God’s Grace for Parents

Yesterday I spent two hours on the phone with my mother in law. After comparing out childhoods and that of my husbands we came to the conclusion they weren’t “normal.” I then began to think, “I want to raise ‘normal’ kids. I want them to have balance between a fun and responsible childhood. How can I do that?” Then God reminded me of His grace.

One person who shows us God’s grace is Jesse. Jesse had eight sons. I’m sure he did his best will all of them; after all he raised strong men some of which served in the kings army. Samuel, the high priest, shows up at Jesse’s house and tells him he is there to find the next king. He than asks to see his sons. Jesse shows him the first seven.
1 Samuel 16:10-11 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 
I don’t think Jesse loved David any less than he did his other boys, he just did not consider him when the chance to be king was on the table. Jesse raised David as a shepherd. I imagine had he known David would be king he would have made different choices, but that’s where God’s grace comes in.
God did not need Jesse to train David on kingship. God was going to train him. If you continue reading 1 Samuel you will see God used life to teach David wisdom, resourcefulness and most importantly to trust him; but he did all this in the wilderness. Jesse, having taught David to be a shepherd, equip him to survive the wilderness. 
Due to his shepherd training David was able to defeat Goliath, he was able to lead and he was able to protect. God used Jesse to lay that foundation. 
When Samuel sees David and anoints him king, I imagine Jesse questioning David’s upbringing. This story, however, gives me peace because I know despite my children’s purpose, my responsibility is to do my best to lay a foundation, that God will use life experience, to build upon. 
Daddy, 
Thank you for the foundations that you are building through us in the lives of our children. Help us to read your word and to seek after your heart concerning your plans for them. Thank you for trusting us with such precious souls and help us to guide, instruct, and train them in your way. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Blanket of Love

When we moved into our apartment in AZ I was pregnant with KJ. The apartment manager went home and told her mother in law. This was in August. By October I had this beautiful blanket (pictured below). December 31, 2012 the apartment manager lost her husband. She explained to me, he had been sick a long time and their family expected him to go at anytime. So when I see my son wrapped in this blanket I’m reminded that as a woman was watching her sons life slip away, she was making something for my son as his life was being developed.

The apartment manager and her mother in law moved closer to family and I will probably never see the apartment manager again or meet her mother in law but I’m so grateful that God used her to bless me. I call this a random act of kindness from God, and I call the blanket a blanket of love.