Parenting: A Refiner’s Fire

Twenty years from now, what is your desire for your children?  Is it for them to “grow up”, get a degree, have some amazing job?  OR do you desire MORE for your children? We do.  We ask ourselves regularly, “What will this build in them?” or “How will this shape them?”  We desire for our children to grow in Godly character and in deep relationship with God.  We desire for them to know how much they are loved and chosen, so that they will be able to love others more freely.  We make family choices based on these desires.  We plan vacations around them.  We choose topics for homeschooling around them.  We even plan field trips around them.

We, like every parent on earth, are very aware that parenting is a refiner’s fire.  God uses children, as well as many other life circumstances, to teach us where we need to grow.  As our children model our words, actions, emotions, responses, we are held accountable to a higher standard every day!  There is nothing like a child mimicking your attitude to put you in your place with God!!!  Sometimes you don’t even need to be a parent yet-  just an older sibling.

Last month we spent learning about the process of refining metals and making glass.  We learned how metals are purified multiple times to increase their value, how sand is turned into glass, and how we, as Christians, are refined throughout life.

We went to a local artist workshop on making glass.  He was a wonderful host to our family and took time to teach each child the process of glass making. He even gave us a tour of the historical church where his studio is located.  At the end, he allowed us to stay extra and watch him work on a project.  We decided to split up the family and we will do a second visit in a few months.  Since there was a 2000 degree furnace involved- we thought that was a wise choice for our family!  In the end, we came home with BEAUTIFUL stained glass flowers to give as a present to Nauna and Nat for their recent wedding. 

We can’t wait to go back with the rest of the kids.  In the meantime, we have no doubt that God will continue to supply us with our own personal “furnace” to refine us day by day!

Jacob learning how to use the furnaceJoacob rolling out molten glassJacob using the shears to shape the glassThis will become his flowerSophie rolling her molten glass in colored glass bitsSophie learning the toolsShaping her flower just soJosiah learning to use to 2000 degree furnaceJosiah making his fowerJosiah in fromnt of the historical stained glass in the church buildingsophieJacobJosiahWell worth the long, refining, and molding process!!! The finfshed product

Work Day…2:14 lives on!!!

The beginning of May marks a lot of things: the blooms on the trees, planting flowers, switching to our “summer” schedule for school, getting ready or trips to see family, and….WORK DAY!  Every year our church has an all church work day to clean up from winter, repair and upgrade, as well as start new projects.  This year was no exception.  With a very windy and rainy winter (yes- we got rain when everyone else got oodles of snow) came a lot of broken tree limbs.  Chain saws always make for a fun project on work day!  There was also had other projects like repairing fences, moving the playground fence, building a ramp for a church building, gardening, fixing window sills & ceiling fans, but the glory of the day for our family— CHAIN SAWS and DEMO!

OK- there is another family favorite….cinnamon rolls.  Every work day we bake oodles of cinnamon rolls and deliver them to all the church volunteers.  It is a great way for our younger children to be involved and show gratitude and hospitality.

Sometimes school is in a text book, and other times school is in daily life.  Being responsible for the things God has entrusted to you.  Wise Diligence, Joyful hearts, Endurance, Alertness, and being a servant first. Lessons to last a lifetime!

Demo!  taking aprat the old bike house on the church playgroundCautiousness-  how to demolish and still save the grass!Fence relocationA brake from ramp building to eat cinnamon rollsMartinpalooza on mission:  Cinnamon Roll DeliveryMeeting of the minds- on  a big ladderJosiah and Daddy fixing the windowJosiah helping the big guys with the treeDid someone say you were going to use the chain saw AND the big tractor???? Sophie planting new grassJacob and Daddy repairing the fence that the wind knocked downSophie entertaining Joanna- a very important part of work day- keeping toddlers happyJoyful Joanna