Ebb and Flow

Growth in a child is something to not only be praised, but remembered.  I share this out of my own shortcomings and the conviction of things that really matter.  I have had many trying moments with my children lately.  Sometimes during the day, some at bedtime, some in the night, and that's how our story has been going lately.  Now in spite of my trying moments, I have also had moments of great fun with my children.  We have laughed, cuddled, played and worked together in deep, rich ways that are rewarding.  
I think there is constant ebb and flow in the life of 'family.'  The tide comes in and the moment is full of fun, laughter and lots of splashing....unless of course you had just built the most amazing sandcastle and the tide just ruined your masterpiece...and then?  The tide goes out and there are two perspectives there too.  We can be crushed by the water going down or we can rejoice in the treasures we can now discover along the shoreline.  
This week in the Hovey household, the water has gone up and come down, and in it all I have been reminded of the song that came out during our survey trip..."Floodplain" by Sara Groves.  It talks very simply about the idea that "some hearts are built on a 'floodplain.'" I remember resonating with the song because I thought life in PNG seemed like life lived on a floodplain.  From a worldly perspective we are foolish.  A 'flood' (drought, famine, violence, earthquakes, etc) can come at any time and we are placing ourselves near it.  However, what if we don't?  There are precious souls who have no choice but to remain here and we can either look on passively or we can be moved to take action.  Yes, there is a cost involved.  We MAY "lose" our earthly belongings BUT we also carry eternal hope in Jesus Christ that can lead people into eternity with HIM!  The weight is so little when compared to the gain!!!  "While outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day".... (2 Cor. 4:16)
And so?  My mind comes back to our littles.  It's dangerous business to embark on the endeavor of family.  There are many different perspectives on what to do and how to parent, but at the end of the day?  It was something God called us to do and we will have ebb and flow as with ANY family.  
I am reminded of one simple verse in Luke 2:51. 
"And he [Jesus] went down with them [his parents] and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.  And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart."
Now it is easy to think that because Jesus never sinned that He would be easy to parent.  This story in Luke 2 shows a different reality.  Mary and Joseph (Jesus' earthly parents) lost Jesus!  They were besides themselves and searching for him in distress.    They even asked him "why have you treated us so?" And Jesus gave them an answer that they did not understand.  Parenting a 'perfect' kid would not have been easy in that moment.  However, verse 51 brings it home and conveys that in spite of it all, Jesus was submissive and Mary's response?  She TREASURED the memory.  
What I gather from this account is that a mother has a special role in remembering and storing things up in her mind and heart about her children and her family.  Memories will prove to be invaluable someday when I no longer have children in the house or when someday a young mom might ask me to share my experience.  
Please pray for us as parents!  We need Jesus and the gospel to infiltrate not just into our 'work' but into our family....we want His light to permeate and shed light on every dark corner and cranny inside of US.  Pray for wisdom and strength, unity and conviction, gentleness and whatever else the Lord may lay on your heat to pray.  We need it all! But mostly?  We need more of Him in OUR lives.  Pray for humility and teachable spirits...and may God bless you abundantly for standing in the gap for us!
The family all sitting...a rare occasion
They are not sure why parenting is hard work....
We had some friends visit this last week from our home church!  Clinton was able to help Brian on the long list of projects and things that need to be fixed.
Bobbi was able to help Phyllis out greatly and spend some quality time with the kids.  They were both a Huge blessing to us!


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