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!
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