Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Best Anniversary Gift I Ever Received

After courting for three years, including surviving a year-long long distance relationship between Maine and Okinawa, I married my best friend. That was nineteen years ago! I can hardly believe its been nineteen years!

Two and half years into our marriage we welcomed our first child, a son.

Two years later we were blessed with another child, another son!

These two boys have become my driving force to my life's purpose in raising them up to be men of God, strong, and of good character. Phew! It's not easy! The tempers can flare (mine more often than theirs). I fitfully surrendered my plans for my life and dug in deep to God's promises for my kids. I took them home and began homeschooling them. You can read more about that here.

These two boys it seems have always been together!

And we have welcomed four more children since these first two boys joined our family!

My three boys!

Then we were blessed with our first daughter!

And a second daughter!

And a fourth son!

But back to my big boys and the reason for this post!

They are not so little any more.
My time at home homeschooling them is almost over.
They are growing up!
The oldest has his license now and drives himself and his brother to their JROTC class two days a week.

In this class they learn wonderful things about our country, good citizenship, reaching out to our Veterans, and the value of community service. They write speeches and essays on the military. They wear uniforms and learn to appreciate all our military does to protect our freedoms.

And occasionally, they get to go out to lunch. They are homeschooled so they are free to leave school after their class and grab a sandwich and return later in the day for outside activities. They bring their homeschool work I have sent along with them to do.
If you've ever heard the saying that "having children is to have your heart go walking around OUTSIDE your body", well, I have never felt this to be more true than now. These boys are my world, and yet they are not mine. They are God's. But the best anniversary gift I could have ever received was when they came home last night after their whirlwind of an activity filled day and told me that the lady at the sandwich shop where they were getting their lunch said to them, 
"School's out for the day already?"
"No, we're homeschooled." they replied.
She then went on to ask if they had other siblings and if they too were homeschooled.
They told her.
Then my son told me that the lady said to be sure and tell me...

"that I was doing a good job and I should keep up the good work"!

The best gift I could have ever received on my 19th  anniversary, was some simple, kind words from a stranger who saw a good work being completed in my children. And I am in awe, and give God all the glory! For it is by His grace I have been saved and by faith I continue this race to run it well and complete the task the Lord has set before me. A little bit of encouragement goes a looong way. The Lord encouraged me today through the very blessings I am working so hard at home to raise! I will continue to roll up my sleeves, die to self, and get to work. To not just be a hearer, but a doer for God's Kingdom. For I have at LEAST nineteen more years to go!

Do you have some simple, kind words for a weary mom today? Don't hold back. You words just might be exactly what she needs to hear to carry her for a very long time!

"The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry" Proverbs 25:11

I can't wait to share how this verse ties into my life right now!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversary, Jen and Mike! You have a beautiful family, and a beautiful heart. I've really enjoyed the reading the blessings that you shared in this post. You are doing a wonderful work as you serve your family and Christ! And my, how handsome those young men of yours look in their uniforms. I'm glad they were able to encourage you with the words from that lady who noticed what remarkable guys they are.