Monday, October 5

Boundaries and peace

These unique children are such a blessing to my life. Yesterday Aiden was helping me paint and, seizing the opportunity to praise him for being a diligent worker, I told him that if he likes to paint, as he gets older he can earn money by painting for other people.

He is meticulous in whatever work he does and I love that. He looks up at me with his little blond head shaking and says, "No, Mama. I'm gonna be a farmer. Because when I pray, I know that's what God wants me to be."

This is the innocence I want to protect as long as possible. Simple faith of a five year old farmer. This is why our family has boundaries.

Contemplating the unpopularity but amazing peace that has come this past year because of boundaries set in place to protect our home and family, I've resigned that I won't be the peacemaker at the cost of truth. With that comes the peace, rushing, following, settling in my soul. In struggling to maintain integrity in a gritty situation (so hard because I am oh, so sinful), biting my tongue and not speaking out in my own defense, asking forgiveness and holding.

As we talked, I told a sweet friend that I often regret that I didn't come with a big happy family to share with my children.

Later, I realized that they only know what they experience and we do family BIG. We do birthday's BIG. Not with gifts or parties but with the celebration of their lives. We do love in a BIG way. We do fun and adventure BIG. We do time together BIG and Sean and I rejoice to see the heritage we didn't think we had to share, our kids are being blessed with.

The kiddos already talk about coming over to our house when they are all grown for brunch with blueberry pancakes, or so this someday Grandma can babysit and give raspberries to grand babies, or so farmer boy can bring me some milk from his farm.

This, I love. Even my little wanna-be missionary knows that wherever the world takes her, there will always be a room and a cozy bed with a quilt on it waiting just for her.

I have them so briefly, I am realizing. Can I really spend the time worrying about critiques of my parenting, my faith, my boundaries?

My children wrap their arms around me and we pray. We spend family days. Beautiful family days. Grandpa telling stories around the bonfire of when he was a little boy, tracking deer, picking apples, picnics overlooking the lake, and listening to owls hoot at night at the cabin. We build truth into their hearts, value for one another, respect for God's written Word, prayers for those who hurt us and prayers for peace. A little of what the whole world needs, right?


Jen said...

Your pictures are AMAZING!!! maybe you could do a post about how you've leanred that? :)

I've been learning about boundries too this past year.... it can be tough-- but I agree with you, it's neccessary! We all have to be true to what we believe the Lords called us to do. Your family is beautiful-- keep it up!

Catherine Anne said...

Beautiful post~ I am right with you when it comes to my family~ What a blessing

Diane said...

Put very eloquently. Beautiful visions for each of your children. :O)

Unknown said...

mmm... I can relate to this post so much. we also MAKE family. The church is by and large that family heritage we desire for our children, the one that biology didn't give us and that the thief stole from us. God is the giver of perfect gifts.

Christi said...

Love this - we've experience some learning about boundaries this past year as well, and learning about the things that really matter, and doing what is right for OUR FAMILY.

Have a great day!

Me said...

Jen, its a digital camera and the fun processing of photoshop, which I love!
I want to make clear that although we don't have big, noisy, happy extended family - we are blessed that the kids have grandparents and great grandparents who love them and take time to sow into their lives. Some of my favorite times are spent sitting at the kitchen table with Sean's Grandma. She's mine. I've adopted her. This is becoming an Annaliese favorite too. Chase recently said "Gamma" for the first time, melting my step-mom's heart. I think she would give him the moon if he asked her. So we are blessed. My kids are blessed. Boundaries to limit dysfunction and pain and being trampled over are all a part of that blessing, I've learned.

Karen G. said...

Hannah, Beautiful pictures and wise words. I also didn't come with a big happy family - although my sister shares a belief in God and that has been a blessing. The church has been our family and, like you, prayer has been a big part of our lives in raising our now grown children and even now as they are away at college. They know that there is always a place here for them too.

Be blessed and continue on doing what God has called you to do!

Annie said...

Boundaries are completely necessary. Love never needs to be reigned in. But interactions, implicit approvals, poor examples, energies spent fruitlessly... All of these things warrant boundaries.

Beautiful, inspiring post. Thanks Hannah.

Meg in Oz said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. This just resonated with me. I must say your photos are beautiful! God bless you & your family.

Anita said...

New to your blog....beautiful pictures and beautiful words. My husband and myself came from dysfunctional families. It takes a lot of effort not to repeat the same mistakes, but the Lord is faithful and we keep trusting.

Andrea said...

Thank you for your beautiful blog. Would you be able to share the type of boundaries you speak of? I had been wondering about your family baptism. Is this part of it? I'm not sure I could enter into baptism apart from our church family. The family we are gifted to have love, nurture and grow our children in faith with us.

Me said...

Anita, thank you for stopping by. I find it encouraging too, when I see/hear families repairing walls and building a heritage for their families!

Andrea, boundaries have nothing at all to do with our children's baptism. We simply did it that way because we believe wanted it special and memorable, that's all. I'm sure if we had asked, our church would have baptized the kiddos for us but there isn't any place in scripture where it says baptism needs to be done in a church or by a minister. As their spiritual covering now, I think Sean was perfectly qualified. :) Our church family is that - family. If we hadn't chosen to baptize them during the work day I am sure friends would have been there.

I'll do a post about putting boundaries in place, ok? Thanks for the prompt.:)


Erika said...

I could not have found this at a better time. We are having some serious problems with extended family, and it is quite discouraging. Thankyou for helping me put my eyes on the formation and growth of our immediate family. I, too, have great hopes and dreams for the future.

Kathryn said...

Just discovered your blog and this post on boundaries spoke to me. 3 years ago we went through a very painful experience with "friends" and learned how vital boundaries are. I love how you've put it to pictures and words the family is such a beautiful thing to protect!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful reflection here. Creating boundaries to protect our family is something I struggle with. I appreciate your example of doing what you know is right even in the face of opposition or perhaps even ridicule from those closest to you.

Me said...

Karen, I love that you have a godly sister! Like you, friends in the church have been family.

Thanks, Annie and Meg for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad to share my peace with you!

Realmomma, hold on to God's truth, love with His love and love on those kiddos!

Thanks, Kathryn and I'm so sorry you had to go through that pain.

Todustyoushallreturn, thank you for taking time to comment. Boundaries are so necessary but hard too, aren't they?