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Raising two-year olds and teenagers…

Its a good thing God doesn’t let us see the future…If, when i was a carefree sophomore in college, I knew that within 5 years I would be trying to raise teenagers, I would have buried myself in a hole…or moved to Siberia….or continued to wear outfits like i was in the picture and try to land myself in a psych ward before the teenagers managed to do so.  BUT, God doesn’t let us see the future AND He gives us new mercies EACH morning.  such was a morning just two days ago..waking with such a heaviness on my heart and questions like “how do we get THROUGH to these boys???”, “How to we love and show grace, but at the same time show that actions (or lack of actions) have consequences?” After wrestling in the Word, and wrestling in prayer, I just continued on in my day as I let God bear these burdens with me (Psalm 68:19).  I saw God answer my prayer for wisdom later that day when i got to sit down with one of the guys who was giving us problems.  We talk about his God given gifts, the ways the enemy lies to us, the way that David was faithful in the little things which prepared him to defeat Goliath and become king, we had a long prayer time…and it really seemed like it was making sense to him….


Today I spent my precious “nap time hours” (when both kids are asleep) packing up all his stuff and moving it outside. 


Today I had to say goodbye to a kid, who for a year and a half I have poured in to, cooked for, gotten angry at, asked forgiveness of, fallen in love with, prayed for, shared with, tutored, given rides to, made up birthday surprises for, cried out to God for, encouraged, disciplined, and all of those things that a parent ends up doing for a kid. 


Today I got teary eyed as my two-year old exclaimed with excitement as he saw his “buddy” coming home…but for the last time.  


Today I had to discipline in a way that probably hurts me more than it hurt him.


Today I had to trust that God has other means of reaching this kid, trust that seeds planted over the past  year and a half WILL bear fruit, eventually, trust that God would use this discipline to make this kid into the MAN God wants him to be.


Today we kicked one of our boys out of our house.


To truly love, is to open yourself up to true hurt.


Jesus loved us to the point of death, hurting all the way, because we are obstinate and sinful.


Danny and I have chosen to love this kid, to the point of hurting ourselves…because he has been obstinate and sinful


Right now we are clinging to the promises of Hebrews 12:7-11

 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

When Daniel Josiah opened our back door, walked out of our house today all by himself, I spanked him for it.  I wasn’t about to risk it happening again-its too dangerous, too risky -it could lead to injury, to kidnapping, to death.  I love him to much to let him continue in an action that could lead to such dire consequences, an action that is not under the umbrella of my protection.  Danny and I love this teenage boy too much to let him continue in foolish actions that will bring dire consequences, actions that are not under the umbrella of God’s Biblical protection.  To discipline this way is not pleasant at the time, but we are praying, crying out to God, that it WILL produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for this young man.