Friday, November 2, 2012

Gratitude Day 2: Godly Heritage

I am raising eight children with my husband.  Eight children who each have their individual weaknesses and struggles.  I am trying to teach them God's Word, and trying to strengthen both their faith in God and their walk with God.  Sometimes this can be discouraging. I can allow myself to focus on the negatives, the immaturity, the sinful choices they make, and feel as if I'm not making any progress with them.  Then I am reminded of two things.  First, it is God's role to draw them to Him and I am not their Holy Spirit.  Second, I have godly parents and grandparents praying for Steve and I, and each of our children on a daily basis.

Every time I receive a note from my grandparents telling me that they pray for us, I treasure it.  I am so thankful for their faithful walk with God for so many years.  My grandfather was a Free Methodist pastor, and he has such a contagious joy and love for God.  My grandmother is more quiet than my grandfather, but she is the epitome of faith through difficulties as well as a faithful servant. Even after they retired from full-time ministry, they continued to minister in their new church family as Sunday School teachers.  I love them both so much, and I am deeply touched to know that they are praying for my family.  I don't take that for granted the way I used to.  Their health is getting worse, and I know they won't always be there praying for me, but I'm so thankful for the legacy of faith they've given our family.  Some of their children walked away from God for awhile, but they kept praying for them and most of them returned to their faith in God.

I think it was a year ago that my mother told me she and my Dad pray for their kids and grandkids every single night before bed.  Again, I was so touched and thankful to know that they are praying for me, and for my children.  I'm thankful that they raised my sisters and I in the church, and that they always pointed us back to God when we were struggling.  They weren't perfect parents, just as Steve and I aren't perfect parents, but as I was growing up, I always knew they loved each other, loved us kids, and loved God.  They taught us by example to be actively involved in ministry and to reach out to those around us.  Their faithfulness in always finding a church family as the military moved us around helped me learn the love of God's people ... and how important it is to have a church family.  Through all our moves, I always knew God was with me, my family was with me, and that God's family was everywhere.  I always had 3 "safe places" ... God, my family, and my church.  We've been blessed as adults to continue to find loving church families to welcome us as we serve God together.

So as Steve and I work together to try point our children to God, I am thankful for the godly legacy my parents and grandparents have given me.  I'm thankful for their continued faithful prayers for our family.  I'm challenged to be as faithful in my own prayers for my husband, my children, and those we know who need God.

If you'd like to participate in the Gratitude Challenge, just click the button at the top and join in.

April E.

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