Monday, September 26, 2011

Marriage Monday---Pondering New Life, Treasuring Children

It's Marriage Monday! I'm so glad that autumn is here and we are writing on marriage again.  My apologies that I missed the first one earlier this month.  The topic was communication--and obviously I'm doing a great job communicating right now.  This month's topic is children. Last time we spoke of children here at MM, I wrote on our choice to home educate.  Today, I'm going to veer off the suggested paths and post something I've been writing for the last several weeks.

You may remember that my words for 2011 are PONDER and TREASURE. They are taken from Luke 2:19:
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
We've had much to ponder and treasure this year as we learned early in 2011 we would be moving to Ireland. German began work in March but we were unable to move until the end of June. Settling into a new culture and watching my children navigate these waters have given me many things to treasure, and to ponder.

*Every time Jewel tells me she has finished another book (she is a voracious reader) I treasure that I was the one who had the privilege to teach her to read.
 *As both girls embraced tennis camp this summer, just a week after we moved in, I pondered the differences in the ways they approached making friends---Jewel knew everyone's name but nothing about them; Flower concentrated more on one person.
*As they find their places in Sunday School, I treasure the insights their teachers give me into their personalities outside my presence.
*As Jewel struggles with what it means to follow Christ and encounters that tug-of-war between sin nature and desire to follow I ponder what future God is preparing for her.
*As Flower chatters about the missionary stories that they read with their Daddy, I store up the treasure that these little girls are learning that God leads people and they are learning that in the presence of their father who is teaching them that they are adored.

You see, I thought when I chose the words Ponder and Treasure I was choosing something to help me focus my year. But there is a bigger picture. I am learning that those words need to be the focus of my parenting. I need to treasure my children--wrapping up those moments of joy, of insight and even of difficulty and holding onto them. I need to allow those things that I treasure to penetrate and sit well in my spirit. They then will be the things that motivate and encourage me as a parent. If I don't take the time to ponder the questions they are asking or the experiences they are having, I may very well miss the very thing that God wishes to use to shape them into the adults of the future.

Pondering and treasuring have become a huge part of my evaluation of my parenting. And that would have made them perfect focus words for 2011. But, God had more in store when he chose those words for me at the beginning of the year. And we had no idea!

The true irony is that in January I would have told you I was storing up treasures of our new life this year. But I thought that was only a life in a new place. I never dreamed it would also mean a new life--one that as I sit here and type these words is emphatically kicking to remind me that he/she is most definitely here. Just like Mary, we are storing treasure of the new life that God has given to our family and who will make his/her appearance in a few more weeks!

We have taken time to treasure the blessings that God has given us. Often I have thought about blogging something that happened, but instead felt the need to choose a path of private treasuring for the time. And it has been good for our family. I have treasured watching the girls telling others they are going to be big sisters. I've smiled as they have related how they have prayed "forever" for a baby brother, and quietly helped them ponder the reality it might be a baby sister. We've treasured the joy and excitement of others as they have celebrated with us. Now, as we enter the final few weeks I am beginning to ponder the changes that will come. How do we help them transition to their new roles? What will the new dynamics of relationships be like? Will we still travel with a newborn and do I remember how to do that?

I'm not sure what all the answers are.

But I know that we will be treasuring the changes as we ponder the newness.

What have your children done this week that you are treasuring? It doesn't matter how young or old they are, don't forget to treasure them!

Join the other amazing ladies that write for Marriage Monday at today!


Dawn said...

Blessings from MM! Enjoyed your post...treasuring our children is SO IMPORTANT, you are correct. Sometimes in the march of "every day life" it is easy to forget to cherish them...they ARE such a special gift from the Lord.

Joyfull said...

I enjoyed reading your post and especially your heart words - treasure and ponder. Those are some very important things for parenting. Loved reading about how you put those words into pracitce. Blessings to you!

messy marriage said...

I suppose the topic of your post is similar to mine--although we both come from different life stages. Congrats, by the way!

I'm so glad that you are choosing to treasure these moments so early in your children's lives. The years WILL fly by and then it's only hazy memories. But then there's always the hope of grandchildren, right?! So I thank God for your encouraging words here as well as back at my place - "messy marriage."

Cheri Gregory said...

Miriam --

Your willingness to sit with the questions -- instead of rushing to solutions or demanding answers -- is inspiring!

2011 has been a reflective year for me, too. I began to realize how badly I need time to reflect (to PONDER) and to be fully present (to TREASURE) about a year ago.

The Lord paved the way for me to cut to ½-time teaching this year, and the difference is so striking -- I am relaxed, calm, rested, and cheerful -- that my husband is ready to take me in for a DNA test!

Blessings to you as you welcome a new treasure!

e-Mom said...

Well congratulations MiPa!!!! I'm excited for all the changes you've been pondering and treasuring... especially that brand new life inside you.

I like those two words immensely. I'm like you... I don't blab away about every private thought, feeling and event. I prefer more of a quiet revelling.

I didn't know you had moved to Ireland. Fantastic!

Thanks for joining us once again for Marriage Monday. It's a pleasure to catch up with you.

Blessings, e-Mom ღ

nice A said...

"If I don't take the time to ponder the questions they are asking or the experiences they are having, I may very well miss the very thing that God wishes to use to shape them into the adults of the future." I love this line. Sure, we need to give time to ponder over things our kids are into - their excitements, wishes, accomplishments, frustrations, fears, etc. By doing such, we show that we TREASURE them.

Christine said...

Oooooh! Congratulations on the new one joining your family!!! How exciting!

And I love your words for the year and how the Lord is speaking to you about the many ways they can guide you. Love this post, MiPa! xoxo

Mac an Rothaich said...

I started blogging to help with the treasuring:) I have a private blog for my family and I love to record the littlest things about my kids. It is so healthy. Blessings! Enjoyed your post!

The Narrow Gate Girls said...

A beautiful post. Perspective is another great word to add to your post. You chose a great perspective in all the new. Not everyone would do that, they would choose to be bitter. Blessed by your writing today!

Tami Boesiger said...

Doesn't life ever get in the way of your pondering? I find myself wishing there was more time for it. You suppose that's God's way of saying I'm too busy?

So excited to hear the time of your baby's arrival nears. My prayers for a safe delivery and adjustment to your family. Love you.

Carol said...

Your post is beautiful-- the concept of treasuring and pondering as a new life enters your family.

It is so nice to catch up a little on the happenings in your life. Our middle daughter is 10 years older than our son. He has learned so much from his sisters.

May God richly bless your family.

Loni said...

Just a reminder that you are the hostess next week for IOW! Be sure to let your readers know and share your quote ahead of time! Looking forward to it! :) Loni