95. Thoughts from El Paso
I never really enjoy it when I signup for a weekly e-mail and the author tells me all about his personal life. But maybe that’s just me. If you’re like me, you can close this article and wait for the next one (or read “31 Days of Parenting”). If you like that kind of stuff, let me just share a few thoughts and observations from our lives the last couple of months.
- In the last 7 weeks or so we’ve moved to Texas, lived in a two-bedroom apartment for a month with seven kids, worked on a foreclosure, met new neighbors, left for a conference, worked with mission teams, gone into Juarez, Mexico, survived high heat, been next to an unfenced swimming pool and generally lived in a state of disarray and chaos. This has been the most unstructured time our kids have ever experienced. I’m really glad that we’ve invested so much time training our children. They’ve responded beautifully. When the Bible says that godly training produces a harvest of peace it is right. It is such a joy to be around trained children.
- We’ve also been around some not-so-trained children. That is not the least bit peaceful or enjoyable!
- We heard some tragic news about the teenage child of some parents we know. I don’t want to go into the details, but the child’s life is utterly ruined. I am not exaggerating in the least bit. His life is destroyed. In addition, he has hurt many other lives in his sin and rebellion. We are sobered. It is a good reminder to take the training of children seriously. There is so much at stake!
- I’m embarrassed to say that our family devotional time has been almost non-existent. All our routines have been shaken. It is encouraging to see the kids continue to read their Bibles and spend personal time with God. I look forward to returning to our routine, but I’m excited to see the kids continue to seek God outside of our prodding. In fact, they have probably been more consistent than us!
- One of the reasons we wanted to be a part of starting a new church is for our kids. We wanted them to understand that God has called them to a specific purpose in life—to spread His message. When all of life turns upside down because of a choice that you make, the kids understand the weightiness of that choice. There is no confusion about why we are here. We are here to spread the good news of forgiveness found in Christ, and there is no other reason for being here. This move has come at a great cost for everyone who has moved down (25 adults already, 10 more to come!!!) But such sacrifice is worthwhile to impress a life mission into the hearts of our children and into our own hearts as well.