We had an absolutely wonderful weekend. I returned from NYC on Friday and spent a perfect afternoon/evening with Jon. Why does spending a week apart feel like eternity? We had date night, worked around the house, spent the day at the pool with friends, held new babies, watched basketball and celebrated the father's in our lives.
Future daddy (not yet folks!)
Yesterday, church was so adorable. They started out the service with funny dad movie clips- Daddy Daycare, The Switch, Kindergarten Cop and raffled off gift cards to dads with the most women living in their home, newest baby, and coolest power tool. I was anxious to get into the meat of the sermon, called No Perfect Dads Allowed. Our church operates by the mantra "No Perfect People Allowed" and it is fully embraced just looking around the congregation. One of our Pastors, Ted, paralleled a story from the book of Samuel about King David and his son Absolom. I won't get too deep into the story but the message was about paying attention, giving time, and accepting those you share a deep relationship with (mostly talking about children since it was Father's day). And that the feeling of love is not enough.
He showed us clips from the movie, Tree of Life, that was actually filmed right outside of Austin last year. The movie metaphors the King David story in the Old Testament. Something that really stood out to me was the phenomenon of grace vs. nature.
There are 2 ways through life and you must choose which one to follow
The way of grace. Grace doesn't try to please itself, it accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. It accepts insults and injuries.
The way of nature. It only wants to please itself, get others to please it too. It likes to lord it over them, to have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it and love is smiling thru all things.
It taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.
Ted challenged us to dig deep and look at the way we've chosen to live. He encouraged us to live the way of grace with our children and our fathers and those we love deeply. He begged us not to remove affection as a form of punishment to those and bestow grace upon their actions.
What I love about my marriage is the depth of conversation we can have about any subject. And something we talk about a lot is parenting. We pray that it is in the Lord's plans for us, sooner than later, and that because He loved us, He will show us the way as loving parents. We talk about how we want to raise our children, what is the best form of discipline, and what we want to teach them. Ernie has been wonderful practice for us, not only showing us how much we can love a little being but how important love, respect, and discipline are. If I don't show Ernie grace when he misbehaves, how will he learn? The most amazing example is when we get upset with Ernie and scold him for something and all he wants is affection from us.
Grace vs. nature is applicable to SO many things in life
I know I am not the only one who despises those people who post sad quotes and statements on Facebook, letting the world know how miserable they are. It all made sense after yesterday. These people are choosing the way of nature.
Or how about bullies. What good is calling someone gay, ugly, fat, dumb going to benefit that person? It's self righteous.
Or how about something as simple as people doing good deeds to better themselves, or to show the world. Jon brings up this story quite a bit and it just doesn't sit right with me. He was doing a charity drive at work around Christmas and someone said, "guys, this is for US, to make US feel good about ourselves" rather than it being for the better of the community or for the spirits of the children who otherwise wouldn't have celebrated Christmas. Way of nature.
Now I am not saying I am the example of someone who chooses the way of grace, because I am not. There are times and situations when I choose my well being over others. Or I find delight in winning, being first, or showing my success. But I really do strive to be a woman of grace. Just like Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, love is patient, kind, not self seeking. It lives in the way of grace.
Such a great inspiration, have a great week friends!