We have been trying to instill in our children the importance of being a family.  "What does a family do?" asked one of my children.  
"We are a family," I started.
We work together. 
We play together.
We live together.
We serve together.
As parents, Brian and I want to teach our children that they are a vital part of what we are doing.  I (Phyllis) would be the first to confess that I don't always do a great job at that.  However, it's something I (we) are aiming towards.
At this juncture, sometimes it's easier to do the dishes myself rather than contend with water all over the the counter and floor when Gunner and/or Moriah decide they would like to help.  However, I have been convicted to change my attitude and encourage them that we 'work together' because in light of eternity, water on the floor is not a big thing.  God has intentionally placed me and EACH one of my family members together here in PNG to serve Him how we can to bring honor and glory to His Name.
This last week, we took a couple days away as a family to 'play together.'  We were able to go to a guest house of a fellow mission where we went swimming and for walks, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs over a fire, and just hung out.  While there were certain challenges, it was nice to get away together.
Inevitably, there are challenges and conflict when families 'live together.'  However, it gives us a chance to experience reconciliation and redemption afresh if we are willing to exercise patience, self control, forgiveness and love towards one another.  Today, I blew it.  I got frustrated and irritated when my kiddos didn't 'live together' how I wanted them to.  However, I took time to apologize and seek forgiveness because rather than explain my frustration with things not going my way, I just got grumpy with everyone.
Recently, at church, Gunner tried to help put up our pop up canopy and got his fingers pinched.  I was watching him and saw him struggling but couldn't figure out why when he let out a yelp and quickly let go.  At first, I felt bad for letting him try to help because he got hurt.  However, upon reflection, I was proud of him for trying and thought MY attitude could either make or break the learning opportunity.  We 'serve together!'  If I let the pain dictate if he tried again or not, I would be teaching him to fear those things that cause pain rather than press in and learn from what caused the pain. Jesus, too, learned through what He suffered (Heb. 5:8).  Pain does not mean to quit, it means we have an opportunity to learn.  We 'serve together' on good AND bad days!

Gunner working together....

....with Moriah right beside him!

Awaiting the launch to 'play together' and.....

.....he made it!

So did Moriah!

Getting ready to head out the door for church...where we 'serve together.'  Don’t worry, the beaver hat only comes on special occasions....😉