and then she just started this conversation….

Sophie- I know some people don’t believe in God. I believe in God.

Me- Why do you believe in God?

Sophie- Because I WANT to believe and obey

Sophie-But daddy doesn’t believe. Why?

Me- Some people are blind, they just can’t see

Sophie- They just can’t see the Light of Jesus, but I see the Light of Jesus.
It’s the most important thing to believe mommy.

Sophie- Daddy isn’t doing the right thing because he doesn’t believe.

Me- A lot of people don’t believe. But instead of saying daddy is wrong and we are right, what should we do?

Sophie- Pray. I’m going to pray and it is going to happen just like that (she makes a snapping motion). God will make the people stop not believing mommy. One day He will.

Me- God loves us and one day yes, all people will know He is who He says He is. God sees your faith and belief in your daddy believing and it is a precious thing to Him. And to me.

I love these conversations with her. I don’t know what all she understands and what all her little heart is experiencing but Jesus knows and this little girl shows me what the “faith of a child” looks like.

“But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all. ” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” Mark‬ ‭10:14-16‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Later that day we prayed for a friend who had a minor surgery and had some complications from it that had her in horrible pain. This women just lost her husband and is a widow caring for 4 young children. We were praying for her foot and her healing. Sophie knows she lost her husband and when we finished praying she asked if her husband was in heaven. I said yes. She said she was glad he was there with God. She then asked if people who don’t believe in God will go to heaven. (She has asked this before). I told her God is a loving and good Father, and we don’t know how His plan always works out but we know until a person’s final breath, they can still choose to turn to Him and repent and believe in Jesus Christ and then they will go to heaven. She said she hopes her daddy chooses to believe and she will pray until his last breath. She still loves him unconditionally and looks up to him and knows she has a wonderful daddy. His unbelief doesn’t change her love for him. And she also doesn’t shy away from speaking about God and asking her daddy questions. What a sweet picture of evangelism.

I never expected my greatest encourager in my unequally yoked marriage, besides the Lord, would be my 5 year old daughter. Her simplicity and faith and hope is so beautiful and encouraging and an amazing gift from my Abba Father. This little girl has a heart that is opening wide for Jesus I believe, and I can’t wait to see all that He will do in and through her. He is already ministering to ME through her. I pray she comes to know Jesus with a saving faith and continues to believe. Her middle name is Grace and He is certainly pouring it all over this family through her.

After we prayed she started singing “I’m in the Lords army, yes sir…”

She has started singing her own songs as well, just free flow making up words and singing them out. I video taped her doing it this week without her knowing while she was drawing on her big easel dry erase board. She was sitting there drawing and singing, I transcribed what she sang…

“Whoever don’t believe I want them to know that God is with them always
He’s here to protect us and to be with us everyday
He’s here to help us, he’s here to love us
He knows that He made everything
He know that humans are nice
But some of the person do not believe, do not believe
And that’s not fine with me
They have to know that God is around
They have to know that God is around

He wants us to be His sheep
He wants us to be a glory to God
He wants us to be a love for others
And if you do believe Oh Oh if you do believe
If you know that God is here
He knows that we’re with Him
And we know that He’s with us
And if you do know that you get it
He is the most powerfulest in the world

You got to believe that He is possible
If you don’t believe that’s not fine with me
Whenever He’s coming to help one another
He’s gonna come and help us everyday
He wants to know how much we love Him
He wants to love us so much today”

I do not “push” what I believe on her. I tell her what the Bible says and what Jesus did and I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict her and she will have faith in Him and a personal relationship with Him that backs up all that she sings and prays about now. I’m thankful God let’s her heart be open to the gospel and she is able to speak and sing about Him AND love her daddy and come to understand there are believers and non believers. Just as I am sensitive to how others speak about “them” (non believers) I pray she also will be able to shed light and love into the world, with compassion and grace, not condemnation and judgment. And pray. Oh let her be a prayer warrior for the lost!

It’s been a sweet week with this little arrow of mine. Thank you for letting me share how she is a daily encouragement and gift as she lives with compassion, sensitivity, and boldness.

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.” Psalms‬ ‭127:4‬ ‭NASB‬‬

 

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Boone

Today is my husband’s birthday. His presence in this world is a gift to me. I wanted to honor him today because I do not do it nearly enough. He will be the first to say it’s not needed, and that is just one of the hundreds of ways he amazes me. So many of the traits and qualities he has show humility and putting others first.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;” Philippians‬ ‭2:3‬ ‭NASB‬.

My husband doesn’t believe in the Bible, yet he acts out and lives out what scripture says in many ways. That is a grace gift from God. God’s common grace poured out onto my husband. I believe my husband was made in the image of God and that truth doesn’t require him to believe in the God that created him. He bears his image because he is His! He is loved by God just as I am. Just as we all are. I pray that one day these many attributes my husband displays will truly be reflections of the Light of Christ in him. He is not going to want any of this recognition but I write about my life and what God is teaching me and this man is a big part of that and I believe it is okay to publicly show appreciation to him and thank God for him today.

