"To be...rather than to appear to be." This happens to be the state motto of North Carolina, but although I lived there for more than 10 years, I don't remember hearing this phrase until reading through a John Eldredge book several years ago. Since that time, whenever I'm fortunate enough to remember it, I'm reminded and challenged to ACTUALLY BE WHAT I PORTRAY MYSELF TO BE. And I need to be reminded and challenged...on the days my c0-workers get my best throughout the day and my family gets what's left over (or even my worst) when I get home...because it's easier to ignore Colossians 3:19, 21 (and many other parts of God's Word) at home than in public...as I'm not particularly comfortable thinking about the future without knowing exactly what's ahead (even though I claim to and desire to trust the One who does).
As is the case with so many other things right now, I'm thinking about this phrase in light of our recent adoption. Are we simply doing things to make our home run more smoothly, or are we really growing together as a family? Are we focusing on discipline for the sake of making things easier in our home, or are we consistently keeping an eye on the goal of helping our kids become what God wants them to be? Are we doing all we can to give each of our kids the time and attention s/he needs, or are we looking for shortcuts which hopefully (but not certainly) won't cause too many issues down the road? Are we simply discussing how quickly time is flying and our kids are growing up, or are we living each day with that paradigm, trying to make each day count?
Lofty goals and genuine desires that sound (and are) great but sometimes lack what's needed to back them up: our actions (or perhaps I should say "my" and not "our", since I think my wife's much better in these areas than me). Lots of questions I need to consider and lots of reminders I need God to provide (and to which I need to respond).
A good week this week...we had Silas' Lego birthday party yesterday (his birthday is Feb. 14, but that was right after we returned from Africa) and a good time was had by all. Josiah had some sickness earlier in the week but is now doing well...Silas seems to have caught something (I'm home from church with him this morning...its almost noon and he's still asleep). Samuel and Savanna are still learning more words and phrases, trying new things (yesterday we had Icee's at Sam's), and melting our hearts when we put them in bed, they ask us to lie down with them, and then they sing us "Yes, Jesus loves me" and "Things are Getting Better".
Before closing, I'll share a link to a blog post Shelly came across last night...while I can't even pretend that I actually operate with the author's mindset as consistently as I'd like to, I can certainly identify with some of the hopes and goals that she has...hope you enjoy it.