Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fifteen Years!!!

Fifteen years ago, I married 'the one whom my soul loves'! Today, my soul loves him more than ever. Everyday I am thankful that my Heavenly Father is gracious enough that He gave me a hubby who "fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments." (from Psalm 112:1 NASB)

How could we have known fifteen years ago today how much our Heavenly Father would "enlarge the place of our tent, stretch our tent curtains wide, not hold back; lengthen our cords, strengthen our stakes" (paraphrased from Isaiah 54:2 NIV) in all areas of our lives --- not only by blessing us with a great marriage and two wonderful children; but also by graciously enlarging our capacity to serve Him in ways that we couldn't have imagined ourselves; stretching and molding us into the family that He designed us to be!

It is with a humble and grateful heart that I look back at these fifteen years --- seeing God's great faithfulness, His goodness and His abounding grace; His guiding hand and His loving discipline in our lives; He truly never lets go!!! Thank you God!

"But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
--- Joshua 24:15 NLT

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thoughts About June...

Is it really June already?!? This year is just zooming by... I heard someone say that when time seems to just fly by, it's a sign that one is getting older. Oh-oh... not a nice thought on this day, my birthday!!!

Anyway, I'm staring at my calendar for June this morning and it is making my head spin! Would you believe that in our immediate family alone, there are 3 anniversaries and 6 birthdays all in the month of June!!! We will also be celebrating my newest nephew's first month, plus my parents are in town visiting. Plus, there's a graduation... the regional track and field finals... end-of-school field trips... church-related activities and events... and, can't forget life in general! :-)

Speaking of life in general and decisions that have to be made in June... we have another intellectually gifted child in our house! As I have said before, I don't particularly like how the term, intellectually gifted, sounds and what it implies (or not!) but it is what the school board uses to identify (another term I don't quite warm up to!) children who are eligible to attend the full-time gifted programme.

As with our daughter, we are now faced with the decision of whether or not to send our son to the full-time gifted programme or to keep him at the home school. Having gone through this process once already, you would think that it will be less agonizing the second time around... but it's not! Each child is unique and so is each decision.

Although we have come to the same decision as before, and that is to stay at the home school, the thought process certainly wasn't the same as both test results are vastly different; both children have different strengths and different weaknesses. One very strong reason for this decision was the same though... and, it is rooted deeply in the things of God!

Allow me to elaborate...

I've recently read the book Raising Kids For True Greatness by Dr. Tim Kimmel. One chapter in particular sums up my thoughts quite nicely so I will just quote from it:

Many parents are so busy preparing their children for success that they miss the chance to equip them to do something truly extraordinary. According to most parents, a child's success starts with a good education. So they become preoccupied with their child's grades, class placement, cumulative GPA, and SAT scores. They make this a high priority because they think that a good education is the best way for their children to obtain a prestigious career. Well paid, well supplied, well known, and well received - these are the standard characteristics of a successful life.

According to Jesus, if we want our kids to be truly great, we must first teach them to be servants. God has much bigger and better plans for our children than merely indulging them. He has called our children to a much higher set of goals than what this world has to offer. He can create a far more "successful" future - even a forever future - than the best-laid human plans ever could.

True greatness is the only legitimate choice when it comes to preparing your kids for their adult lives. As C.S. Lewis wisely pointed out, "Aim at heaven, and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you will get neither." God wants to give your children a life that can't be measured by space or confined by time. And guess what? If you give your kids the gift of true greatness, God will often throw in earthly success... for free.

In short, we feel that having our children stay at the home school provides them with the balance that aims them towards a life of true greatness, not success. It gives them more opportunities in which to use their gifts to pour into our community and its people, to give themselves away, to effect change, to do something beyond them, to work for a much bigger and better reason than those of their own selfish ones.

May God grant hubby and I more wisdom as we parent these two wonderful gifts that God has so wonderfully entrusted to us!