Back to this sweet man and the many ways he loves me and our girls so well. We are in an unequally yoked marriage. But my husband didn’t bail. He didn’t say “okay that’s enough you crazy holy roller, I’m out”. He doesn’t try to change my views. He engages me in conversation to try to help me see what he believes and asks me to ponder, research, and consider but he doesn’t do that in a way that is a detriment to our relationship. He supports me and my beliefs in many different ways because he loves me. He loves every part of me. Even the part he doesn’t understand or agree with. That is commitment. That is unconditional love. He came to my baptism and  he gifted me with a cross necklace that day. He has gotten to know my “church” friends and continues to be open to meeting them and being around them. He has even become friends with some of them and serves them and gives his time to them when a need arises. When we first started dating I remember one thing I noticed about him was that he wasn’t just kind to me, he was kind to my friends and family as well. That continues to this day. On random Saturday mornings he will go to Kristy Kreme with SG and get a few 6 packs of donuts and deliver them to various homes. Some of the people he delivers them to are my friends from church. He loves “my people” as he calls them because he loves me! It brings tears to my eyes just typing that.

He works so hard. His work ethic is strong and he enjoys his labor throughout the day. He feels the need to provide for his family and does that beyond what is required. He is passionate about his work and that drives him to be involved in so many areas and parts of his work community. He wants to contribute and do above and beyond what he is asked for the betterment of his colleagues and students and community. Valentines of 2016 he gave me an amazing gift. Even though he doesn’t completely understand I think, my desire to stay home with my children full time, he came to a place where he wanted to honor me and let me stay home. I was staying home with them during the day but was working nights and weekends. He saw the value of me being home at night and on the weekend and what working those hours was doing to me physically. So he made a way for me to stay home full time. Which meant he worked more. He picked up extra classes and continues to work diligently for his family. On top of that, he shows me grace when I haven’t always done my best to help keep us on a tight budget to help with this transition. The Lord is working on that in me, showing me ways I can help him out more and honor this gift he has given me.

He is compassionate and wants to see the viewpoint of others even if he doesn’t agree or understand. He has opened my eyes to areas I have been judgmental and haven’t seen things from others’ viewpoints. He is passionate about social injustices that have happened in our history and continue to affect and shape our view today. He has pushed himself to see that his status and privilege in life isn’t the reality for everyone. He continues to learn and educate and support the efforts to make available opportunities for everyone.

He loves our girls. So perfectly. He is calm with them. He plays and make them laugh and laugh. Daddy is the fun one. He is protective of them. And I know he will love them in the same way he does me in regards to whatever their beliefs become. Our oldest already has conversations with her daddy about his views on God and he is patient and understanding and doesn’t take offense or get frustrated. He pushes her and questions her but in a way that gets her to think, not trying to sway her one way or another. He loved our youngest MK from the moment he set eyes on her and never sees her as his “adopted” daughter. He never tells anyone that part of her story unless it comes up naturally or is someone that was there with us from the beginning. There are several events in the community that reach out to and support parents licensed with our local DSS, one of them is a baseball day. We went this past year with some friends but when we were told to go to the booth and get a free gift that was for all foster/adoptive families he declined. He said we don’t receive “prizes” for having our oldest daughter so he doesn’t want to be rewarded for having MK as a daughter just because she is adopted. He knows she is his daughter, not for praise or special treatment, but his prize is his beautiful child that shares his birthday. I believe support and help is absolutely okay in the foster/adoptive community but I do love my husband’s view on the issue and appreciate his love for her that transcends how she physically came to be with us. His heart continues to be opened to future adoptions, seeing the need, and putting aside selfishness. Again our reasons come from two different starting points but I am so thankful he shares in (and sometimes is even more open to it!) my desire to take care of orphans.

My husband has to live with three women. Enough said right?? On top of that I have a worldview different from his. On top of that I struggle with control and not keeping my mouth shut enough. On top of that I write about our life and share it with others and minister to other women in unequally yoked marriages. On top of that I am very involved with my church and have bible studies I’m in and Lifegroup and other ways I serve. On top of that, I messed up in a lot of ways in the beginning of our marriage before I was saved. Through all of it he forgives me, loves me, supports me, encourages me, showers me, makes me feel adored, grows with me, is dedicated to me, challenges me, and demonstrates love as an action not just a word. I am amazed and blessed and cannot believe he is the husband I get. Some of you reading this know him and love him for his tie-dye and Boone Dip and silly words, and Clemson orange pride, and his crazy math tricks, and his generosity and his Jagerbombs and his happy head-butts, and his bald head, and his musical talents on the drums and his karaoke skills. Others of you only know him because you know me and you know about our situation and marriage because of what I write and you know how much he loves me and how much our marriage is a testament to restoration and redemption and a sovereign God with a sovereign plan. All of you I hope will celebrate this man with me today and thank God for who he is in my life. Besides my salvation, he is the greatest gift in my life. You are loved Mr. Boone and I am so privileged to be your bride. Happy Birthday!