Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever just wanted to pinch yourself because things are just good?
After a perfect day with friends out yesterday we all crashed. It was perfect! Yummy food (amazing cobbler w/Cooper Farm Peaches thanks to Lisa), great fun sliding (thanks to both families for bringing a slip & slide), fishing, running & playing, and just good times talking too! It was just a perfect day!
This morning we woke up refreshed and the boys quickly hit the pond with fishing poles in hand. I was given a few quiet moments on the porch reading my Bible, counting my blessings in my gratitude journal, and watching the chickens roam around. It was perfect. So much to be thankful for (here are a few):
0950 – boys fishing on the dock before breakfast
0955 – a sleepy little girl cuddling after waking up late
0959 – yummy cobbler from Lisa
0960 – almost to 1000 and starting again with a group of friends reading Ann’s book this summer
Most of all today I am thankful for a little boy’s heart who has chosen to turn it around. A boy who had me pulling my hair out (or at least turning more of it gray) just a few weeks ago. We had a rough many weeks in fact. Shooting the cat with a BBgun (at close range) throwing another in the pond, shaking the little tree with the bird nest and eggs, just to name a few issues. So I attacked the heart issues. Threw myself into Shepherding a Child’s Heart (again), Our 24 Family Way (Clarkson), listening to a Hive of Busy Bees, reading Tiger and Tom, and just plain talking. Each time we talked though, he would clearly tell me he did not want to obey because he did not want to do hard things. So then we talked over and over about people who HAVE to do hard things or the consequences they face. Mainly talking about stories in the Bible where the people faces harsh consequences – Israelites, Jonah, etc.
It worked. It was/is hard. But it worked. I was really amazed by how hard it is though, how much time it takes. It was breakfast time devotions (consistently), it was talking all day long, it was listening in the car, me reading right before my bedtime, reading stories to them each evening. It was fulltime – this character training. It made me realize that I need to be doing it ALL the time. Not just when we are addressing an issue. ALL THE TIME.
But it has paid off. I can see the fruit already in his sweet spirit. He is so much more obedient and sweet about things. He still has moments he is disobedient but I can see how he responds to correction is even different than it was.
So I just look at that boy and smile. I can see God working in his heart and in his life. I am so thankful for my friends who encouraged me while I walked through this. The reminders of God’s grace, of his goodness, of the value of all that I was doing. I know those reminders are what gave me the courage to stick with it all. And today, we are continuing all those things – the books, the stories, the morning devotions. I have learned! I now know that this is an every day thing, not a reactive thing to problems. The more I invest daily the easier it will be to tackle issues are they come up!!