Friday, April 8

Grace and Holiness

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We walked again last evening, quickly casting aside the pavement in preference for long strides in the woods and then the fields, summer barbs and weeds matted down from our long, heavy winter. 100_1218


Some days, for brief moments at least, I waver under the enormity of raising six children, of continually having shoulder to plow, nudging their hearts toward grace and their own faith in Christ. 100_1240


I want to protect them, keep them one step ahead of the doubters who chew apart faith in Christ, spit out what they don't like and cud it into something unrecognizable. 100_1217


And so we talk a lot about faith and doubts and how we can know the Bible is true and different beliefs about God. Home should be a safe place for big questions and nurturing ground for real faith 100_1216


Our kids are great people. 100_1215


Each of them has big personality in their own unique way and I love that. God works wonders in the genetic code of a man and woman, producing such variety and beauty. 100_1209


Every morning, before my feet slide out from beneath the covers, my heart cries for God wrought wisdom for the day because the enormity of raising even just one child is huge. What I feel is real - I can't be the perfect mother or have all the perfect answers. None of us can. There is a lot that the Holy Spirit will mend where I mistake, wisdom our children will need to learn through the pages of life, and, ultimately - I am not the best resource for all their questions. The Bible is. 100_1229


God gave us his words because he knew the whims of humanity, I think. When you have 2-3 billion people who identify themselves as Christians praying and saying what they think God is saying or who God is or what God thinks about a social issue and blogging about it all or preaching it from a platform or handing it out in book form, well, I think it was pretty brilliant of God to make a reference book so we can see if those things all line up with Him. With who He is, His character, His words of life.


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We were talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls yesterday with the kiddos and the wonder that an object found in recent times but yet so ancient could so perfectly match the Bible we read today, how the scribes who spent their lives transcribing the words of God would burn an entire parchment for a single, seemingly inconsequential error in order to keep an unquestionable record. 100_1200


I want our children to know too, that God is not flat. He's not just grace and pat us on the back, no consequences for shooting while holding up the white grace flag, and how we live does matter because God's is just. I want to convey to them the multi-faceted face of God. We want our children to know the beauty of grace but not at the expense of a life poured out without purpose for pleasure with grace as a coverall. Neither is He all judgement or law. There is more freedom and freeness to *do* and to *be* in Christ than there is thou shalt nots. 100_1195


Teaching good things to our children, pursing goodness in life, holiness even, striving to be like Him, teach Him, know Him - is not a reprehensible attempt at self-righteousness. Let us encourage you. Providing your children with a Christ centered education is a good thing. Contemplating adding to your family is a beautiful thing. Children are a blessing. They refine you as a mama and give you opportunity to understand grace and complete reliance on Christ. Adoption is a beautiful thing. Fostering is a beautiful (and hard) thing. We need not fear good things or wonder if they will be swept away in a pile of attempts at self-righteousness. When love is the motivation and you are extending the love of God, whether in your own family or to others, this is good! The balance is never all grace or all holiness but an acceptance of the two. It's late and my battery is running low so here is a linky to an expository on grace and holiness, a beautiful life combination for Christians to seek.

7 comments:

Sally said...

Sigh...after reading this, that is all I can get out. I can tell that you have been thinking and trying to understand and right the ship and just "get it out."
Have you ever had a moment when you knew that God was using someone as a vessel, to pour His understanding all over you? These days (shoot. who am i kidding? these months and months!) I have been trying to move from Survival mode to Thriving mode. It's such a challenge, a task, a battle even. But you stated EXACTLY those things I needed to hear about my role as a mother, a partner in parenting our 4 children. I am reading Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, and you echo so much of what she says.
Again, thank you thank you thank you!

Allison said...

This is a beautiful and encouraging post, Hannah. Thank you for sharing your heart and His wisdom.

Blessings,
Allison (homeschool mom of 4)

Mrs.Rabe said...

Amen!

Don't be discouraged by those who would nay say. Keep looking to Him - He has called you and is leading you on the path He has for your family!

Enjoy the journey, it can be lonely at times but oh so worth it!

Deanna

Jamerrill Stewart said...

Amen, sister, amen :-) Love the frosty field pictures too. Yes we shoulder a burden and a blessing too. Our father is creative.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your pictures and your thoughts. I think you are doing a wonderful job raising your precious family. There will always be those who think they know best and don't understand, but there is ONE who does know best and understands and plans all...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.. as in all your posts.. I have to say one thing about your blog that I have not found with others blogs.. ( and believe me I have read alot)
This is what you believe.. and this is what you want to do with your family and your life.. But you are not critical of others that may not agree.. That is one of the things that has put me off with some "chistians". That if you do not follow their direct path you are not worthy..I have found the same from some home schooling blogs and people, that since we are not home schooling parents, we are thougth of as non caring parents. ( I have gotten this from family members.)
The realness that you convey, that you know your house may not look perfect. That you have encountered friction from friends and family. Your honesty and openness is wonderful.
I don't mean to "worship" your blog.But I have to honestly say that your insight has brought me back to my faith and the Lord that I have strayed from in the past. With the simple way you have of speaking and convaying your family and life on your blog has been a wonderful experience. It has opened my eyes to a different ways of raising my children.
Thank you.
Sue in NJ

Prairie Chick said...

I love this post so much. I wish you were my neighbour. My view is the same, both out my window, with the six kids around my skirts, and the thoughts that run through my mind. I am always warmed and blessed by my visits here, and the testimony in the last comment praises your beauty as His vessel so aptly.