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I can do all things…

Every good parent wants their kids to grow up to be the best they can be. To contribute positively to society. To make a difference in this world. To stay out of trouble and away from the wrong crowd. To be self-sufficient. And of course we want them to have our value system and political views, along with them liking our interests and hobbies (like Star Trek, Baskin Robbins, & Pepsi of course). We teach, train, mold, shape, guide, love, discipline, and correct them, along with a hundred other things. Years and years of parenting. We will pray and read the bible (if we’re wise). We’ll read so many resources on parenting like books, blogs, articles, and websites. We talk to other parents, young and old, to get their opinions, their techniques, and parenting styles. Some parents will even give us their opinion even when we don’t ask for it! We would do almost anything for our children to turn out okay.

Well, at the Easter Church Service this year (read my post “My Easter Lesson“) the kids were in service with us. Matthew said he wanted to fill out the connection (attendance) card. I said okay. Then I suggested he write a prayer request on the back of the card. He said okay. When he was done, I read It. I was taken aback. I was speechless. I was humbled and proud at the same time. I thought maybe, just maybe he’s getting it. Getting the most important thing in this world: God. Because with God, all things are possible. Matthew prayed “Dear God, I pray for all the people who can’t go to church.” Wow. What a powerful prayer from a 7-year-old. Did you get what he said? ALL the people who can’t go to church. Only God can help with that. That’s a tall order. How would God help? One of His biggest ways is by using other people to invite, give rides, and be a witness. Maybe Matthew will have a heart to serve in that capacity as he grows up. I can’t wait to see.

Parenting is so challenging. There is so much pressure that goes with the territory. The constant battle of what God says, what the culture says, what we were taught growing up, and what our feelings are telling us. It wears you down. There are days when I don’t know if I can do it anymore. Days when I have no idea what I’m doing. And most days I’m not trying to teach my children anything intentional or on purpose. I’m just trying to make it through the day. But they’re always watching me. So I will continue to pray for my children, to read, study, learn, grow myself, watch my attitude, integrity, and character, teaching them our value system, and helping them find out who they are and what they’re meant to do in this world. Then I’ll pray some more and ask for God’s grace and that He’ll fix all the pieces that I’m going to mess up or put in the wrong order. But with God, all things are possible!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

Thanks to the PicTapGo app for the picture filter!  https://itun.es/us/vBX4I.i

Thanks to the PicTapGo app for the picture filter!

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  • Holly

    Your story touches my heart! Matthew is such a loving little boy! This is my favorite verse:)

  • Candace Watkins

    Truly amazing 🙂 I’m so proud of you and clarissa, you guys are awesome parents and I can see it already in your kids!!! I’m so thankful I have you guys in my life, your everyday example is so inspiring. 🙂 good job and thank you!!!

    • Thanks Candace. That’s nice of you to say. We’re trying! Day-by-day. 🙂

  • Dan Hust

    Good insights Mark. You( & Clarissa) have come a long way since tha arrival of Matthew. There is so much more to come. (-:

    • Thanks Dad. We’re trying. And I can’t wait to see what’s to come!!!